Interview with GM Oleksandr Sulypa and GM Dariusz Swiercz

By IM Alexander Ipatov, on the occasion of Chigorin Memorial

Oleksandr Sulypa is Ukranian Grandmaster and famous trainer. His student GM Dariusz Swiercz is a Polish chess star, bronze medalist from the 2010 World Juniors Chess Championships. Interview performed by the Chessdom journalist IM Alexander Ipatov.

Alexander Ipatov: – What is your best achievements in chess so far?

Oleksandr Sulypa: – I was Ukranian Junior Champion, and had won many international tournaments. From 1994 I started working as a coach. I became the coach of GM Vassily Ivanchuk and also acted as his second in super tournaments like Linares, Las Palmas, Novgorod. I worked with Vassily until 2001 and even now we are good friends. Ivanchuk isn’t only an elite Grandmaster, he’s a very nice and intelligent person.


I was also the coach of the Ukranian National Team in the Chess Olympiad in Elista when we won a bronze medal.

Dariusz Swiercz – My best achievement is the bronze medal in the WJCC U20, which was held in Poland in August 2010. I earned a GM title at the age of 14 years and 7 months. I’m a winner and co-winner of many international tournaments.

Swiercz and Sulypa

Dariusz Swiercz and Oleksandr Sulypa

A.I. – Oleksandr Sulypa, for how long have you been residing in Poland?

O.S. – In Poland I’m staying since 2006. First I was working in the Chess Club “Polonia Wroclaw” and as a private coach as well. I am also the main coach of the Polish Olympic Chess Team for Women.

A.I. – Do you like Poland? Do you want to come back to Ukraine?

O.S. – Poland is a country which is developing at the moment. Chess isn’t so popular there as, for example, in Ukraine. Yes, I’m planning to come back to Ukraine in the near future. In Ukraine a Grandmaster is a favoured person because chess in Ukraine is recognized as sport.

A.I. – What is your opinion about the organization of the Chigorin Memorial? What do you think about the accommodation and food in the Moskva hotel?

O.S. – The tournament in St.Petersburg is organized on the top level. WGM Sudakova and Mr.Bykov are doing a great job. The hotel is very nice, Russian food is one of the most delicious in the world. We hope to play here in 2011 too. Frankly speaking, we should play in countries where chess is sport because it’s much better for raising the playing level. The chess in St.Petersburg is art.

D.S. – The Chigorin Memorial is organized very well, I’m very grateful to organizers WGM Irina Sudakova and Mr.Bykov for inviting me to participate here. My coach GM Sulypa and me are accommodated in the Moskva hotel (4 stars) and the conditions are really wonderful! The food is very tasty. If the Chigorin Memorial will be organized next year, I would arrive to take a participation again.

A.I. – What do you expect from your student GM Swiercz at the Chigorin Memorial?

O.S. – Dariusz Swiercz is the youngest Grandmaster in Poland and a bronze medalist of the World Junior Chess Championship which was held in Poland this year. I’ll be following and improving his play. I will be helping him to prepare for the games as well.

Meanwhile, in the rapid tournament of the Chigorin Memorial which finished a few days ago, I managed to win against GMs Dreev and Epishin.

D.S. – The Chigorin Memorial is going to be a very strong event. In this tournament I’d like to get some experience and play really nice games against strong opponents.

Dariusz Swiercz

Dariusz Swiercz

A.I. – What is the attitude of local people when they hear Ukrainian or Polish language?

O.S. – Russians like foreign tourists. Their attitude towards us is very nice.

D.S. – Russian people are very nice, I agree with my coach about that. We don’t have problems with communication because Polish language is quite similar to the Russian. By the way, I have started learning Russian because it’s very useful for chess players (e.g. to read Russian chess literature).

A.I. – What are your plans in the future? The next tournaments?

O.S. – I’m not playing much now, I go to the tournaments only as a coach. The next tournament of my students will be in December – the World Cup for Women 2010 where I’ll be helping Polish National Team. After that, I’m going to play in Bansko Open 2010. It has the organization on the top level, it’s a fabulous place from I saw on the photos and I also like skiing.

D.S. – One weak after the Chigorin Memorial I’m going to play in the round robin tournament “Culture Village” in Netherlands. The tournament is a qualifier for the Tata Steel C Tournament. After that, I will play Blitz and Rapid European Chess Championship in Warsaw in December.

A.I. – What is your routine and the one of your students during the chess tournaments?

O.S. – My philosophy in chess is hard training regime and discipline. Also I believe in deep preparation and good physical condition.

D.S. – During the tournaments my coach and I are trying to go to sleep early. Also in my opinion the schedule of the professional chess player should contain preparation and outdoor walks to keep the brain fresh. After the game I relax by listening music and reading books.

A.I. – Thank you very much for the nice talk Oleksandr and Dariusz!

Alexander Ipatov

IM Alexander Ipatov