- Nationality: Australian
- Birthday: December 22, 1986
'Anna Kournikova of chess' sparks violent feud
A British chess grandmaster may face action from the game's ruling body for throwing a punch at the world No 3 at the World Chess Olympiad.
Danny Gormally hurled himself at Levon Aronian, the best player in Armenia, in a Turin nightclub, sparking a bizarre tit-for-tat feud with between the English and Armenian teams.
But in an extra twist, the fight was inspired not by professional rivalry, but romantic jealousy.
Gormally apparently attacked Aronian after he saw him dancing with Arianne Caoili, an attractive 19-year-old Australian known as "the Anna Kournikova of chess".
The Briton was said to have previously met and been emailing Caoili, and could not bear to see her with an opponent.
Gormally, 30, from Durham, is ranked sixth in Britain, and subsequently left the Olympiad early of his own volition.
Allan Beardsworth, the English team captain, said: "The bottom line is this is just a little incident in a nightclub where unfortunately Danny probably had a drink too many and obviously saw someone dancing with a girl he liked and either hit or tried to hit them."
Gormally, he said, was "gutted" when he awoke the following morning to realise what he'd done: "He knows he shouldn't have done it and knows he wouldn't have done it normally."
Gormally and Mr Beardsworth apologised to the Armenian delegation and their star player the morning after the incident, but while the apologies were being accepted, some of Aronian's teammates waded in with their fists.
Once they were told that Gormally had already said sorry, the Armenians apologised for their retaliatory attack.
"It was all very friendly," Mr Beardsworth said.
The English team subsequently came 19th in the biennial tournament, up from 2004's 30th place. The Armenian team won the tournament.
Mr Beardsworth said that a captain's report would be sent to the English Chess Federation, and that he would be "surprised if the ECF didn't do something".
Arianne Caoili's website
Other links about Arianne (see bottom of the page)