Interview with Erwin L’Ami is provided by the organizer


One of the most talented Dutch chess players Erwin L’Ami had a fiasco as a player: he was knocked out by the Indian chess players Krishnan Sasikiran and then he came to grief as a coach. His player Ivan Cheparinov could not qualify to the next Round.

Erwin, what went wrong in Khanty Mansiysk?

• The match against the Indian player was almost equal with a slight advantage for my opponent. To my mind Sasikiran is better in classical games, but I managed to bring the match to tie breaks. And then it was I who could not take my chances. Perhaps the change of time zone affected me somehow… And Ivan lost in the tie breaks as well… What disappoints me more is that it was his birthday!

What is the return date on your ticket? 15 th December?

• No, my return date is 29 November. I was hoping that could manage it till Round 3.

Erwin, since several years we are experiencing the new wave of opportunity for Dutch chess players. But only you could score such a success. What is the reason?

• It is not really true. There are Dutch chess players with respectable ratings. These are chess players of my age: Jan Smeets, Daniel Stellwagen. By the way Daniel has shown very good performance at the tournament in Wijk Aan Zee. But yes, taking into account that I am the only representative of Dutch chess in Khanty, perhaps I am the first.

How did it happen that the young 14 years old Anish Giri who was born in Russia became the Dutch Chess Champion?

• Not all strong chess players participated in the Championship, I should mention. But he is anyway a promising chess player. I think he will participate in the tournaments of the World Cup very soon.

Does it mean that the Dutch team has serious aspirations at the next Olympiad?

• If our team will have such players as Loek Van Wely for instance, we will have all chances to play for medals.

You have very good chess traditions in your country. Tell us for instance about your famous tournament in Wijk aan Zee.

• Wijk aan Zee tournament is the main chess event of the year for each Dutch chess player. For me personally, it is the most important tournament. First time I participated in it when I was 9-10. I saw Kasparov for the first time!

Is Gary your idol?

• He was my idol in my childhood. But now I firmly stand on the ground and I don’t have idols anymore.

What is your attitude to the recent match Kasparov-Karpov?

• I was not fascinated by this match as many other chess fans. To my mind the level of chess was much far from ideal. It is a pity that these great chess players now play so unimpressively. It was just a show.

Do you think that you could become an idol for younger Dutch chess generation?

• The fact that I was knocked out in Round 1 obviously will not help me in this.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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