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Question of the day
Friday, 26 December 2008


Evgeny ALEKSEEV: - I don’t think there is such an urgent necessity. In the chess world players wear the clothing they wish and I don’t think it is something bad. Certainly there must be some decency framework: not to come for the game wearing sport clothes, for example. More...


Etienne BACROT: -
I believe it is up to the Organizing Committee of the given tournament. If they wish some dress-code – they can introduce it. The players, I think, wouldn’t mind, for it will be a peculiar requirement feature of the tournament. There is no point in introducing dress-code into the regulations of top tournaments.


Alexander GRISCHUK: -
In my opinion dress-code is necessary at top tournaments. The point is what the extent of formality should be. I actually consider wearing sport clothing at such tournaments and games inappropriate. A chess-player should wear formal clothes, but I don’t consider such articles of clothes as the tie obligatory. I don’t like wearing a tie at tournaments because it distracts my attention: I feel as if it strangles me, it is a rather unpleasant feeling.


- I like neatly clothing and tidy appearance of professional chess-players. Whether this demand should be obligatory or not is a different matter. As a rule, top chess-players are always decently clad during the elite competitions without any additional instructions. The issue can be subject to discussion, I believe.


Vladimir AKOPIAN: - I believe it’s superfluous to demand dress-code from chess-players. Clothing is a matter of taste, the point is the players should look more or less decent, as they appear before numerous audience and the rounds can last for several hours. If a GM takes part in a top level event, for example in World Championship Match, he is fully conscious of the fact, that that he should be formally clad. He is in the focus of attention, constantly under photo- and videocameras. I think that in tournaments like this one, despite the fact that they are quite prestigious, significant and that they are a part of the World Championship cycle, we can wear less formal clothing, it is not obligatory to wear a tie for every game. As for me I find it good when the participants wear suits, not sweaters. It might be necessary to demand dress-code in some top tournaments with a number of young participants.


Peter LEKO: - I don’t understand how one can demand that GMs should wear some appointed clothes at tournaments. They got enough intelligence not to come to the game in some indecent clothes. In case somebody is confused with variety of the participants’ clothing, I would advise not to pay too much attention to this fact, because the players should feel free and comfortable, the clothes shouldn’t distract their attention from the game. For instance, it is cold here now, it is winter. I am playing now in a warm sweater though the temperature in the tournament hall is normal. Several rounds I played in a suit, but even then when I walked in outdoor clothes from the car to the playing hall entrance, I felt cold and that prevented me from proper preparation for the game.


Vugar GASHIMOV: - To my mind it is necessary to include dress-code in the regulations of all more or less large-scale events. GMs should play in decent clothing, a suit. There are of course some people who feel ill-at-ease wearing such clothing and a tie, even unpleasant. But you should get accustomed, because you play before the audience. I think it is not such a problem, it is possible to make yourself put on a suit for a game. When you start playing you forget about everything around you and don’t bother whether the suit is comfortable or not. By the way, it’s the possibility of looking decent in a nice black suit during the game, that shows chess to advantage if compared to the rest of the sports. To my mind chess-players should take such an opportunity.


Shakhriar MAMEDYAROV: - About 30-40 years ago all the reputable grandmasters, the world’s top chess-players, took part in competitions wearing a suit and a tie. It was pleasant for everyone. Chess is not just a sport, a game but a piece of culture and art as well. That is why the professionals of this ancient game, international grandmasters should look decent and imposing. Unfortunately not every grandmaster wears a formal suit for the games nowadays. Younger chess players look at each other and take over a lot, they like casual wear, not formal ways of the senior GMs. For instance jeans and sweaters are quite usual among chess-players. The traditional Sofia tournament has its dress-code already: according to the agreement, signed by every player, they are to wear a formal suit at the tournament. Nobody objects to it, because otherwise some other no less efficient but more yielding grandmaster would be invited instead of him.


- Every chess-player  should be decently dressed, because he represents a mind game and as a professional is a smart person capable of paying attention to his clothes. However not every GM intends to impress the audience with his appearance. If the organizing committee of a given tournament or a cycle decides dress-code is necessary, such point should be amended to the regulations or contracts. Personally for me it is not very difficult to follow such request.


Pavel ELJANOV: - I do not know what dress-code is. If we speak about a tuxedo, I think it is not necessary. As for the rest, it goes without saying that a participant should not come for a game having on some sportswear. Judging by my tournament experience all chess-players wear decent enough, anyway, in the framework of decency. To my mind there are very few exceptions to the rule. That is why I believe that it is unnecessary to take any common for all chess-players decision on clothing.

- Chess is an image game to a large extent, to my mind. Image is an important part of chess and can secure a great future for it, though the present is not bad as well. That’s why from the viewpoint of chess image dress-code is indispensable. I mean not an obligatory-for-everybody rule to wear a black-tie suit, not the compulsion to it, but the understanding of chess-players that they should be decently clad and look tidy during the game. I do not mind the style of the people who dress themselves in an unconventional way – not in-your-face, not defiant, but unique. They add a certain extent of charm to our game.


Rustam KASIMDZHANOV: - When I look around at a tournament I can seldom see my colleagues dressed indecently. I believe that from some certain point a chess-player develops, let’s say, automatic dress decency. Is it worth to oblige to it with some rules, I don’t know. Many centuries ago there were no rule to shake hands before the game, it was a mater of free will. The players still shook hands, because it was something axiomatic, a kind of showing respect towards the opponent. This wonderful tradition is still alive. Dress-code can probably become such a lex non scripta. Lately there appeared excessively strict rules, very often not reasonable. Let’s remember doping-control, for example. I had to undergo the procedure at the Dresden Olympiad lately. I consider it humiliating for chess-players. It is good, of course, that chess wishes to become an Olympic kind of sport, but some common points peculiar of chess should not be ignored.








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