Interview with GM Kiril Georgiev

Exclusive for Chessdom, after the 2nd round of Gorenje 2007

Kiril Georgiev Valjevo

GM Kiril Georgiev

Tell us for the start, what you think about the Gorenje 2007 lineup.

The tournament is very strong, the players’ ratings are well balanced. The games will be very interesting and I hope it ends up well for me.

You are seeded 2nd favorite, according to the rating. Do you feel it as some sort of burden?

No, it’s not a burden. Rating doesn’t mean much, the game is decided by playing good moves on the board and everything depends on the player’s concentration.

You are a frequent visitor in Serbia, you even speak the fluent language. What is your opinion about the Serbian chess?

I noticed solid development in Serbia. As I understand, your Olympiad and European championship medalists (Gligoric, Ivkov, Matanovic etc, 20 in total red. note) are awarded with big pensions by the government. Besides, chess is entering in the schools as electoral class and you already have many young and talented Grandmasters. I see your future is bright.

And in Bulgaria? You are experiencing chess boom.

Our top players are achieving fantastic results, but unfortunately, we have little or no support from the government. I still hope this will change in the future.

You are very active player, already 20 years among the world’s elite. How do you manage to keep your shape on such a high level for so many years?

For me, chess is not only profession, but also a hobby, and this has helped me. I have always enjoyed playing chess and I also worked a lot. I guess that’s the reason why I stayed on the top for so many years.

How many hours daily you dedicate to chess study?

It’s not every day and it depends on how I feel, but basically, it’s about 3-4 hours. It can be longer if I’m preparing for important tournament.

Kiril Georgiev 2

Kiril in action

Whit what kind of difficulties you face as chess professional?

First of all, there are only few invitational round robin tournaments, of say 14th category. Therefore, Grandmasters are forced to seek to play in team events, where we can for certain earn from contracts. Another possibility is to enter open tournaments, with solid prize funds, but those are attracting many strong players, and it’s basically a lottery.

But playing open tournaments requires certain delicacy – you try to beat lower rated players and hold off against stronger, because losing one game might make it impossible to catch up for the prize fund etc. Do you think this tactics is damaging games’ quality?

Well, no. We employ certain tactics in every tournament. To win a prize in open tournament, one has to make plus five or sometimes plus six score. But okay, when playing strong player with Black pieces, it’s okay to make a draw, and against weaker players we try to win, that’s all normal. Still, we have to win a large number of games, and that’s our main tactics (laughs). It all goes on case-to-case basis. In general, I don’t think open tournaments are reducing the quality. Are you referring to those short draws?

That too.

Well, nobody likes short draws. Organizers for sure, and also the audience that came to watch. They expect few hours of interesting games, and if someone draws within one hour, it’s very disappointing. If game lasts 2-3 hours and 20-25 moves, I believe that should be fine.

Valjevo 7 Georgiev-Nikolic

Kiril Georgiev vs Predrag Nikolic

Are there any tournaments in Bulgaria for you to play?

I don’t play in Bulgaria. Prize funds are ridiculously small, even for the national championship… I haven’t played it for almost 20 years. And I wasn’t invited for the Mtel Masters, which is probably the only tournament in Bulgaria suitable for my strength.

You’re also playing over the Internet?

Yes, I frequently play on the Internet Chess Club (ICC). I prefer the 3-minute time control, but I’m also highest rated in 15 minutes pool (laughs). I find playing on the Internet to be very useful. I can match strong players anytime, practice my tactics and possibly some new openings. I feel big improvement in my play and I would recommend it to everyone.

Thank you very much for the interview and all the best in your future chess career!