He has just won the strong Kavala Open
Chessdom: Hello Ivan, once again congratulations for the fantastic performance in the Greek Open Championship. Both you and Kotronias are superb tacticians, what was your plan for the last round?
Ivan Ivanisevic: Thank you! I had no particular plan in mind, just wanted to avoid hot theoretical discussions. But I was ready for the fight.
Chessdom: Your talent shined early at the Serbian pioneer championships in the beginning of 90′s. What has got you attracted to chess, how did you start playing?
Ivan Ivanisevic: It’s interesting that in that period everyone talked how big talent I was, yet I won pioneer championship only once! Chess was always present in my family, my father and grandfather played it, and I joined spontaneously. As I was starting, new possibilities came up. I have joined chess school at the City Center for Physical Culture and learned from the brilliant coach and pedagogic Petar Smederevac.
Ivan in action
I can’t really say anything particular attracted me, I just never had any dilemma that I should be playing chess!
Chessdom: You are an active player for more than a decade. Do you see any changes in Serbian chess over this period?
Ivan Ivanisevic: Exactly, I started as professional sometime around 1996. I see enormous changes everywhere, and so in Serbia. First, only few people used chess software back then, while today anyone can reach certain level much easier and faster than before! All information is available to everyone.
As for Serbian chess, my generation and myself were strongly encouraged when Igor Miladinovic won the World U20 Championship (1993 – ed. note). That kind of success is creating healthy competition and we are stimulated to reach forward. Later we had period of political crisis and sanctions which was slowing our progress. But now, few years later, a new generation emerged, players born 1983 and 1984 (GMs Nikola Sedlak, Robert Markus, Milos Perunovic, Dusan Popovic – ed. note) are fantastic in my opinion!
Ivan Ivanisevic vs Nikola Sedlak in team event
Chessdom: So can we reach the old glory from times of Gligoric and Ljubojevic?
Ivan Ivanisevic: I think we have that potential, but the organization has to be much better. Nowadays, everyone has to fight on his own and we lose precious time. But I am optimist and I believe things will go better.
Chessdom: We have seen your fantastic theoretical preparation in Valjevo, particularly in the game against Dusko Pavasovic. How many hours daily you devote to chess study? Do you work with a trainer or on your own? Which software is necessary for the top preparation?
Ivan Ivanisevic: I don’t think I’m that well prepared, it can always be better. I work on chess every day, there is no fixed schedule, but average is 4-5 hours. I work alone and I think one should have as many software packages as possible (at least that suits me).
Chessdom: You are chess professional. Are there enough invitations for the tournaments or team events? What kind of difficulties are chess professionals facing today?
Ivan Ivanisevic: Invitations for tournament abroad are very rare, mostly we play team events. It is good that we can play different national leagues without limitations! We have had some fantastic tournaments in Serbia during the last two years, in Vrsac and Valjevo, I hope they will become traditional. This is also one of the ways to restore our old glory! There are many difficulties though, for example professional players enjoy no protection, unlike the people who organize clubs…. But one fantastic thing is that I don’t have daily office work 7-15!
Ivan held Anatoly Karpov to a draw in Valjevo 2007
Chessdom: Can you give any advice to the young players who are just getting familiar with chess?
Ivan Ivanisevic: I can, it is very important to approach the game with love and passion, and like in anything else, the results will come. Certainly, chess is not easy, but it can bring you huge pleasure.
Chessdom: Ivan, thank you for your time. We wish you to continue with fantastic results.
Ivan Ivanisevic: Thank you for the interview and kind wishes!