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Grandmaster Profile: Vassily Ivanchuk

GM Alex Baburin interviews GM Vassily Ivanchuk on 3 December 2000 in New Delhi. This interview was original published in Chess Today.

While in Delhi, I conducted a number of interviews. Here would like to share with you what GM Vassily Ivanchuk had to say about the tournament, the time control proposed by FIDE, etc.

This may be a difficult question, but what do you think of your play here? What is the main reason for your defeat in the match against Ehlvest?

Sometimes I do not play well at the start of a tournament and this could be one reason, particularly as some games of the match resulted in quick draws. Maybe in those drawn games I should have played a bit longer — not just in order to win the game, but also to warm up a bit.

In the game which you lost, you played way below your usual level - why?

Indeed, I played that game badly. It affected me a lot that I was late for the game. I was just a minute or so late, but that made me very nervous. I don’t think that it is normal that players should wait when all other games are finished (there was no fixed time for starting the next round). I wandered for about an hour waiting, but then missed when the last game finished and was late for my own game.

Is it possible that the knockout system does not suit you? (Ivanchuk was also knocked out rather quickly in Las Vegas in 1999)

I would not say that — with the same system I won The President’s Cup in Elista and played a few times in Tilburg, reaching the final.

Many players have already become spectators here, so now they can make predictions. Whom do you think will win the tournament?

Honestly I don’t care, so I don’t think about it.

FIDE is proposing changes in time control - what do you think of that?

I think that what they suggest is nonsense — all this speeding up the game, etc. Instead we should get more time to think! There is rapid chess, there is blitz, but the World Championship should be played using a longer time control. I think that there should be more tournaments with classical time control, as it is better for the quality of the games. This does not mean that I am against rapid chess though.

What do you think of the future of chess?

It is hard to tell· One worrying tendency is that computers are allowed in tournaments more and more often. They affect the competition.

What are your plans for the near future?

Next year I will play in Wijk aan Zee and in Monaco.

Thank you for the interview, Vassily, and good luck next year!

All text Copyright Alexander Baburin unless otherwise noted