Gata Kamsky Interview

by Teymur Tushiev for Extratime.az

Gata Kamsky square 4

Gata Kamsky

Tushiev: You are not a frequent participant in open tournaments, how did you decide to play in Baku Open?

Kamsky: Yes indeed, I rarely play in opens, I prefer round robin super-tournaments. But my friends are playing here in Baku and it is always a pleasure to be in such a good company. Besides, in a couple of weeks from now I will play in the European Club Cup for team “Alkaloid” from Skopje. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Gadir Guseinov and Rauf Mamedov are my team-mates there. So I came here to play together with my club partners and to have good time with my friends. Also Novkhany is a great place, very nice resort, so one can play and relax at the same time.

Tushiev: After losing the match against Veselin Topalov, your game appear to be in decline, already having an effect on your ranking. In particular, for the first time in a long run your elo rating went below 2700 …

Kamsky: Yes, this happened. Of course, the defeat in that match had a strong influence on my later game. But the drop in my play mostly had nothing to do with chess. There are several other reasons. But I hope that I can slowly regain earlier form, and a tournament like Baku Open can definitely help me move into the right direction.

Tushiev: You have mentioned team competitions, so I would like to point that early next year Azerbaijan team will have its debut in the World Team Championship, where USA can be one of their rivals…

Kamsky: Yes, but I will not play for the U.S. team at the World Team Championship. We have decided to give a chance to our young American players, so that they can obtain necessary experience. I should say that I myself have offered to give a chance and my seat to young boys. If it was a Chess Olympiad, then of course, I would be a part of the U.S. team, but the World Team Championship is not such important event. The juniors also need a competitive practice, so I will not play there.

Speaking of the chances of Azerbaijani team, it has always been very strong. I remember when your team first appeared at the official competitions, when it was composed of a very young Azerbaijani chess players, that even then they created quite some noise. So you have a very serious, and most important, young team. This is the way it should be done, to attract young and ambitious players.

Tushiev: It is possible that next year you will come to Azerbaijan again, as according to FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, Baku has great chances to host Candidate Matches, in which you are already confirmed participant. How do you estimate chances of Baku to hold such a tournament?

Kamsky: Honestly, I don’t know. At the present time, everything in the chess world is changing quickly and drastically, so it’s difficult to predict anything. But I think that if Baku wins this bid, then the playing conditions will get even better, as Azerbaijan knows how to organize high-level chess competitions.

Full interview on Extratime.az (Russian language)

Georgios Makropoulos Interview

by Teymur Tushiev for Extratime.az

Azerbaijan has a great chance to host the Candidate Matches, scheduled to take place next year, and become part of the new championship cycle – follows from the conversation between FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos and Extratime.az reporter Teymur Tushiev. Georgios Makropoulos was in one-day visit in Baku, together with FIDE press secretary Berik Balgabaev. On Friday, FIDE delegation had a meeting with President of the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov and Youth and Sports Minister Azad Ragimov.

- As you know, in May this year, during the match between Azerbaijan and the Rest of the World, an idea to organize Candidate Matches in Baku was born – said Georgios Makropolus. – Now we come to your capital, to finally prepare FIDE opinion about the possible organization of this event. It is a fact that Azerbaijan is not the only applicant for holding this tournament, so we had to speak directly with the Azerbaijani side. We were able to reach full understanding on all issues. There were only some small nuances that will also be addressed. The final decision will be made at the FIDE Congress, which will be held in October this year in Thessaloniki, Greece.

- You mentioned that there are other candidates to host the Candidate Matches. Which ones?

- I will not name these countries, but there is interest. But Azerbaijan was the first to had expressed a desire to hold this tournament and made a concrete proposal. Moreover, Azerbaijan has great experience in hosting prestigious tournaments at the highest level, the first stage of the FIDE Grand Prix being a good example. Therefore, FIDE decided to first consider the proposal of Azerbaijan, and it is our belief that Baku has a great chance to take Candidate Matches.

- What are the basic conditions to win the right to host Candidate Matches?

- First of all, of course, is to create the most favorable conditions for the participants and provide them with complete safety. This is the main condition. One of the important conditions is the provision of the prize fund, of which a certain percentage goes to FIDE.

- What is the prize fund?

- The prize fund is 504 thousand euros. I would also like to inform you that FIDE has included Azerbaijan’s national team in World Team Championship to be held in January next year in Bursa. This is not a surprise, given that the Azerbaijani chess players have achieved great results in the recent years, and that they occupy leading positions in the world rankings. The World Team Championship is featuring winners of the continental championships, three medalists from the Chess Olympiad, the hosting country. Also, there are two nominees, which are being offered by the organizer, and Turkey suggested Azerbaijan and Greece. FIDE endorsed the nominations.

- What is happening with the last stage of the FIDE Grand Prix, can we clarify the situation?

