Rare interview with one of the greatest chess minds of our era- Vassily Ivanchuk

Rare interview with one of the greatest chess minds of our era- Vassily Ivanchuk


SS: How was the World Cup for you and How do you assess your performance? Vassily Ivanchuk (VI): It was really an interesting tournament. I am happy to play here. I want to thank very much to Emil Sutovsky who supported me. Unfortunately I did not qualify by rating. It was a really interesting, with big
tension. In first two rounds I was a little bit lucky and then I played quite good. In the last match, I played a terrible first game. In the second game, I played quite good but it wasn’t enough as my opponent defended very well. And I didn’t manage to win. But okay, It was really a good tournament. I played, I think quite creative and fighting chess. I hope, If I will continue such style in future I will reach new big successes. SS: You played some beautiful games against Kramnik and Giri. How do you like those games? How were you able to bring out the best chess in you? I am just trying to keep good concentration during each game, to calculate well each variation. In some moments my opponents made mistakes and I utilized it successfully. And against Aronian in the first game everyone thought you were in the best form of your life, and then Ok Maybe it’s true, but… Just in one game everything can happen. It wasn’t my best game. It can happen with everybody. So Vassily, which are the future tournaments that you are planning now to play? Now to play, I will play soon in the Croation League which is starting from 28th of October. No no… 28th of September, sorry. And then in
the end of October I will play a match six games classical against Wei Yi in Hoogoven, Holland. And then I am planning to play in Gibraltar. Ok Maybe something else… ahh… Chinese league I will play, but I am not sure. So right now it’s completely packed with
chess, no checkers for now? VI: I want to play checkers too. Probably… I don’t know if I will play this year or next
year. It is really interesting for me to study new
games. Strangely enough my biggest success has been
in Friscian Checkers. I played this year in quite a strong tournament and I reached third place. I beat many champions. Friscian draughts, its very special kind of rules. So do you work on it or it comes naturally
to you? Of course, if I am planning to play in tournaments, I am trying to prepare myself Ok I am studying some theory, solving some combinations I am trying to understand the stategy of how
I can do it. Of course in my level to play without any preparation is stupid. So just like chess? Yes, but I am not a professional player. What I can do I am trying to do it. Vassily, you are one of the most creative
thinkers in the game of chess. You had found ideas like the one that is on the board in front of you. You played this beautiful exchange sacrifice with Rxc5. What’s your inspiration for finding such ideas? Ok, I don’t know. I am just playing chess. I am trying to play something interesting. Specially if I am in good shape, if I am feeling myself good. This position was from middlegame and here. I also considered Na7 also interesting move. If Rc7 b4 if Ra8 Nc6 then b4, so in this moment
Rc5 okay I played this but also i considered Na7. But Rc5 was a long term exchange sacrifice, yeah? VI: yes but okay I calculated till many moves ahead. I had so I calculated also this and tried to understand where I had better chances. It wasn’t easy job of course. But Vassily, you get these opening ideas
many times not on the chessboard ya, you are just walking or you are thinking. Is it true? Yes okay,I can walk and I can think. I can remember some position and suddenly some move will appear to my head and I start to consider this. Firstly I am trying to understand myself whether good or bad and then sometimes I am checking with computer if i am not completely sure but i
dont like to immediately put to computer, firstly I want to try to understand myself. Is there any opening idea which is very
close to your heart or which you think is really the best one that you have found. Do you remember something like that? Okay it depends during the board or in analysis, for example when I played Be3 against Anish Giri it wasnt preparation, it was an idea
I found during the board. Ahh, you found that on the board? Yes, Be3, yes! I thought it was your preparation. No no no. okay if it was preparation i could hardly
think half an hour in this moment. Any other… Okay against Radjabov in Sicilian I made
some novelty with some pawn sacrifice. It was sicilian line e4 c5 nf3 nc6 d4 cd nd4
nf6 nc3 e6 nc6 bc e5 nd5 Ne4 and then after I found new idea of this pawn sacrifice and
strong initiative just over the board. Vassily is it true that you have a very
strong memory and that you can remember all the 48 games of Kasparov – Karpov match? No no, it may be its true
that i have quite a good memory, but it’s easy to understand that to remember all of games
karpov and kasparov full game its not useful, there is no practical reason. So okay I remember opening ideas and some
interesting moments. Its more useful to remember than from first
move to the last. And it was many games, for example Bishop
and knight against Bishop and Knight, different colour bishops and okay long games 80 moves
how i can remember from start till the end And even if I can do it what is the practical
reason? Vassily, you have been called as a genius,
even Kasparov said that you are one of the strongest players of his generation and very strong, do you feel that not winning the world title is something missing in your life? Okay, hmmm…. something missing,
I dont think that this is the only important thing in my life, For example, I would be
happy to reach level of master in draughts, its also important. okay I would be happy ofcourse to be a chess
world champion but this is not only thing in life which i am worried about. Basically you enjoy the game and result
is something secondary yes? Of course not, of course I want to reach
good result. For example, if I am playing world championship
I can pretend for titles. If I am playing another tournaments but even
if I will win this tournament it will not bring me the title of world champion. But Anyway I am trying to show my best atleast to play good chess but okay I would be happy to reach good results too. It’s stupid to play and not want to beat opponent. It’s not logical. And final question Vassily, do you still
have ambitions of becoming the chess world champion? Okay now this cycle is closed for me but
okay next cycle will see I will plan something but okay now its no time for it. I need to relax a little bit to prepare for
next tournament in croatia league and of course always during all of life I need to try improve my
chess level and okay I will try do it. Thank you so much

100 thoughts on “Rare interview with one of the greatest chess minds of our era- Vassily Ivanchuk

  1. Thank you Sagar. This was probably the best interview of one of the chess legends that I've seen in quite some time. It was a real pleasure.

  2. never heard from "Frisian draughts", seems to be a more difficult version of draughts because you have the possibility to capture in 8 ways in stead of 4, not only the diagonal lines but also the straight lines. (like with a rook)

  3. Oh how I hope to see Ivanchuk playing at least once in my life. Dear St. Louis and Sinquefield Cup; please invite Chuky! It is probably our only chance to see this amazing player, playing the top players. Oh please please 🙂

  4. ssuper suspr genius he is just great no noe cna do it like vaisly ivanchiuk he is paul morphy of the bpast very advnaced player htanks al ot sagar shah for this graet interview.

  5. For another great interview with Vassily Ivanchuk, see Tradewise Gibraltar 2018. The guy's memory and analysis are phenomenal. Notice that he pays tribute to his opponent for taking chances and therefore creating an opportunity for an interesting game. He enjoys playing chess for the beauty of the game, not just to beat someone at another game of chess. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUgvAoTzWBA

  6. Great Ivanchuk !!!! keep going to be an idol for new generation i had not the chance to meet you here in Greece when you came !!!!

  7. Ivanchuk genius. I liked Romanishin Ponomariov. They are great! Ivanchuk is special. Ivanchuk know chess better anyone except Portisch Lajos. From Budapest.

  8. If hes one of the greatest minds of our time why did he never have a world title….Don't confuse his eccentric personality with his ability

  9. Hopefully Chucky write a book someday like a collection of his best games with annotation. That would really be interesting.

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