Interview with GM Vladimir Akopian
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Vladimir AKOPYAN: “That won’t be easy to win the Olympiad for the third time”
- Vladimir, you have taken gold medals as a member of Armenian team at two World Chess Olympiads in a row – Turin-2006 and Dresden-2008. Which of these two outstanding victories was more difficult for your team?
- Both of these achievements are equally valuable for Armenia, the
second one being much more complicated for our team, because our
opponents stood against us bearing in mind that we were the current
Olympic champions. It’s always more difficult to hold the title than to
get it. The first our triumph was still more enjoyable, the one in
Italian Turin. There was all-Armenian celebration then. Our people were
very happy this time as well, but we, the team players, didn’t feel the
joy so acutely.
- Will you have the same players line-up next Olympiad? Can you win the Tournament of Nations for the third successive time?
- We have a year ahead of us and it is difficult to make forecasts on
the line-up of tour team. Four top-level grandmasters are usually
included into the team, one place is disputed during the Championship
of Armenia. Of course we want to win the title for the third time but
no way it will be easy.
- Vladimir, you made a draw with Azerbaijan GM Vugar Gashimov. You are
to meet two more Azerbaijan players. Excuse the following question,
probably incorrect: do the complicated relations between Armenia and
Azerbaijan reflect upon the relations among chess-players?
- Grandmasters from these two countries often meet at various
tournaments and there are no problems in our relationships. I say, I
come from Baku, I have got many Azerbaijan friends there, we keep in
touch via mail, we meet when I am in Moscow.