- Most likely, the last Grand Prix will take place early next year. The last few months of this year will be very busy for players who participate in Grand Prix – European Team Championship, World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk and then the World Team Championship. Therefore we decided to move the last Grand Prix for the next year at the request of the players. FIDE will always try to accommodate the players and allow them to also participate in commercial tournaments.

Anatoly Karpov Interview

About the upcoming match with Garry Kasparov

kasparov karpov

Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will play a 12 games match from 21 to 24 September, 2009, in Valencia. It will consist of 4 rapid (or semi rapid) and 8 blitz games and will take place exactly 25 years after the mythical encounter between the two players.

Anatoly Karpov revealed some important details about the match to the Russian newspaper Izvestia. Bellow is an excerpt from the interview, courtesy of e3e5.com. More related news.

Izvestia: Mr.Karpov, whose idea was to organize your matches with Kasparov?

Anatoly Karpov: I can’t remember exactly, I only know that it was in May of this year. I met with Kasparov in Moscow to discuss various issues not directly related to chess. During the conversation it came up that we have anniversary of our world championship match. Then we decided to meet over the board to celebrate the occasion.

Q: Does that mean that you and your great rival meet very often?

A: Of course, not very often. But perhaps a few times a year we speak about various subjects.

Q: A couple of years ago after the arrest of Kasparov you saw him in the detention center and even tried to bring a chess magazine in. Was that an act of solidarity?

A: That was the least I could do. In that situation, the police clearly overreacted. So Kasparov and his supporters did not have the permission to come out on the streets? It should normally result in a fine, but not with a three days arrest. Yes, Kasparov holds very sharp political opinions, but his actions did not deserve that response.

Q: How many games planned?

A: The initial plan is to play for about six months in all countries where we once had world championship matches. That is, Spain, Russia, Great Britain, France and the United States. Actually, the first rapid match was planned for London, but the negotiations on the organization took a bit longer, and the Spaniards were glad to jump in and take the initiative.

Q: But why Valencia? Your most dramatic match for the title took place in 1987 in Seville.

A: Partly because Seville never had a rich chess tradition. Valencia is entirely different, it is enough to say that one of the city squares is named after me. In addition, Rita Burberry Nola, the mayor of Valencia who manages the city for the last 18 years, loves sports. It is not by incident that they have established a powerful football club, which recently was Spanish champion.

Q: Where will be the playing venue?

A: In the new Opera, in one of the rooms which accepts about 350 spectators. Naturally, it will be packed. Large screens will be installed outside of the building and the passers will be able to watch our game. Incidentally, just before our interview, it has been confirmed that our next match will take place in the Louvre, Paris.

Hopefully, early next year we will play another match in Moscow.

Zurab Azmaiparashvili appointed Azerbaijan captain

News confirmed by Teymur Tushiev for Extratime.az

Azmaiparashvili

Zurab Azmaiparashvili

On 24th August, Teymur Tushiev revealed on Extratime.az pages that Azerbaijan Chess Federation is interested in appointing FIDE Vice-President Zurab Azmaiparashvili as captain of their national team. It is no secret that Azerbaijan holds high ambitions with the team composed of young and strong players, and it is believed that Azmaiparashvili’s experience might be that final piece in the puzzle to provide a top result. Thus far, Azerbaijan has one bronze medal from the official competitions, earned at the last European Team Chess Championship that was held in Creta Maris.

The news travels fast as Azmaiparashvili himself confirmed to Tushiev: “The amazing thing is that I only recently returned to Tbilisi, and I have already received calls from many people, including Nona Gaprindashvili, who read the information in the Georgian newspaper, asking me whether or not I will work with Azerbaijan. I said that I don’t know because I haven’t received an offer. But in a few days I should travel to Baku as member of FIDE delegation that negotiates about Candidate Matches, and this will probably be a good opportunity to discuss a potential proposal about captaincy.”

“It is still to early to say anything specific, at least until I meet the President of Azerbaijan Chess Federation Elman Rustamov, because being a captain of Azerbaijan is a big responsibility”, Azmaiparashvili continued, “Chess is not football, but it should be insisted on maintaining a strong team spirit. You cannot establish that by gathering players together one day before the competition. There should be more meetings throughout the year, whenever is possible.”

Further in the interview, Tushiev and Azmaiparashvili discussed the possibility of holding Candidate Matches in Azerbaijan and then briefly touched upon the FIDE Grand Prix and its final tournament. From the tone, we have an impression that Grozny, earlier mentioned by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as potential host for the Grand Prix, is almost certainly ruled out because most of the players put safety in the first place. Read the full interview on Extratime.az (Russian language).

Update (16th September): The rumor was confirmed by Faik Gasanov, Vice-President of the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan, and Azmaiparashvili is officially captain of the Azerbaijan national team.