50,000 EUR for grabs in the Ukraine Championship

Interview with Viktor Kapustin, President of the FSHU

Viktor Kapustin

The 2011 Ukraine Chess Championship is set to start on 10th June. Average rating of the participants in the Championship is very high, 2,650 points, which corresponds to the 17th FIDE category.

For the first time in the history of national events, all strongest chess players of the country will take part, except for Vassily Ivanchuk who earlier committed to Bazna Kings 2011. Ruslan Ponomariov, Pavel Eljanov, Alexander Moiseenko, Zahar Efimenko and Andrei Volokitin will play.

On this occasion Sergey Melnik from Kommersant.ua interviewed the President of the Ukrainian Chess Federation (FSHU) Viktor Kapustin.

Q: You probably needed a large increase in the prize money in order to attract such a strong filed.

A: We have allocated 600,000 UAH (about 51,000 EUR ed.note), which will be distributed to all participants. In earlier years the prize fund was almost symbolic, about 60,000 UAH. For that reason our top players didn’t bother to compete.

Q: Ukraine is traditionally performing superbly at the Chess Olympiads and in team competitions. Why, then, our players are not among the real contenders for the world crown?

A: Only top six ranked players could participate in the qualifying tournament. Unfortunately, Ukrainians were not there. But the things could change next year, Ivanchuk is now confidently holding a place in the top, while Ponomariov, former world champion, has plenty of possibilities to improve from the current 11th place.

Q: Until recently, Sergey Karjakin was considered to be the most promising Ukrainian young player, but now he moved to Russia. Do we have other young talented chess players who are able to replace him?

A: Except for Ivanchuk, who is already over 40, other members of our national team are in the age of 24-28 years. This is a fairly young squad, and can afford to play on a high level for many years. Ivanchuk too, with more than 20 years of experience in professional career, can successfully perform in the future.

Of the younger players who are still on their way to the national team I would mention Illya Nyzhnyk. The 14-years old is currently the youngest Grandmaster of the world and an extremely promising player, who already has experience from the international tournaments. But Nyzhnyk needs more practice to improve his game. The Federation is preparing to take a number of steps to help this young player. He needs a coach. This requires some expenses.

Thanks to Alexander Kentler