Meet the Mechanics: Yannick Gozzoli

Meet the Mechanics: Yannick Gozzoli


Meet the Mechanics: Yannick Gozzoli

by  Dana Mackenzie

Mechanics staff writer

In the weeks ahead I will write occasional posts introducing you to the members of the San Francisco Mechanics team in the PRO Chess League. I sent around a short questionnaire to most of the team members, hoping to conduct a sort of online interview. The very first Mechanic to answer was one of our long-distance members, grandmaster Yannick Gozzoli of France. Thanks, Yannick, for introducing yourself to our worldwide fan base!
(Yes, I know, I am intentionally being very optimistic here.)

Dana: Can you tell me your age, where you live, the last school you attended or graduated from, and what you regard as your most significant chess accomplishments?
Yannick: I am 35 years old. I live in Marseille (south of France, famous for its infamous soccer team). I am a graduate in foreign languages. Recently I finished in a three-way tie for first at the French National Championship, but brilliantly been ridiculous in the tiebreaks. wink.png

I won the Cap d’Agde Open in October 2018.

[Note to readers: The French championship was held in August, and Yannick finished in a three-way tie for first with Romain Edouard and Tigran Gharamian. Unfortunately, Yannick finished last in the three-man playoff, and Gharamian came in first. At Cap d’Agde, an open tournament, no playoff was needed, as Yannick finished in clear first with 7½ points out of 9.]

D: What is one fact about you that most chess fans or players don’t know?
Y: I am super lazy!
[This might come as a surprise to Romain Edouard, who described our teammate in the Chessbase report on the tournament as “the ever-focused Gozzoli.”]

D: What chess player or book have you learned the most from?
Y: I’ve learned a lot from Paul Keres and Dvoretsky’s book.
D: Who do you think will be the next world champion after Magnus Carlsen?

Y: Probably Magnus Carlsen.
D: Tell me your favorite author, favorite musician, favorite TV show, favorite sport other than chess, or favorite food.
Y: I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, James Rollins and Robert Ludlum. I like all kinds of music, from U2 to Queen. I love all kinds of sports, but especially soccer and handball. I like to watch movies, but not TV shows. I like good food wherever it comes from!
D: What is the most useful non-chess activity a player can do to improve their chess results?
Y: Sports! (Do as I say, not as I do. wink.png )

I also asked for a favorite game, and Yannick sent me the following one, from Round 8 in Cap d’Agde, which he described as “very smooth and decisive for the tournament win.” I can only agree! To me, it has a mathematical beauty. An interesting point about this game is that there are absolutely no tactics in it; the whole thing is conducted on a schematic level, and all the annotations are in words rather than variations.