Kasparov's Press Conference - Patras 2001

A general view from Kasparov's press conference.
Left to right: Mr. Iliopoulos, Mr. Tzolas, Garry Kasparov, Mrs Laiou

 

Mr Kasparov, what do you believe about the situation that is at present in the chess top rankings and who is the top player now ?

You have to look at the results that speak for the themselves. When I lost the match in London to Kramnik he was loud and he had every right to be loud , now he is still loud nine months . I won nine out of the ten last classical chess events but it I still lost one which is still an important game. It is still its one out of ten.

I am number one. With Kramnik number two very close behind, Anand number three and his negative results recently showed that in Dortmund . it reminds me what Botvinik once said (a world champion should never be lost in any tournament) , after Anand far behind is a group of players more or less equal. Itís a description from the chess point of view but if you mix politics the picture distorts, one day we must drop politics and return to the real tournaments .

Does this mean that as many people wish that there should be some reunification matches ?

When I had the title I had some reservations about the reunification matches , and I believe that the world champion is the old tradition and this tradition should be preserved intact . Only14 world champions have won their title in a straight heritage line , for me all the others are secondary. Its clear now that the problem was not with Garry Kasparov only because when I lost to Kramnik it was clear that the door for re-unification opened but it was no match between Kramnik and Anand.

So that is why you need a push from the bottom for re-unification. But my general concern was and still is the lack of mechanism to force the leadership to satisfy the wishes of the chess world.

I hope the situation may change in the future and it is not up to the top players only for this to change to happen.

Mr Kasparov, The game of chess is tailor made for the Internet. Do you believe that it will blossom there. Being a major holder in one of the biggest chess portals in the world, how do you see this chess site developing?

This is the biggest chess enterprise in Internet and my dream was to make something similar to CNN to inform all the chess players about chess life. But we were not lucky with the last market drop that set back our plans, very ambitious plans and despite hard market conditions we are still planning to expand. And I agree with you that the Internet gives chess unique opportunity and we must take advantage of this situation.

Chess was the missing link between the professional world and the public. We agree that chess is not as attractive as football or tennis on the big screen but with Internet the situation reverses because you can not play football or tennis in real terms but you can play chess with any one or study or follow any tournament. For chess Internet is a gift but now we have to compete with video games.

 

FIDE for the past 4 years has been trying to make chess an Olympic Game by changing the form of competition by changing the timing and if this is good for chess or classical timing should remain. What is your idea for this subject and what should be done?

Correct me if I am wrong but FIDE failed to make chess Olympic Game. Five days ago in Moscow there was an Olympic Committee meeting and I did not hear anything about chess. So it shows that FIDE tried for 4 years with no result. So it shows a futility to sacrifice the tradition of the game for a dubious gain. I am not against chess becoming an Olympic Game but is not a solution for our problems if we are part of the Olympics. All the great games have their strength outside the Olympic Committees, the people are the real strength of these games. I do not fear anything but to make chess one of the many games with no clear identification, in the winter games alphabetically chess will be found between bobsleds and curling . It does not sound very nice to the ear. And chess will be just another Olympic Game with no personality that it posses.

We must clean our house and make chess commercially attractive and then the IOC will come to us. I think that is the right way to proceed.

Copyright 2001 chess.gr