Monday, 13 February 2012

Aeroflot Open Interviews

Hi all,

Aeroflot Open is currently in progress in Moscow and I've seen some amusing interviews in Russian published on the Russian Chess Federation website. Here is my translation of selected material. You can see the photos in the original version.

First of all, an interview with GM Anton Korobov (rating 2660) who is currently leading Aeroflot Open Group A with 5 out of 6. The interviewer mentions that Anton doesn't give any serious answers but rather jokes all the time and gives rather original answers.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in the Soviet Union in 1985. I started playing chess spontaneously. My friend in the kindergarten said that his dad knows many "mates". I asked my parents what he was on about and they said that his dad is probably a strong chess player. I was very interested in this and it started from there. Now I work on chess myself and analyse some slowly progressing challenges with others.

Have you been invited into the national team [Ukraine]?

No, it looks like I'll never play in it.

Why are you so pessimistic?

I'm too old. They only take young, early developing and politically proficient people - quoting Ostap Bender [famous fictional figure in the Soviet satirical literature].

What are your most serious chess achievements?

I don't have any serious achievements, only unimportant ones. The biggest one is 3467 rating on the ICC. Second place in the Aeroflot Open 2010 was a fluke.

How about your win against GM Maxim Rodshtein today?

It was a usual situation. I didn't know the opening, couldn't figure out the middlegame and was waiting for an unpleasant endgame, but my opponent lost on time.

Do you have any chess idols?

They change from time to time. I had Fritz 8, then Rybka 1.2, Rybka 2.2, Rybka 3. Deep Rybka 4 and then Houdini 1.5. Now it's Houdini 2.0. Perhaps, I'll have a new idol this year.

The next interview is with GM Francisco Vallejo.

Francisco, how is it going?

The tournament is very strong. I like it very much because playing in such a tournament helps to improve my game. But I'm playing terribly. It started in the game with GM Gupta. I had a familiar position but got confused right at the start, so the game ended in a draw. In the next game with GM Sokolov I had several winning continuations but I managed to lose. And the same thing happened yesterday. Today I drew in an almost winning position. I want to go home!

Do you prefer playing in opens like this or in super tournaments like Linares?

It's better in super tournaments because if I'm playing badly then I have an excuse because the opponents are very strong. Here it looks like the opponents are not stronger than me but I'm playing badly anyway. I'm not disappointed about the result as much as about the quality of my games. It's as if I was a journalist and made mistakes in basic words.

Ok, in this case enough about chess! How is life in Spain in the current economical crisis?

Crisis is very serious in Spain. It affects the tournaments as well. Linares has big problems with finding a sponsor. I'm lucky as I work in other countries. I play in Germany, for example.

So you don't feel vulnerable in this situation?

I do in some sense. For example, by brother lost his job. There are more than 5 million unemployed in Spain. It's more than 20% of the population. It affects my friends and my family. But I'm an optimist. I always try to think how lucky I am in life. I'm healthy, can play chess and work. Recently I saw a documentary about the life of penguins. I wouldn't have liked to be one of them! They live in temperatures of -50 Celsius and for some time without food. They have to protect each other by standing in a circle keeping the warmth. When I remember this I can say that really I'm a happy man!

And finally, an interview with GM Fabiano Caruana who showed some amazing results recently and progressed into the chess elite. It has already been translated into English by Chessbase so please follow the link.


Peter said...

Thanks for the translation Maria.

Maria Yurenok said...

Glad you like it Peter.

jello said...

Funny stuff :) Thanks Maria.