Grandmaster Profile: Alexander Grischuk
GM Alex Baburin interviews GM Alexander
Grischuk on 14 October 2000 on the Faeroes Islands. This
interview was original published in Chess
Alexander, I met you name in the chess press only recently - probably at the
beginning of this year. Then I started to follow your results and met you for
the first time here. Perhaps chess fans are in a similar position, so can we
start off by talking about where you were born, where you live, etc.?
I was born in Moscow and live
there. I am 16 and for about 10 years I've been playing chess. My first coach
was Godlinsky, then I studied with Blokh and for the last 5 years I have been
working with IM Anatoly Avramovich Bykhovsky.
What are your best results in
tournaments so far?
Winning this tournament
(Alexander scored 71/2 out of 9, which was a 2822 rating performance and tied
for first with Ruslan Ponomariov) and the Chigorin Memorial - there I also
tied for first - and winning in Lausanne (2000).
So, this year is rather successful for you?
Yes, I won two tournaments this year.
Also, this year you started
to play in strong events - The New York Open, Reykjavik Open, North Sea Cup
in Esbjerg, Denmark and now this tournament. Is this something new for you?
Yes, although I always try to play in strong tournaments.
It seems that your results are going up...
Not always - in my previous
tournament (final of the Russia's Cup) I played badly.
Let's talk about your chess
studies - which players influenced you most?
Nimzowitsch, Fischer and Karpov.
Did you really study
I studied his book - 'My
System'. I also looked at games of some famous players (Botvinnik, Gligoric
and some others), though not very deeply.
What about modern players -
who is your favourite?
Morozevich and Shirov.
So, you like players with an
active and somewhat unusual style...
This is how I play too!
What are your plans? How do
you see your potential? Are you ambitious?
First I hope to play at the
Olympiad in Istanbul and then in the World Championship in India.
How far do you hope to
I think that there I will
play a couple of games (laughs) and then maybe another couple of games! :-)
What do you think of chess as
a profession? Will you devote your life to it?
Are you not afraid that it's
a tough and unpredictable profession?
Any profession is tough and
unpredictable in Russia at the moment!
Personally I believe that the
situation in professional chess is getting worse. What in your opinion should
be done to make it better?
I believe that we need rapid
chess and use the same system as in tennis - one match a day, perhaps the
whole match should take up to 4 hours.
I hear the same opinion from
some other players, like for example, Veselin Topalov and Alexander Morozevich.
So, you support it too?
Of course, this is only
Some players are concerned
that with a shorter time control the search for 'ultimate truth' in chess will
be less efficient. Are you familiar with this point of view?
Yes and actually this point
of view surprises me!
What chess magazines do you prefer?
'64' and 'Informant'. I also
read 'New in Chess', which is a very good magazine.
The match Kasparov-Kramnik is now on and soon FIDE World Championship will
start in India. Who is the World Champion for you?
What is you attitude towards
FIDE? Does FIDE do everything well and or badly or is it somewhere in between?
So far FIDE is on the way up,
particularly with organising tournaments - first FIDE started the World
Championship and recently it organised the World Cup.
Alexander, thank you for the
interview and good luck in Istanbul and new Delhi!
Text and photos Copyright GM Alexander
Baburin, all rights reserved.