Interview with Alexander Morozevich
Vladimir Barsky. (‘64-Chess Review’, No. 8, 1998, after Alexander won the
Russian Championship.) Translator omitted some parts of the interview in order
to make it more compact.
English translation © 2000 by Alexander Baburin.
How did you prepare for the Championship?
Just before the championship I played in the Russian Cup in
there was no time for any preparation. Only 2 days before that tournament I
decided that I could play in the championship. I decided that I would just
play 11 games — after all, this is my work. And the championship is the
key chess event in Russia.
So, did you plan to play 11 good games here?
No, once I went here, I wanted to qualify to the World Championship.
Do you often initiate peaceful talks?
My opponents offer a draw much more frequently than I do, while I decline
such offers more often than my opponents. Here to allow myself short draws
would be a mistake, so I forced myself to play in order to keep my ‘chess
tonus’. But I did not want to burn any bridges too early either.
Did the game against Alisa Galliamova become the turning point for you?
I think that if it was a game Morozevich-Galliamov (Alexander means
that if it was a game between two men — translator’s note), nobody
would have noticed it. Particularly as the play, which we both demonstrated,
did not deserve such an attention!
Did you not think that you might lose after the undefeated run of 50
I am not afraid that I can lose a game. I am ready for it — I play
Does it bother you when people say that you play ‘incorrect’ chess?
Such talks does not bother me at all. I play, as I understand the game and
see fit. And my opening repertoire is not any ‘weirder’ than, say, that
What does play on the national team mean to you?
First of all, responsibility. In Moscow in 1994 our Youth Team (Morozevich
played there on board one — translator’s note) did not have any
special plans, while the first team must fight for the top place.
Are you a team player?
Because of my sharp style, some say that I am not a team player, but so
far I played well in team events. I always remember that I play for the