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Question of the day
Thursday, 18 December 2008



Boris SPASSKY, the 10th world champion:
- I strived to become world champion not out of vanity but as a chess professional. It was my sport obligation before millions of chess-lovers. A chess-player needs to be a fighter. As for me I have no inclination to fight, I am of rather contemplating nature, but chess required it – and I have become a fighter out of necessity. Chess trigger a person to make various steps, and depending on the situation, a person is forced to demonstrate active attitude or patience and be reserved. Thus, chess school temper. The person who has got disposition and an enormous inclination to play chess that moves him and actually develops his talent, such a person will be successful in chess. If he doesn’t possess such an inclination – he will succeed by no means.... More...

Rustam KASYMZHANOV, ex-FIDE world champion:
- If we mean  real chess giants such as Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Karpov, Fisher, Kasparov, Kramnik and others – they have been  proving their top-level qualification for many years and dominating chess world for decades. I do not belittle my achievements but the world champions who got their titles in knockout tournaments cannot boast with the same stability akin to the actual chess kings. I have always been astounded by the great players’ ability, e.g. Kasparov or Anand, to approach with utmost responsibility tournaments of any level, to work flat out even if it is a rapid chess / blitz tournament or a simultaneous exhibition. I think it is such a responsible approach to every tournament and game that distinguishes outstanding champions. As for me, energy and self-possession helped me to achieve the highest peak in my career. 


Teimur RADJABOV: - If I knew the qualities, peculiarities and secrets of champions’ training that contributed to their success, I would have climbed the chess throne. Such chess kings as Kasparov and Karpov are the champions of a cosmic rate, I would put it this way. They have been playing at top level for decades. Such domination of one player over the rest is hardly possible in today’s conditions. I don’t think that the current world champion Vishy Anand is much above or ahead the 10 top players. Still he wins tournaments very often and must possess some qualities or secrets that contribute to his success. He might be meditating a lot…


Alexander GRISCHUK:
- Besides tenacity of purpose, performance capability, psychological stability and etc., all the champions possess ardent love towards chess. World champions express themselves in their own way in chess. Every top player has his own style, a peculiar approach to the preparation for a tournament and every single game. Mikhail Botvinnik preparation, for example, was known for its elaboration, analysis, a scientific approach to chess. No matter how different were world champions, all of them possessed an enormous love and loyalty to the ancient wise game.


Vladimir AKOPYAN:
It is difficult to speak about world champions in general for each of them possesses his own individual style, a certain combination of qualities that contributed to his rising to the chess Olympus. As a rule, world champions outrank the rest of the players in a number of qualities.


Vugar GASHIMOV: - It is difficult to answer the question because I haven’t been world champion yet. When I do, I’ll enumerate with pleasure the qualities that will distinguish me from the rest of chess-players .If we put jokes aside, I would say that ordinary people (most of  grandmasters) cannot become world champions. This top title is tamed by those extraordinary, special players who bear an imprint of genius. Earning world crown requires working capabilities and tenacity of aim.


- I think that the notions ‘World Champion’ and ‘the best chess player’ don’t always coincide. Let remember Garry Kasparov who had been dominating the chess world for many years after he had lost his title. The real world champion must prove his leadership by winning every tournament he can.

Peter LEKO: - Nowadays we don’t have such champions as Kasparov, Karpov, Fisher who dominated the rest of the chess-players for years. Chess has changed, like other sports: the top grandmasters nearly leveled their performance among themselves. The football world has got several teams worthy of a world champions title. The National team in possession of the title is not that much above the rest actually. Nobody doubts Anand’s world champion title, but it is possible to offer a decent fight to him, I think..


: - If we talk about the exclusive qualities of the world champions, to my mind, they are the psychology and the characters of these outstanding chess players. There is a saying about tenacious and purposeful sportsmen that they possess  champion’s character. Many of the strongest chess players are known for their huge talent but they have not become the world champions because they had not enough willpower and psychological stability.


Evgeny ALEXEEV: - To my mind, world champions can be distinguished from the rest by their great knowledge of the theory of openings which is acquired through hard work. Of course, besides purely chess knowledge, they have a great talent and superb intuition. There is of course an array of factors including external ones that contribute the successful career.


Wang YUE: -
It is difficult to answer this question. I can say that among world champions I like the style and human qualities of our contemporary Vladimir Kramnik.


Shakhriyar MAMEDYAROV: -
Such World Champions as Spassky, Fisher, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand always have  proved their top level of game by defeating their opponents with a large  surplus, very often +7 or +8. In order to get such results, one should have great endurance and stamina, discipline of excellence and psychological stability. I think that being a world champion and proving all the time that you are worthy of this valuable title is very difficult.


- It always seemed to me that the planet’s best player stands out not by some qualities but because his individuality singles him out among others. The World Champion should be the best in everything, should be a model for the chess players not only in the game, in the sporting battle, but in life as well.









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