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  1. #586
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    I have just re-read the interview with the fine chesswarrior Guy West. That was excellent stuff.

    Thanks Elliot! Thanks Guy!

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    GM Darryl Johansen after the SIO

    Chess Crazy Talk Podcast chesscrazytalk.com

    Inside a Pizza Cone Cafe, Parramatta, After the SIO

    CCTP: Alright, we are here with GM Darryl Johansen, we have just finished the Sydney International Open, Darryl, how was your tournament?

    DJ: Ordinary... I played some good games, I played some rubbish games, the last round showed the rubbish side of my chess...blundering a piece, position was unpleasant but it was holdable and I simply overlooked a nice pinning theme- but a Grandmaster should see such things.

    CCTP: Final score?

    DJ: 5.5, same as Doeberl, which doesn't get much...

    CCTP: What do you think of the organisation of these tournaments?

    DJ: Well they've been okay for me, I don't play a lot of tournaments, so when I get a chance to play two big tournaments in a row its nice.

    CCTP: In the past you've played in the Olympiad, will you be playing in future ones?

    DJ: I'll struggle to make it I suspect at the moment- you would hope they could replace an aging 52 year old..

    CCTP: What sort of changes have you seen in Australian Chess recently, good ones, bad ones?

    DJ: Well there's a lot more junior development than 10-15 years ago, and they are starting to pay dividends, we got some strong juniors U20, in their 20s.

    CCTP: What would you say the cause of that is?

    DJ: Well, three things- more chess coaches, becoming a common phenomena, a good proportion of juniors here came from the school system- computers of course, making it easier to access data...what was the third thing? Well, I was going to say more tournaments but that's not really the case is it, I suppose these two tournaments being a little unusual.

    CCTP: Has this enhanced the overall standard of Australian Chess, maybe compared to the rest of the world?

    DJ: Its improving, but other countries are improving faster...

    CCTP: So what would you say the future holds for Australian Chess?

    DJ: It's always going to be hard to see chess in Australia be comparable to Russia etc. because we are just so geographically isolated so we don't get chances to play much against super strong players- to be good you have to play against super strong players in Europe...most people have to become master travellers to become GM.

    CCTP: Who do you think are the up and rising juniors, who do you think will be the next GMs?

    DJ: Well, almost anyone who can grab an IM title can nab the GM title, but its harder- IM titles should be achievable to anyone with motivation in my opinion- but GM titles are a fair bit harder because 2600 performances don't come everyday. Probably Max Illingworth maybe- but a lot of these juniors, it becomes harder when they get to a certain age because they've got other commitments.

    CCTP: Most of them have dedicated quite a lot of time- such as Andrew Brown, Junta Ikeda-

    DJ: I don't see either of those guys getting a GM title- but I definitely have been proven wrong.

    CCTP: What would you say for people who do with to obtain a GM title, all the aspirants still young to chess?

    DJ: The thing is, you have to become very good at travelling. The basics of chess haven't changed for however many years- if you work hard, work on your repertoire, work hard on your understanding of chess, try to play as many strong tournaments as possible- its an unfortunate thing you do have to travel a lot, although George Xie seems to be the exception! The younger you can start the better, not saying you can't start later- I didn't start playing what I call real chess until I was 14- but I was in a situation where I had no motivation to do anything else-

    CCTP: Would you need a sole focus on chess?

    DJ: Yeah, I think its hard for a lot of the Asian background kids, parents saying "arr, your 21, you should do something that pays better", and they are probably right- ZYZ still goes to uni but he's had to live for 3 months in Europe, he managed to combine a certain amount of his pharmaceutical studies with travelling as well. Its not unachievable.

    CCTP: Future tournaments coming up?

    DJ: Well, I don't play much nowadays, but I'm trying to play more this year- I don't enjoy playing as much as I used to- I find that I'm not playing consistently well, and if you don't play consistently, you tend to feel like you shouldn't play..

    CCTP: Lose motivation??

    DJ: Well, I lost motivation about....10 years ago , but I'm still motivated to try and do well, if I come to a tournament I don't want to bomb out and become cannon fodder for every other player...

    CCTP: Are you just playing for fun now then?

    DJ: Wouldn't really call it fun....I play now basically to earn an income, I will play some tournaments this year though, probably the state championships, I'm playing in a Gold Coast tournament in about 2 months time.

    CCTP: Well, that was Darryl Johansen, Grandmaster, just finished a marathon SIO and doeberl, thank you for your time.

