Andrey Filatov Tells How Kasparov Wanted to be Russian Team Captain, But He Took the Job Himself

Время публикации: 22.05.2015 13:21 | Последнее обновление: 22.05.2015 15:26

In an interview with the newspaper "Sport-Express" the President of the Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov told how one time in his life, he had close contact with Garry Kasparov. It happened, he said, two years before he headed the Russian Chess Federation.

"A friend called and said Kasparov wanted to talk with me. Four of us sat down in the cafe La Torre - the publisher of " 64 " Igor Burstein, the former head of the Russian Chess Federation Alexander Bakh, Kasparov and me. The subject of the meeting stunned me.

- What did he want?

- He said, "I won everything in chess, except the Olympiad as a coach. This is my dream. I am ready to lead the team."

- Was he serious?

- That's what I thought. But Kasparov went on as if nothing had happened: "I am approaching you because you are the future head of the Russian Chess Federation." - "So far, you are the only one who knows this. I have not even thought about such a turn of events."

- What did Kasparov say?

- He grinned: "No, I know how things will be. So what about the Olympiad?" - "At present, this is just pointess talk, I have no thought of becoming leader of the Russian Chess Federation."

- How did you explain this insight to yourself?

- How can you predict this two years ahead? Or after the match Anand - Gelfand in the Tretyakov, he saw the level of organization?

- What else did the two of you talk about?

- I was wondering whether Kasparov wanted to work in the team. How to reconcile this with his political activities? He said, "I really love chess, it is more important..."

-  Do you understand the current Kasparov?

- I feel sorry for him.

- Why?

- He is a chess player. Exactly that - not a politician. When you are not doing your job, it is striking. And the result is always deplorable.

- You think Garry has had enough of politics?

- Probably, he has strong economic incentives. To play this role. I suspect they were what pushed him into politics too. But then he got distracted.

- After such a pause, could he return to professional chess?

- Kasparov never retired from chess. He played in St. Louis some games with Short, he coached Carlsen ... It would be great if he popularized chess not in America but in Russia. Pass his experience onto children, give simuls.

You know, I once asked President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: "Why make chess compulsory in schools?" The answer stunned me: "Studies have shown that children who graduated from the chess school, do not use drugs. The child learns to calculate the consequences of actions, including those that can lead to tragic consequences." Chess in Armenia is taught twice a week, plus they broadcast a special television programme. Children's drug addiction in the country went down sharply. Another example is China. There, after the Opium Wars, almost all the male population hoisted on drugs. They were cured by chess and go. These games saved them as a nation.

- Is it realistic to make chess a compulsory subject in Russian schools?

- Why not? In any case, it's better than spending huge money to fight child drug abuse.

- Kasparov doesn't ever travel to Russia, does he?

- The president invited him to a meeting in Sochi with the world champion. He refused. Kasparov's fears about his safety are considerably exaggerated. In my opinion, he has nothing to fear.

- But you took Kasparov's dream on yourself...

- Yes, recently I decided - in January I will be head coach of the men's team.

- Why do you need this?

- We do not win! And I have a professional coaching education. After the World Cup in Armenia, in which we did not win a single medal, I thought - I must take the job on myself. I can't do any worse. Because it can not be worse.

- What is the weakness of our team?

- There isn't a team as such. There are just some talented players.

- Will you delve into the nuances of pure chess?

- In Tromso I noticed that the team had problems with the transition from middlegame to the endgame. Our players have two strengths - a great chess school and technique. They are all fantastically prepared for the opening. To such an extent that they think for a long time before the first move, wondering which opening to choose. They get a good position, but then they start making mistakes."


  


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