Gelfand about the World Championship match

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Normally Boris Gelfand would be playing for ShSM-64 in the Russian Team Championship right now, but we all know that he is busy preparing for the Big Match against Vishy Anand. (And the Moscow team found a good replacement: Peter Leko.) Three days ago, on April 8th, Gelfand gave a press conference at the Chess Academy in Tel-Aviv, Israel. The following video was produced and uploaded to YouTube by Aleksander Nesterovsky:

In the first part, which is in Hebrew, the reporter asks: do you feel that this is the peak of your career? Gelfand answers:

We'll have to wait and see! For sure the World Championship match is the most important event there is. I am very glad that I have the possibility to play this match, and right now I am preparing for it very seriously. For me it's very important that in May I will be able to play my best chess possible.

After that GM Ilya Smirin of Israel appears, and he's optimistic:

In reality I think he has good chances. He is very motivated, and this is important. From a pure chess point of view Anand is the slight favorite, but Gelfand has the advantage as far as character and motivation are concerned.

Then, Gelfand answers a question in English during the press conference. Here's the transcript:

Of course Anand is a great player; the first time I played him was in 1989 and I played more than 30 games with him just in classical chess, and if we consider rapid, blindfold, blitz, it's close to 100. So we know each other pretty well. Of course his speed of thinking and chess qualities are incredibly high. But still, OK, nobody is invincible, nobody is immune of [making] mistakes. I will try to show my best and to play my best chess and to force him to make mistakes – that is what I hope.

To the question whether he considers himself a positional player, Gelfand answers:

It's pretty outdated. Nowadays, if you want to be at the top you have to be good at everything. With a player like Carlsen you can see that he is less influenced by computers than other players who are less successful. I think it is also one of the advantages of our generation, one of the reasons why our generation is still doing well, is that we learnt to play on a good basis, and then we learnt how to use computers in our favor, while a lot of young players know only how to use computers and don't have a good basis. Instead of thinking, a lot of people are used to press a button and think what the computer would say. So it's like each invention, it can be used in a good or in a bad way. One of the secrets of success nowadays is to use computers in your favor and not let computers ruin your thinking ability.

After this, Gelfand says (in Hebrew again):

I am sure that this will be the best organized match in history, held in a museum, with spectators, with people from the art scene, with the best players. I think all of this will give me a strong motivation. Anand is a great player; he has been World Champion and a top player for many years, and has won many tournaments. I hope that I can find his weak spot, and will succeed in playing the best chess I can.

More from ChessVibes
A lengthy interview with David Navara (part 2 of 2)

A lengthy interview with David Navara (part 2 of 2)

Robots in a Moscow park... playing chess (VIDEO)

Robots in a Moscow park... playing chess (VIDEO)