Dmitry Andreikin: "My primary concern is my family duties"

Tuesday, 04.11.2014 22:43
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Duration: 28 min (in Russian)

E.SUROV: It's November 2nd, 15:21 Moscow time. Chess-News is on the air with Dmitry Andreikin who has just won the Grand Prix stage in Tashkent. Greetings Dmitry. Congratulations!

D.ANDREIKIN: Thanks!

E.SUROV: The last game of the tournament has just finished a few minites ago. How do you feel at the moment?

D.ANDREIKIN: I'm feeling wonderful. It's my first serious tournament which I won solely since, probably, the Russian Championship in 2012. For two years, I have been playing quite well and my results were good - but clear first is clear first, all the more that it was a real supertournament.

E.SUROV: There had been another supertournament in Baku, another Grand Prix stage in which you had performed poorly, let's put it straight.

D.ANDREIKIN: I wouldn't say my performance had been poor. In Baku, I lost only 5 Elo points and I don't consider that a disaster. It was just that I hadn't played for a long time before Baku... Of course, I had had better expectations, but I think the Baku stage was within the normal limits anyway.

E.SUROV: Now let me ask a question of the most importance (in my opinion): playing 2 very strong tournaments in a row, the ones like Baku and Tashkent, is enormously exhausting, and we can see that the Baku winners had quite a poor tournament in Tashkent, especially Gelfand. I wonder how you, in turn, have managed to play here so smoothly, in one breath?

D.ANDREIKIN: You know, it appears that being tired is in fact better for me than the absence of practical play. After a long break, I wouldn't usually be able to adapt to a tournament at once, even though I might feel opposite - like being fresh and full of new ideas. It was like that in the Candidates, it was like that in Baku. And, of course, when you start a tournament from two losses or 0.5/4 it won't become too good for you anyway. Here in Tashkent, I was certainly a bit tired, but the fact that I had been already warmed up was of more importance.
Another key factor is that I didn't play at my full capacity in Baku; after my poor start I just began playing for fun, checking out some interesting ideas, trying to be pleased with the very process of play, etc.

E.SUROV: "For fun", you said. I recall we've already heard this from you during the Candidates tournament. What does that mean? What's the difference between playing for fun and at one's full capacity?

D.ANDREIKIN: Well, the point is that it'd be too reckless, too presumptuous to say after a poor start, like the one in the Contenders or Baku, "Now I'm going to win 5 or 6 games in a row and take the 1st place"; so, I would usually begin playing just for fun. Ok, maybe in a sense that I would try some new ideas which I wouldn't try otherwise. At the same time, I fight hard for each half-a-point in any case. This approach worked very well for me in the Candidates when it brought me the tie for the 3rd place in the end. Saying "for fun" I mean just playing chess without any obligations, but also without giving up in difficult positions - in the Candidates, I saved, for instance, the ones against Aronian and Anand...
Of course, here in Tashkent it was already no fun, because I had grabbed the lead and had to take care of keeping it. For example, yesterday's game as Black vs Gelfand was very difficult, both the game and the preparation. In another situation, I could try something more interesting and creative as the opening, but here I strived for the maximum score.

E.SUROV: So, the starting game vs Mamedyarov - where you had been very lucky in the endgame - was the most important for you, wasn't it?

D.ANDREIKIN: Yes, that's what I've been talking about. Of course, that game was very important.

E.SUROV: Were you having any chess assistants here in Tashkent?

D.ANDREIKIN: No. These days, I work on chess mostly on my own.

E.SUROV: What about physical training, then? Do you practice it before your tournaments, or maybe after?

D.ANDREIKIN: Now, when we have a little child, we spend a lot of time outdoors. Besides, there's always a lot of housekeeping, so I really lack time for any special physical preparation. I sleep well enough after this all anyway.
Nor do I practice physical training during the tournaments, although maybe I should. Sometimes I feel overloaded with all those opening lines prepared. Thinking about openings and preparation 24/7 isn't of much help, it's just tiring. For example, today against Giri I failed to disconnect myself from all this stuff - maybe that's why my today's opening was so poor. So, maybe I really need some methodics to get rid of that, to refresh the brains.
By the way, I was feeling exactly like this in 2012 when I won several tournaments. Probably being in a condition like this can be useful when you are completely immersed into chess, but is that really equal to feeling happy? Hard to say. The thing is that I'm not too concentrated on chess between the tournaments, and I believe that's fine for me.

E.SUROV: You try to be a professional chess player, and a diligent husband and a family man simultaneously, don't you?

