Andrei Selivanov: “Women chess is much more unpredictable than men’s

Vice-President of Russian Chess Federation Andrei Selivanov who visited Khanty-Mansiysk, answered the questions of journalists in the press-center.

- You visited Khanty-Mansiysk just a week ago for men’s Candidates tournament, and now you came for women’s event. Please share your impressions of these two tournaments.

- Yes, I am often in Khanty-Mansiysk these days. I like to be here very much. Ugra is a very sportive region. Today in the capital of the Autonomous Okrug there was a big event – “Sport elite”. It will be dedicated to the sport results of 2013 and the greatest athletes of the region. Using this opportunity, I couldn’t but visited the Grand Prix, especially since this tournament is very strong and interesting. I can see that it won’t be easy to predict the winner up to the last round, unlike the Candidates tournament where Viswanathan Anand was in no reach with one round to go. He played very confidently and his victory was well-deserved. I am also very happy for Sergey Karjakin who showed good play and finished on the second place.

- We also have a leader at the Women Grand Prix – Chinese Hou Yifan. Why do you think that it would be not easy to determine the winner?

- As we know, women chess is much more unpredictable than men’s. Women chess is also uncompromised and very entertaining. Men chess is more solid, pragmatic and conservative, and women game, on the contrary, is brighter, more emotional.

- You have a big experience in organizing women chess competitions. Please tell us about Krasnoturinsk tournament.

- From 2003 up to 2008 we held an annual women super tournament in Krasnoturinsk, a town on to the north of Yekaterinburg. Almost all the participants who now play in Grand prix series took part in that event.

- Why did you decided to take women chess under your guidance?

- For a long time women chess lacked attention. Men super tournament were held regularly and many of them, and women never had a competition of that level. We analyzed that situation and decided to organize a tournament in Krasnoturinsk. Unfortunately, the plant that sponsored the event is now experiencing big difficulties, that’s why we raise the question for a Russian Chess Federation to take a women super tournament under its umbrella, like Tal Memorial.

- Let’s go back to Khanty-Mansiysk. Are there players here for who you especially route?

- With all my heart I support all the participants of women Grand Prix and wish them success. I don’t want to distinguish someone because all of them are brilliant players.

- And still, who’s playing style is closer to your heart?

- I find the games of Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova very interesting. Reigning world champion plays interesting endgames. I also like the style of Anna Ushenina and Tatiana Kosintseva.

- It is know that a lot of international tournaments are held in Khanty-Mansiysk, there is a high level of children chess education. Can Ugra become an etalon of chess development for the Russian Chess Federation?

- Ugra has a serious system of preparation. On one hand Khanty-Mansiysk has financial opportunities to realize the most ambitious projects in the sphere of chess development, on the other – there are not just a few regions that can do that. Nevertheless I very rarely meet such a systematic approach in the organization of work for the development of chess and sports in general.

It would be great if such experience of systematic work would move to other regions. It is chess in schools, organization of competitions. Because education is good, but if there are no tournaments, when there is no opportunity to show some result, chess players have no motivation to increase their level of play. Here we have all the conditions for it.

- Russia holds a lot of top competitions. Please give an assessment of Candidates tournament and this stage of Grand Prix.

- In my opinion Candidates tournament went just perfectly. This Grand Prix stage is also organized on the highest level. I already managed to talk to the participants before the round. They are in a great mood and are happy with the conditions. In Khanty-Mansiysk there are good conditions and the organizers have a lot of experience. We entrust Ugra holding the most prestigious tournaments.

- This questions was already asked many times, but what are the chances for Khanty-Mansiysk to hold World Championship Match?

- Now FIDE will accept the bids for the organization of the World Championship Title match between Carlsen and Anand. It is possible that Norway and other countries will express their interest.   But I also do not rule out that if there would be a problem with finding an organizer than Khanty-Mansiysk can become the solution. For the moment it is the only tournament of the highest level that has not been held in Ugra capital.


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