Hangin's Morozevich interview from Biel 

08/17/2004   
   Here is an interview with Alexander Morozevich conducted at the Biel tournament in 2004. Alexander won this tournament, he also took the Amber blindfold and combined tournament earlier this year.  At Amber, Morozevich beat Anand in two games. Alexander has climbed his way back into 4th place on the July, 2004 FIDE rating chats. I was disappointed in the fact Alexander did not play in the FIDE KO in Libya. It was long ago that Alexander wanted to quit chess. He was upset about the state of affairs with the world championship.
 

 Excerpts :

Question: And what about your preparation?

Morozevich: I really didnít make that much preparation. Thatís maybe why I like to play so much, to fight at the chessboard. I play each game to win it. This is how I consider chess competition. If it entertains the public, thatís fine. But I like taking risks, I appreciate being creative and winning games on the chessboard, not only through home preparation.

Hangin's take: Morozevich says :" I play each game to win it"
  nuff said. I am a fan.

 Here's the Fischer equation
 Great Sponsorship (big dollars)  = (Players Reliability) * (Players Ability) * (Players desire to win).

Question: What about the World Championship that was held in Libya one month ago?

Morozevich: You cannot call this a World Championship. Itís just a strong international competition. It was very understandable that most of the top players decided not to go there.

 

Hangin's take: Well I can't argue with that. But that's all the FIDE KO has ever been. It's a strong international competition. Even if all the top players participated, such as Kasparov, Kramnik, and Anand. It would not be worthy of world championship selection. There are numerous problems with the KO. The test is not tough enough to decide who the world champion is. This year in Libya, the top 27 seeded player in the tournament, Rustam Kasimdzhanov won it. He was rated top 54 in the world prior to the tournament. He did it by defeating the 4 top seeds.
  

Question: Anyway, Rustam Kasimdzhanov is the new FIDE world champion. What could happen now?

Morozevich: The most important question is the following one: when and where will his match with Kasparov take place? Rustam needs a lot of time to prepare in order to have a chance. But I heard it could be organized already around next January. If so its too early, he will be slaughtered like a chicken.

 

Hangin's take: Actually I think Kasparov is at his weakest right now. He has been busy with his book series, My Great Predecessors. Kasparov is also very involved with world politics and Russian politics. He has formed a group that will challenge Putin in 2008. Kasparov had showed his rust in Linares in 2004. He failed to make full points in a few promising positions. I got to wonder if Kasparov is trying to work behind the scenes to help Bobby Fischer.  So with so much on his mind, I think Kasparov is at his weakest right now. Kasimdzhanov has 5-6 months to prepare. That's a long time. Kasimdzhanov had a great run during the Libya KO. He defeated all 4 of the top seeds.  So I think Kasimdzhanov is an unknown product right now. Does his results represent a big increase in playing strength? Kasimdzhanov is only 25 years of age. Kasparov is 41 and showing the signs of slowing down. Even though Kasparov is still number one player in the world. He has not been impressive as of late. For Kasimdzhanov the time to strike is in January of 2005. With so much going on in Kasparov life right now, you have to wonder if he can find the time to sufficiently prepare for this match. You also have to figure that Kasparov feels he can easily defeat Kasimdzhanov, that could be a fatal mistake. Kasimdzhanov showed his great tenacity at Libya. 

Question: Any opinion about the forthcoming Kramnik-Leko match?

Morozevich: Both of them seem well prepared. The quality of chess should be quite interesting. I will follow this with interest. No specific preference. Or, maybe, Kramnik, because he is Russian

 

Hangin's take: Here are some more predictions on that match in September of 2004.

 

Question: You seem very pessimistic about the future of the chess?

Morozevich: I donít believe in a real reunification. Itís fake. Too many players or people only take their own interests into account. They make money and thatís all. Well, if there will be a unique World Champion after the matches Kramnik-Leko and Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov and among the winners, it could be seen as real progress. But look at the current situation. Kasparov almost stopped playing chess. Kramnik, Leko or others play less now. A world champion has to play, not just to use his title.
 

Hangin's take: Well it's unfortunate a lot of players decided not to play in the Libya KO. I think Anand and Morozevich made mistakes by not playing and not contributing to the reunification. The chess world would have benefited from their participation. However the reunification has 3 of the top 5 players in the world playing matches for the world championship. That's not bad. Back in December 2003, I saw no hope for a reunification. But now things are looking up, major issues have been solved.  When the winner of Kasparov vs. Kasimdzhanov faces the winner of Kramnik Leko, we will have reunification and a true world champion. A world champion everyone can be proud of.