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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.







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