Alexander Grischuk: "I Would Like to Thank Gelfand Who Gave Me the Israeli Pills"

Время публикации: 12.07.2012 15:07 | Последнее обновление: 12.07.2012 15:08

E.SUROV: It’s 13:00 MSK Time, this is Chess-News and we will be talking to Alexander Grischuk, the World Blitz Chess Champion. Alexander, hello!


E.SUROV: Congratulations! Are you already at home or you are still in Astana?

A.GRISHCUK: Thank you. I’m still in Astana.

E.SUROV: You know, I’ve already asked that question Sergey Karjakin, it regarded to rapid chess, so I will just reformulate the question slightly. What qualities are needed for a chess player in order to be a good blitz player? Tell us, without which qualities it’s impossible to play blitz strongly?

A.GRISCHUK: The main quality one needs to play blitz strongly is an ability to play strongly chess. It also regards to classic and rapid. I mean, in order to be strong in classic you should be strong in chess and so on. It’s the same with blitz.

E.SUROV: Does that mean you disagree with the view that one can be a good classic player but at the same time he can be weak in blitz?

A.GRISCHUK: I don’t see this kind of people. It’s not what the reality shows.

E.SUROV: Well, the fact that Alexander Grischuk is a strong chess player is not new, you actually didn’t tell us anything new. It’s the second time you win the World Blitz Championship, first was in 2006, right?

A.GRISCHUK: Yes, that’s true. However, that competition was much weaker than the one I won now.

E.SUROV: Much weaker?

A.GRISCHUK: Significantly weaker. Just compare the participants’ list.

E.SUROV: I just surfed the Internet in the morning and found out the names like Anand, Radjabov, Polgar… Well, we can check it out now. It’s useless naming them all, maybe you just mean that the list of the participants was steadier?

A.GRISCHUK:  Well, then there were Anand, Radjabov, Svidler, Gelfand, Polgar… I guess, that’s it, no other top-players were participating there. Maybe I just forgot anybody, then I am sorry, but it seems to me that this competition was incomparably stronger than the one held in 2006; taking into consideration that there were more weak players at that time.

E.SUROV: Let’s mention another advantage. That championship wasn’t widely covered. Not a lot of people knew it was taking place. I think it was the first blitz championship, right?

A.GRISCHUK: Well, the first one was in ’88 or ’89 and it was won by Tal, but after that long break, yes, the one held in 2006 was the first. Nowadays, the Internet is also helping. At that time there worked only e3e5 website, whilst now we have – e3e5 and Chess-News.

E.SUROV: So, apparently, it was harder for you to play this time? 

A.GRISCHUK: Actually, I would like to thank Boris Gelfand, because from the first day of the Rapid championship I fell ill – I had a fever and so on. So, he gave me some Israeli pills. As it was in The Matrix: red and blue pills. I won’t reveal all the secrets, anyways, you have to take the red pill before going to bed and take the blue ones several times a day. I had a feeling that the pills are with some kind of dope, because being in a terrible physical condition my head was working quite good. So, that can be an answer to Boris’s achievements in the main tournaments.

E.SUROV: More and more things are revealed. Recently there was information on some super-computer center, which was helping Gelfand, now we got to know about some wonderful pills.

A.GRISCHUK: I’m telling you how I felt. I really had some unusual feelings; and I didn’t have any idea of what those pills were, because the information written on them only in Hebrew. That’s why I don’t even know how I should call them, Boris just told me: “Trust me and take them.”

E.SUROV: Well, people who will need them will find out more about them. I think you just gave people working in FIDE on the issues connected to dope in chess some new information to be considered.

A.GRISCHUK: I’m not stating anything, I’m just telling about the feelings which I’ve never experienced before. […]

E.SUROV: Alexander, you usually share your political, social views in your interviews. Can we talk about that?

A.GRISCHUK; Yes, why not.

E.SUROV: Well, your phrase said in one of your interviews became quite famous. You said: “At the moment I appraise Stalin rather positively” and I still don’t understand what you meant. Could you explain it please?

A.GRISCHUK: I don’t actually understand what I should explain. It refers to the governor’s work.

E.SUROV: Could you be more specific? What was a positive side of his work? 

A.GRISCHUK: I think that is quite evident – industrial life was raised, the war was won. I don’t say that everything was perfect or anything like that. I definitely don’t, but I just mention that there were some positive sides. I don’t think anybody will disagree with that. That’s a question about personal views; everyone has his own opinion and value system.

E.SUROV: So, could you tell us where did you find the information on the positive sides that you called evident? I mean could you name the sources? You didn’t live in the Soviet Union, moreover, you didn’t live in the times of Stalin’s governance.

A.GRISCHUK: Are you asking me how did I know that the war was won? Well, I guess I was maximum 4 years old when I got to know about that.

E.SUROV: No… is that Stalin’s only achievement?

A.GRISHCUK: No, I told you – the industry.

E.SUROV: So, where did you read about industry or maybe you just heard about it from someone?

A.GRISCHUK: Well, I know, the discussion you are going to start can last for hours, so I suggest you to stop at this point.

