Nella Gelfand: "Borya Calls and Says Only One Thing: "Don't Worry!""

Время публикации: 26.05.2012 18:37 | Последнее обновление: 27.05.2012 16:29

Nella Gelfand (Audio in Russian) 

Е.SUROV: Actually, we’ve been waiting for you for a long time. We knew that sooner or later you would visit the match venue and we wanted to talk to you. You’re of course keeping an eye on your son during the last month, aren’t you?

N.GELFAND: Yes, of course.

E.SUROV: So, what is one of the participants’ mother’s impression on the match?

N.GELFAND: Oh, that’s very exciting. I can’t even express how exciting it is. This is not the first strong tournament for him, there were Candidates matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, finals; but this is, of course, the most responsible point of his career. And this is… It’s even hard to talk.

E.SUROV: Such an exciting moment, isn’t it?

N.GELFAND: Certainly, it’s very exciting. 

E.SUROV: How did you watch the match before you came to Moscow?

N.GELFAND: I was watching it at home. I live in Minneapolis, MN, USA; so, I’ve been watching it live on my computer. We’ve been watching the games, the press conferences…

E.SUROV: Please, tell us from the mother’s point of view: has your son changed up to this match? They say he, Boris Abramovich, is completely different here. He’s not playing as he usually does; he looks differently, seems more confident and so forth.  

N.GELFAND: Yes, you know, I also think he keeps himself very calm and confident from the very start of the match. I thought only I was thinking so, but it turns out I was wrong...

E.SUROV: Does Boris contact you during the match?

N.GELFAND: Yes, he does. He usually contacts us on free days or after the games by Skype. We frequently keep in touch.

E.SUROV: And what is he saying? Don’t tell us some personal secrets, but maybe you could mention anything interesting?

N.GELFAND: The only thing he says is “Don’t worry!”. That’s his core phrase, because there’s also his grandmother, my mother - she’s 98, and she used to take him to his chess lessons when he was just starting to play. She worries about him; and a lot of people from our family and relatives support him. 

E.SUROV: When did you understand that Boris was going to dedicate his entire life to chess? How old he was?

N.GELFAND: You know, we realized that chess was going to be his life when he was 10. He just started to play in some junior tournaments and he was entirely into that.

E.SUROV: And what did you think of his decision?

N.GELFAND: You know, my husband and I weren’t that eager for him to be a chess player – I mean having it as a profession, - but we decided that we would be helping him. We weren’t going to discourage him. So, that’s how it was – my husband has been helping him a lot. We took him to his chess lessons and accompanied him during the competitions. 

E.SUROV: Did you think then that once he’d be fighting for the World Champion title?

N.GELFAND: Yes, we did! Especially my husband – he always believed in that. Unfortunately, he has passed away earlier, but he always believed that once Borya will be somewhere on the top.

E.SUROV: Perhaps, as you did?

N.GELFAND: Yes, certainly; because he’s been training so much… He’s so devoted to chess; he loves it so much that he doesn’t think of anything else… So, we understood that something had to work out.

E.SUROV: Tell us about Boris in family life. Generally, we don’t know much about the chess players at that point. So, maybe you, as his close person, could tell us about some peculiarities? Maybe about he’s strong sides, as well as about his weaknesses…

N.GELFAND: Well… He’s an extremely kind person. He’s very intimate. He’s in close relations with all of our relatives. He has lots of friends. Maybe he’s not that fitted in household things, but he loves his family very much and adores children. His daughter sends him here letters, drawings, some presents. The family supports him and that helps him a lot. 

E.SUROV: Yes, I also have this feeling that to the end of the match everyone who could support Boris has arrived here. Or almost everyone.

N.GELFAND: Yes, from different parts of the world. I just got to know that the Belarusian delegation has arrived and that was very pleasant for me. He started his career there, he played for Belarus and he has a lot of friends there.

E.SUROV: What is you impression of everything that happens in the Tretyakov Gallery? What do you think of the organization of the match…

N.GELFAND: Oh, everything is so wonderful. The atmosphere is solemnly-exciting, apart from the fact that everything is held in such a temple of art. Everyone is so well-wishing. Today it was a full house at the Gallery, there are people everywhere, everyone’s discussing, supporting. That is such a pleasure.

E.SUROV: Are you going to use this chance and have a walk in the Tretyakov Gallery to see the famous paintings?

N.GELFAND: Certainly. Being in Moscow and not visiting the Tretyakov Gallery? Especially when it’s so close. I will surely do that.

E.SUROV: Do you usually visit Moscow?

N.GELFAND: No, that’s the first time I’ve arrived here after my departure. When I worked in Misnk, I usually had working visits for a month, two weeks… But it’s almost 20 years I haven’t been here.

E.SUROV: Thank you very much Nella Moiseevna.


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