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Question of the day
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Is higher education necessary for professional chess-players?


Alexander Grischuk: - I have got a higher education and there is a very interesting note in my diploma – a specialist on the physical training and sport with the specialty ‘Physical training and sport’. Of course it is very good to have higher education but it doesn’t influence on improving the chess game. As far as the study at the university can take much time during the period of ascension of a chess player, many chess players refused to get the higher education and still haven’t gone any.

Vladimir Akopian: - I have studied at the Erevan University on the Chess faculty and have got the profession – a chess coach. As you can see, It straightly refers to my profession of chess player. One can say that I am working in the specialty, although my grandmaster’s title I have not received at the end of the study. Besides, I didn’t attend lessons regularly, I had an open-leave schedule and was a rare guest at the university, and I only used to pass sessions. If we talk about the higher education as a parallel specialty or the second profession for the chess player, it can be useful for somebody who due to some reasons has stopped to participate in the chess tournaments. For the real chess players the higher education hardly means something. Most of them study by themselves, reading a lot of different literature, learning foreign languages, knowledge of which is necessary in the life of a chess player.


Ivan Cheparinov: - It is a difficult question. You know that the sportsmen achieve great results and are in good form at the same time when they are students. That’s why it’s not so easy to combine the playing at the tournaments and studying. It does completely refer to the chess players as well, because professional chess has become much younger. As for me I am absorbed in high level of chess as an active grandmaster and Assistant to the former World Chess Veselin Topalov. Although I’m 22 years old (many people have graduated from the Institute…) I don’t think about getting high education yet…


Ernesto Inarkiev: - I have graduated from the Russian state social university. I think that have learnt a lot in the field of economy. Last days the study at the university took much time and I had big time intervals between the tournaments. Now I am again playing actively and the specialty I have got would come in useful in future.


Rustam Kasymdzhanov: - I have a specialty which is close to the chess. I have graduated from the Tashkent mechanical-mathematic faculty with a specialization in applied mathematics. The subject of the diploma was ‘The algorithms of the chess programming’. It means that for a time I was actively studying chess programming and the peculiarities of using computer in chess. Undoubtedly, it will be of use to me as chess professional. However, while studying on this subject I have paid attention that even during the game I started to think about the computers. This can’t be good enough for my chess career. Thus, I have noticed that I started thinking about the other things and further on I stopped abstracting.

Pavel Eljanov: - This winter I am graduating from Kharkov National Law Academy, the biggest in Ukraine. I am studying at this academy for a long time because of the intense life of the chess professional I did not manage to finish it. As per the question about the higher education, I think it is individually for everybody. Someone needs it, someone not, someone decided to get the specialty on the safe side because life is unpredictable… 


Peter Leko: - I neither have higher education nor the secondary one, though I am 29 years old. I studied very well at the school, but at the age of 14 years old I became the youngest grandmaster in the world and I decided to quit studying and dedicated myself to chess. In due time Bobby Fisher has done the same. I didn’t want to tear between the study at school and chess practice where I have been quite a success. To tell the truth I was offered to study as an external student and even to get the school certificate without any practical study, but I refused from everything because I don’t like to cheat. Therefore, I can say, I have no education except chess one. Chess is my destiny.

Shahriyar Mamedyarov: -
I had to make my choice between chess and studies in my school years. Before I got profoundly interested in the game I was a straight-A student and was known as a very gifted student due to my successful performance at various Olympiads and contests. When I became enthusiastic over the game I practically neglected school and studied not so hard as I could. I devoted very much time to chess and I don’t regret it. Due to this I became a GM, succeeded in many tournaments and even was the 4th in the world ranking. So, it is very important to make a concrete crucial choice, even if you are very young. As for higher education, it is not indispensable for the chess-players aiming at great sport achievements, if compared to the players who do not possess constant high performance.


Evgeny Alexeev: -
I think nowadays when the technologies develop rapidly; the people should have the higher education, even not only one diploma. But the chess players have their own specific; they can earn money by playing in the tournaments from the young till senior age. Many chess players have high IQ, wide knowledge; know several languages though they haven’t finished the university.  They are learning foreign languages by themselves by going from one country to another and participating in the different competitions. That is why the professional chess players do not need to have a diploma of higher education.


Etienne Bacrot: - I don’t think that the higher education helps the chess player with his sport career. Any sportsman, particularly a chess player who has graduated from the university and become professional grandmaster, pays less attention to his specialty. Moreover, the chess player’s sport career lasts for a long time, even the whole life.


Teimour Radzhabov: - I think that the intellectual person needs higher education anyway, even if you are a well-known chess player who has no time for studying. The higher education is the main indication of culture and success. Of course for the chess player it is voluntary because the diploma doesn’t help to improve his chess skills and may be even bothering. My parents grow up me with the main stream idea that despite the chess profession it is necessary to get the second one.

Wang Yue: -
I think that chess players should not to withdraw in his game, although the competitions and preparation for it take much time. The young players should have time to study in order to get the specialty.  I am studying in the college of Tianjin, China.


Dmitry Jakovenko:
- I am not sure that higher education helps in chess somehow as well as it hinders in it. I consider that the only one what a man should do in life – is to study something new all the time and to improve it. Studying at the university, work on specialty – I can say it is one of way of studying. Higher education needs to the chess professional; anyway I need it for the general development.       


Vugar Gashimov: -
Of course it is prestigious to have higher education for anybody. Many people would like to get it but they could not do it due to some reason. There are a lot of such people among the chess players who can study at the university and don’t want to spend years on it. Because it is difficult to combine chess tournaments with studying. As for me I had such problems and sometimes I could hardly have time for this or that thing. Generally speaking chess professionals don’t need higher education and the diploma. 








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