E.SUROV: OK. In the interview where you mentioned Stalin, you immediately went on talking about USA and stopped mentioning Russia. You said “the liberal idea has two pillars: the freedom of speech and human rights.” I agree with it and I’d only add another pillar - free elections. How close is Russia to this liberal idea now?

A.GRISCHUK: I think that Russia is not close to it at all, much like any other country in the world.

E.SUROV: What system do you consider as an ideal?

A.GRISCHUK: That’s a hard question. Really hard question. I don’t have an answer for it. I can criticize what I see, I can express my opinion, but that doesn’t mean that I have any notion of what ideal means or how it should work.

E.SUROV: Is your attitude towards the things happening in Russian critical?

A.GRISCHUK: Yes, it is. But actually, I would like to say that I was hesitating before giving an agreement to the interview to the website, one of the main activities of which is badmouthing my colleagues and my country. I don’t know why it all comes down to Russia. A lot of negative things are happening all around the world.

E.SUROV: Could you explain that, Alexander? I guess you are talking about our website. Could you specify your words about badmouthing and give some concrete examples?

A.GRISCHUK: What I meant in badmouthing was the article about Gelfand and Anand, about disgrace and some other things. About the country – there also are a lot of examples. If you are really interested in that I can send you all the links in 5-10 minutes. But finally I have to add: despite all this Chess-News is a leading Russian chess website at the moment, so I agreed for the interview.

E.SUROV: Thank you. As long as the article you mentioned was written by me I’d like to say that I just expressed my personal opinion in it, so the article shouldn’t be taken as a representation of the “official view of the website.” All of the original articles are showing only the author’s personal opinion = would it be my article or anyone else’s. That’s why I, as a chief editor, will gladly publish on the website the opinions which contrast my or anybody else’s views.

A.GRISCHUK: Well, actually, if you will publish this interview you will then, so to say, make a contribution to this process.

E.SUROV: Moreover, now we’re talking in the LIVE mode, so there can’t be any suspicions in the fact that people are hearing what you are really saying. I understood you, so now I’m going to ask you the questions left by our readers. Vsevolod asks you: “Are you interested in Russian politics?”. Perhaps you already answered that question.

A.GRISCHUK: Yes, sure I follow it.

E.SUROV: “Have you ever been asked to take part in any actions?”

A.GRISCHUK: No, that never happened and it’s actually hard for me to imagine any action in which I could participate.

E.SUROV:  And if choosing from two extremes: Bolotnaya Square or Poklonnaya Hill?

A.GRISCHUK: I don’t like any of them. Actually, at the moment I don’t see any political force in Russia which I would support. 

E.SUROV: OK. So, I’m going to ask you the last question regarding to this topic. I feel like you don’t actually enjoy talking about politics.

A.GRISCHUK: Why, we can talk about politics. I just don’t have much to say, because I have same kind of antipathy towards the current opposition and the governance. That’s the same as the ideal system we’ve mentioned. As regards to the ideal governance – nowadays, I don’t see anybody who could make it.

E.SUROV: Whom could you mark out in the last few decades and generally in history – I mean the one whom you consider to be the most suitable governor?

A.GRISCHUK: That’s why I talked about Stalin. He looks quite good against the background of others. At least if starting from the XX century; starting from Nicholas II and finishing with our days.

E.SUROV: “Alexander congratulations on your brilliant victory! – I read Alexei’s question. – How do you assess Carlsen’s and Bologan’s performances?”

A.GRISCHUK: Yeah, I’ve also read that one. I’ve already taken a look at the page with questions so, I have an idea of the questions which were sent at least 15 minutes ago. Nevertheless, I didn’t manage to see how Bologan has finished the tournament, that’s why I can’t really answer that. The only thing I know, I scored 2-0 against him. Before the round started the head arbiter was announcing the names of 7-8 leaders and Carlsen was 3 or maybe even more points behind me. And then – here we go! Before the last round I saw he was only one point behind me. Holy smoke… Well, what can I say: he started unsuccessfully, but at the end everything has changed.

E.SUROV: “How much time do you spend on chess in a day?” I guess you’ve already answered that. You said 6 or 8 hours, did you?

A.GRISCHUK: Well no, it’s hard to say. It depends, because sometimes I don’t train at all, but other times I can spend 8 hours on chess. I don’t have a specific schedule yet. But I’m thinking about that. I will try to organize one.

E.SUROV: Do you consider yourself a disciplined person?

A.GRISCHUK: I can be disciplined. Let’s say I’m capable of work, but certainly I’m not diligent. I mean I can work, but frankly speaking I don’t like it that much. But recently I’m really enjoying chess, everything that is connected to chess is interesting for me now.

E.SUROV: More than it was earlier?

A.GRISCHUK: Once Yuri Semin said about Dmitri Bulykin (A Russian footballer): “Dmitry has a very addictive personality. Recently he is much into football.” I guess the same can be said about me: recently I’m much into chess.

E.SUROV: Do you consider yourself to be a lazy person?

A,GRISCHUK: Certainly I do.

E.SUROV: They say laziness is a sign of intelligence.

A.GRISCHUK: Not really, as to me laziness indicates laziness. There’s nothing good about it. But that’s how it is.



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