By Romualdo Vitale
The 2017 FIDE World Junior and Girls Under 20 chess championship is over and on my way home I’m trying to recollect all the amazing things that happened in these two weeks.
Fideacademy, that kindly invited me as press officer, offered me the possibility to interview GM Vladimir Potkin, one of the coaches of the Russian delegation. I assure you it can be intimidating to have your first interview with such an important player.
Vladimir has been European Individual Champion in 2011, surpassing on tiebreak Wojtaszek, Polgar and Moiseenko. He has worked for a few years with Levon Aronian, helping him to win the Linares International Chess Tournament in 2006, he has been the coach of Ian Nepomniachtchi and he’s been Sergey Karjakin’s second during last year’s World Championship Match against Magnus Carlsen.
I’ve prepared for this interview as if I were preparing for a fearsome opponent: I’ve looked up his best games and several Wikipedia pages and articles about him.
Before the interview I tried to make him comfortable by showing him the questions I had written and, to my surprise, he suggested several interesting topics I could add, showing his incredible experience.
What amazed me the most was the professionalism he held throughout the interview and also his friendliness after I showed him the final product.