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Interview with Alexander Morozevich in Reggio Emilia – Part One

Courtesy of Dario Pedini and Scacchierando Blog

Interview with Alexander Morozevich in Reggio Emilia – Part Two

Dario: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me and our blog Scacchierando, an Italian chess blog run by amateurs, and it is a real honour to be able to interview you, as we consider you to be not only one of the best players in the world in the last decade, but also a true artist. Last year I I expressed the great esteem I had for you with the organisers, and told them that your presence here would have been great value for the tournament and its history.

But enough praising, and let’s get down to the interview. How many times have you been able to visit our country during your career ?

Morozevich Alexander: This is not the first time I come to Italy, as, apart from being here in Reggio Emilia for the second year running, I came here during the nineties for a few days, I think four if I remember correctly, for some Military Championships.

D: In an interview you did a few months ago you said, in a slightly deceived tone, that you were amazed that none of your games had been included in best games collections, like, for example, John Nunn’s 125 . How do you explain this ?

M: Actually, I was joking during that interview. What I can say is that reality is in stark contrast with what I hear; if you take any book on tactics, collections of games, diagrams or studies, my name is never mentioned, even if I’m considered to be one of the strongest attacking players of the last 15 years, and I have to ask myself how is that possible! (Moro seems to consider this quite seriously, in spite of the joke :-))

Giri - Morozevich

Giri - Morozevich

D: In that same interview you said that in 2010, during a period when you had stopped playing for a few months, you were asking yourself if your career was maybe ending, I’d like to state emphatically that if someone like Korchnoi still plays as an 80-years old and can beat champions like Caruana, maybe it would be wise to carry on, for the sake of your fans!

M: I can’t really say in what stage of my career I am presently. Korchnoi is playing as an octogenarian but he can’t be held up as a reference, as the standard is to be at one’s peak up until 40-45 years, as in the case of Kasparov and Anand. I guess we can say that I am halfway through my career and going on to the second part and its conclusion. Furthermore my playing style is quite quite taxing and requires great energy therefore I will carry on playing for as long as I’m strong enough to do so.

D: We mentioned before that your games don’t seem to find their way in best games collections. You have published a book on the Chigorin Defence. Would you like to write again in the future?

M: Yes, I did write a book on the Chigorin, but it was a joint effort with an International Master. In the future I would like to write a book on my best games, that will require time therefore I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually do it as I’m going to have to devote a great effort and attention, maybe in 10 years or so.

Alexander Morozevich - Vassily Ivanchuk

Alexander Morozevich and Vassily Ivanchuk

D: You have recently concluded your experience as a trainer with Qatar, and especially with Zhu Chen. You’ve said that in these years you have understood how the Chinese play chess and how they approach the game. What do you mean by that, exactly?

M: My experience with Zhu Chen has been very instructive for me. The Chinese play and learn chess in a different way for a very simple reason: they have a different culture, which makes them unique. Every culture has a different approach. Working with the Chinese I can say that in the end I haven’t modified my style, which is what it’s always been, by I think that I have come out of the experience quite enriched.

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