Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Exclusive Interview: GM Peter Svidler

This interview has been made thanks to big help of Mr.Abdul Karim from Chess Chronicle magazine.

Q: Greetings Mr.Svidler. Year 2005 was very successful for you. You have tied 2nd place at the World Chess Championship and got the highest rating ever of 2765. Can you tell us something about your preparations?

A: I only prepared seriously for San Luis, and I think it has paid off. A lot of credit must go to my friend Alex Motylev, who has helped me a lot during the event. But in general I spend most of my spare time with my wife and kids, so my relative success in 2005 was a pleasant surprise.

Q: Playing at the highest level is very demanding. How do you keep good physical shape?

A: Not very well, as anyone who has ever seen me can confirm. I've been planning to start working on that for the last 5 years, and it is still in my plans.

Q: Your next tournament will be Linares in February. What are your expectations?

A: Linares is very strong this year, as usual - and it is also split between Mexico and Spain, which will put even more pressure on the players. Still, I hope to do well there.

Q: You have won "Fischer Random" World Championship three years in a row. Is there anyone to give you serious challenge?

A: Of the three matches I played, I only had one that was relatively easy - last year against Almasi. The 1st World Champion, Peter Leko, is a very good player - but he obviously does not want to go thru the Open to qualify for the matches. This year I will again play Levon Aronian - we played in 2004 - and he is a formidable opponent in all kinds of chess. Our previous match was very tense, and I only won by winning the last game.

Q: Do you think it would be possible to play real tournaments with long time control over the internet? Would you participate in one?

A: Internet tournaments are becoming more and more popular, but I think in the near future Internet events will be limited to blitz and maybe fast rapid. For me, the idea of a serious tournament from home is not very appealing - I would miss the camaraderie, and playing a game without seeing your opponent's face would be strange.

Q: Russia lost gold medal on two of three most important competitions. Can you reclaim the throne at the next Olympiad?

A: We've had two bad events - Calvia 04 and Gothenburg 2005 - but I don't think there is a feeling of crisis. Of course Turin will not be easy, but the Russian team in form is still a favorite to win the Olympiad. I am not sure I am in favour of reducing the number of players from 6 to 5 however - for a 14-round event you might need more than one player on the bench.

Q: You have played for Serbian club Partisan for several years. What are your impressions about players from Serbia and Montenegro?

A: Yugoslavia, and Serbia and Montenegro after that, has always been one of the most knowledgeable chess countries in the world. What has always impressed me is that the spectators understand the game as well as the players, and the questions they ask after the game are always the most critical ones. There are a lot of promising youngsters around, and I am sure the chess future in your country must be bright.

Thank you for your time Mr.Svidler

1 comment:

wizard said...

Nice interview except for the "physical shape" question. You were just kidding with Svidler, right?!!