D.ANDREIKIN: Certainly, I do. In fact, I consider my family duties (as a husband and a father) more important than my chess. Of course, whenever I go to a tournament I'm concentrated on chess. But chess isn't my primary concern in my everyday life. It's hard to say whether it should be like this, but that's the way I prefer for the moment.

E.SUROV: It might be that you'll have to choose between your family duties and your chess career at some point, in case you set some big goals. Aren't you afraid of this?

D.ANDREIKIN: Well, if I do think of becoming the world champion then this question will arise inevitably, but for the moment my goals are not that high - maybe that's why I'm able to combine both things.

E.SUROV: The next Grand Prix tournament will take place in Tbilisi instead of Tehran. Was it good or bad news for you?

D.ANDREIKIN: Initially, I didn't particularly like an idea of going to Tehran, firstly because I just didn't like it, and secondly because February 15th isn't the most suitable date for me. But, as I have been successful here in Tashkent, and thus have got a good chance to be successful in the whole series (and maybe to qualify for the Candidates again, as a result), I will play in Tbilisi.

E.SUROV: Do you feel annoyed by those who consider your successes in the Contenders and the Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup simply accidental? Do you feel an urge to prove them the opposite by qualifying once again?

D.ANDREIKIN: First of all, I'm not willing to prove anything to anyone - in general, I don't like this. Secondly, let me put it this way: it's just wrong to judge who is 'worthy' and who is not, or what was accidental or not. Such statements are very strange. If something has happened it has happened. We can't say: "Look, this world champion just got his title by chance, while another is the real one". History doesn't tolerate the subjunctive mood.

E.SUROV: Here is a question from our reader: "Could you please share your ways of enduring a painful defeat in a crucial game? How would you recover for the next round?"

D.ANDREIKIN: It's really a good question, although quite a difficult one. It depends on what kind of defeat it was. If it was the objective outcome then it's not a disaster - you just need to analyse the game, make your conclusions and admit that the opponent played better. If you were just unlucky (which is of course much more painful) you can listen to music, or go for a walk, or watch a movie - that is, to abstract away from it, and to play the next round as if nothing has happened. At least, that's how it works for me. Of course, I'm against any kind of chemical interventions.

E.SUROV: As a matter of fact, one can get an impression that you possess nerves of steel. Would you agree with this?

D.ANDREIKIN: Nobody has nerves of steel, but probably I do possess a good nervous system for a chess player - exactly for a chess player. If I were, for instance, a doctor or a surgeon, my nerves won't be already so suitable. Maybe I just try to put up a pokerface. Everyone is more or less nervous.

E.SUROV: There is another question from our feedback: "What distincts you from other young and talented players, in your opinion?"

D.ANDREIKIN: Well, I'm not the one who wants to be necessarily distinctive... In general, modern young players don't differ too much even from the older ones. So, it's hard to say. Maybe it's my nervous system which is more or less good. On the other hand, my openings might be slightly inferior compared to those of my rivals, although they're not catastrophically worse; once again, this is relevant to all kinds of players, not only the younger.

E.SUROV: Could you name a player from the younger generation who is distinctive, then? Maybe in general, not only from the chess point of view.

D.ANDREIKIN: Ok, maybe I'm distinctive in a sense that I'm married and we have a child, which doesn't happen too often in case of young professional players. Although I'm not sure if it really makes me distinctive. The chess theory is finite and everyone keeps analysing same or similar lines, which means that none of us really stands out.
I can say that I like Caruana's play because he is one of the few top players who always fight for a win, reject repetitions, etc. - by any color. Kramnik is also like this, that's why I like them both. Kramnik is already not so young but he still keeps his chess appetite: he would fight for a win in a situation when other players would just go for a repetition. I've seen this many times. This approach is always pleasant for me to see.

E.SUROV: By the way, Kramnik is a family man too.

D.ANDREIKIN: Yes, although we belong to different generations.

E.SUROV: What are you planning to do next? To play somewhere or just have a rest?

D.ANDREIKIN: No, I won't play anywhere till Tbilisi. I'm going to have rest, to take care of our everyday life, to spend a lot of time with my wife and daughter - like walking together, travelling together, playing snowballs. My success in Tashkent gives me good spirits for long-term rest. Well, of course, there'll be some preparation too...

E.SUROV: Have you already spoken to your wife today?

D.ANDREIKIN: Yes, of course, it was the first thing to do! She always supports me. We've been talking during the tournament daily, by phone or Internet. Today is the happy end, so I'm glad to go back home to Ryazan.

E.SUROV: Thanks for the inverview! Best wishes to you and your family.

D.ANDREIKIN: Thanks! Good bye.

 


  


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