In January Mikhail Golubev interviewed Vassily Ivanchuk for Ukrainian newspaper Komanda. Alex Baburin has translated that interview for Chess Today. If you do not have Chess Today, you can subscribe it by going to www.ChessToday.net. It is a fantastic daily electronic chess newspaper.
– Did you have a chance to analyse the game from your match vs. Leko?
I did not have much time to do so before the Corus tournament, but I went through those games briefly, paying attention mainly to the opening phase. Overall I am happy with my play in that match – I had new ideas in the opening, enjoyed the initiative in the match and played every game till the end.
– What do you think of the match and its organisation?
Everything was at the highest level, for which Josef Resch and other local organisers deserve credit. I wish we would have more events like that in Ukraine.
– Do you know your overall score against Leko?
We played against each other so often that it’s hard to remember the exact score. I think it’s about equal – maybe one of us is ahead +1.
– What do you expect from Corus?
I anticipate tough competition – the opposition is strong and you seldom play 13 rounds without losing a game. One should be ready to receive a blow and not to give up after it.
– What was your best result there?
The first place in 1996, of course.
– After that you missed a few Wijk aan Zee tournaments. Why? Did they not always invite you?
Sometimes they did not invite me and sometimes I could not play there myself, as in 2002, when I played a match against Ruslan Ponomariov.
– Will you have a second at Corus?
No, this time I will be there without an assistant.
– Is it true that a meeting, concerning the doping test from Dresden, should take place in the Netherlands?
Yes, but I don’t want to comment on that unpleasant story.
– Getting back to 2008, how do you assess its results for you?
Overall positively, though I had a few bad results – sometimes I did not manage the stress. In the last few years I’ve been playing a lot – I don’t get tired as I enjoy both the chess preparation and play.
– If I am not mistaken, in 2008 you won five tournaments: Sofia, Leon, two tournaments in Moscow and Benidorm…
You can add winning a rapid chess tournament in Rocca Di Papa in Italy.
– Do you have time for hobbies?
I read a lot and whenever possible go to the theatre.
– What tournaments are already in your 2009 calendar?
Linares, Monaco, Russian League, the fourth Grand Prix tournament, Sofia, Leon, match against David Navara in Prague and Greek League in July.
– Do you think that your recent proposals concerning the world championship cycle are still valid?
Yes. I believe it would only be better for chess if as many great players as possible had a chance to challenge the champion. I should add that if the world champion took part in the Candidates’ tournament, it should attract sponsors. The champion can then have a right to a match-revenge. Overall, there are numerous interesting options.
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– GM Susan Polgar