    DJ: I'm just going to enjoy a cone pizza now, I've never seen such a thing before...

    For Full interview and other GMs, IMs, FMs, beginners, and all players in between, go to www.chesscrazytalk.com and subscribe to the podcast!!!

    CCTP

  3. #588
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    Thumbs up

    Good interview guys! Their podcasts are worth checking out too!
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

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  4. #589
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    the whole thing is marvellous!!! Kevin can we please have those interviews indexed as well? cheers!
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  5. #590
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaK
    the whole thing is marvellous!!! Kevin can we please have those interviews indexed as well? cheers!
    Yeah I'll do that.
    Moderation Requests: All requests for moderation of any kind including thread changes must be made in the Help and Feedback section and not on the thread in question. (Or by private message for routine changes or sensitive matters.)

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    My psephology/politics site (token chess references only) : http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ Politics twitter feed https://twitter.com/kevinbonham

  6. #591
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The three chesscrazytalk interviews posted to this thread have now been added to the index in post 1.
    Moderation Requests: All requests for moderation of any kind including thread changes must be made in the Help and Feedback section and not on the thread in question. (Or by private message for routine changes or sensitive matters.)

    ACF Newsletter Information - All Australian players and administrators should subscribe and check each issue for relevant notices

    My psephology/politics site (token chess references only) : http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ Politics twitter feed https://twitter.com/kevinbonham

  7. #592
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    Whoever "Crazy talk" is, it was a great interview with Darryl.

    PS: If Darryl reads this: Good Luck with the upcoming tournaments!

  8. #593
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    The three chesscrazytalk interviews posted to this thread have now been added to the index in post 1.
    Thanks Kevin!


    Quote Originally Posted by machomortensen
    Whoever "Crazy talk" is, it was a great interview with Darryl.

    PS: If Darryl reads this: Good Luck with the upcoming tournaments!
    Hey Henrik how are you my friend? The boys of Chess Crazy Talk are situated in Sydney and indeed they are doing a great job. I am sure Darryl will be reading this!
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  9. #594
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    Interviews with Johnny Bolens, Donato Mallari and Levi Descallar from episodes 8 and 9 will be up soon!

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    Johny Bolens @ NSW Open by Chess Crazy Talk Podcast

    chesscrazytalk.com

    We met and had a chat with interesting Sydney chess personality Johny Bolens. Here's what he had to say!

    CCTP: We are here with Johny Bolens- we are in Parra, we just finished Round 6, how are you going with the tournament?

    Johny: So far, 50%, and this is in a very strong competition, this is a field where everyone is very strong, a reasonable result.

    CCTP: Who are some notable scalps?

    Johny: I lost to someone who played like a computer...

    CCTP: What are you planning to achieve from chess tournaments now? Do you play for fun?

    Johny: I come to tournaments, not to say for a habit, but at the moment, I don't have anything else to do, and I play chess when I can afford it. So this is what is happening- by the way this tournament for me, I live a little bit further away, it takes me a couple of hours to get to the playing area, so this is a little disadvantage.

    CCTP: Where do you usually play chess?

    Johny: Usually I study something at home, sometimes I go to Town Hall area at St Andrew's square near the Town Hall train station, they are playing for fun. There are also blitz tournaments as well, once every two weeks, in the Spanish Club. Reasonably good place.

    CCTP: How did you get into chess, and when was the first time you played?

    Johny: I saw my older brother playing, and I was watching how they play, and by this I learnt to play, and when I started winning against my brother, he started throwing chess pieces in my direction...

    CCTP: At what age was this?

    Johny: It was long long ago...maybe 4 or 5 years old- I don't remember my first chess tournament, maybe it was when I was 8, 9 or 10, at this time I was living near a club, it was like a library where you can come to read newspapers, to play, it was unlimited to ages.

    CCTP: What happened in your game with Kinto?

    Johny: I resigned in a lost position- we analysed there was one variation where we could hold a bit- he played very strong like a computer.

    CCTP: What do you think about the changes that's happened in Australian chess?

    Johny: At the moment, what could be improved is more chess tournaments, compared to England where every weekend in 3 or 4 cities, but here, you find a tournament once in every two three month, and this is a disadvantage.

    CCTP: What do you think of chess computers, how has that impacted chess?

    Johny: Someone can use computers to improve in incredible ways, created a rating system "in question", because someone plays at home with computer, with internet....

    BBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPP
    .....oh look, someone was beeping because of the way someone else's driving, they should not do this...too aggressive, a bad move in life chess...

    CCTP: Indeed, what do you think about developing chess?

    Johny: You don't have unlimited resources in chess, and this means you don't have unlimited time and because of this you must be very careful how you handle your resources- I hear there was a man who was coming to tournaments once a week only-Monday- and he said it was because he would get in trouble with the lady and he had family problems. Once a week he plays chess, and the lady plays cards- You must be careful not to disturb the main and most important objectives in life...

    CCTP: Very wise- that's all the questions we have today, any closing remarks?

    Johny: Remember priorities and objectives!!!

    CCTP: Thanks very much.

    For full audio interview and more Australian Chess content, www.chesscrazytalk.com

  11. #596
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that, JaK. Interesing comments fom Johny. Well done to the CT lads!
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

    Favorite movie line: Girl friend Cathy to Jack Ryan in "Sum of all Fears". "What kind of emergency does an historian have?".

  12. #597
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    lol not me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamski
    Thanks for posting that, JaK. Interesing comments fom Johny. Well done to the CT lads!
    Hi Jonathan, thanks for your reference to me but the only thing I did for this interview was to enjoy reading the highlights here!
    The youngsters seem to do a great job without my (mine?) or anyone else's involvement!
    The above excludes Kevin who does a great job by indexing the interviews!
    Looking forward to listen to Johny's interview and to their next, next, next etc!
    Last edited by ER; 02-07-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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  13. #598
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    how come we did not find out where Johnny Bolens come from?

  14. #599
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    GM Zong Yuan Zhou Part 1 of 3

    (Please visit www.chesscrazytalk.com)

    hey guys, Pete and Kev recently met up with GM Zong-Yuan Zhou at Sydney Uni, this is Part 1 of 3 of his interview which covers his early life up to his Grandmaster title.
    The full interview and more can be found on chesscrazytalk.com, please visit!!

    CCTP: We are here with GM ZYZ, please introduce yourself!

    ZYZ: My name is GM ZYZ, thank you very much, pleased to be on the show today!

    CCTP: Firstly, were you a smart kid growing up? Did you consider yourself smart academically?

    ZYZ: Actually I got hit at school quite a lot by my teacher so the answer is probably not! Actually that might be an exaggeration, my first two years of primary schools in were in China, and I was good at maths but was crap at Chinese and calligraphy.

    CCTP: Did you start chess yet?

    ZYZ: Yeah, actually we didnt have a choice, in all honestly, we didn't have a choice, because what had happened at that time was China had crowned its first Women's World Champion- Xie Jun- and they said "right, we want to produce more world champions so every has to learn"

    CCTP: Did you enjoy/like it growing up?

    ZYZ: Noo, i didnt like it at all, I remember I went there with a friend and he beat me all the time, he beat me eveyr game, and then after about three weeks I got sick and tired of him beating me, and then I thought i would try a bit, then I beat him two games later!

    CCTP: Well done! When you came to Australia, you started playing for NSWJCL, summer one day two day tournaments, what do you think of that? Were you serious about your chess back then?

    ZYZ: Uhh, noo, back then I found playing chess to be a great way to socialise and meet with friends and also my English was pretty poor when I came to Australia so it was really good, also I wasn't really strong, I would stay over at people's houses, it was great.

    CCTP: What made you decide to develop your chess more?

    ZYZ: I had a few good strong motivations, one of them was a person by the name of Manuel Weeks, he was actually teaching juniors back then, a very friendly guy, great with kids, the other great thing I guess is at that time, much to my surprise (because I wasn't considered a strong player in China) when I came to Australia it seems I was quite strong- The first junior tournament I played in was the NSW Juniors in 1996, and I came equal first in the U10 national division, and I only played two tournaments before then, and I wasn't considered very strong in China, so I was very surprised.

    CCTP: So was there a great difference in strength between Australian and Chinese chess back then?

    ZYZ: Actually, I don't know about the difference in strength, but the main thing was that in china, in my age division, there would be thousands of participants, and to be in the top 10 of a thousand is quite hard, you not only have to be talented but you also had to get through hundreds of kids, were in Australia, in the U12 section, there would be 50 kids maximum.

    CCTP: So back then, did you dedicate time to chess, how many hours did you put in?

    ZYZ: When I was 10, the first time in my life I really made a serious commitment to chess was when I came 4th in the U12 division, and everybody was absolutely surprised because I was the last seed of the tournament- the reason was because I was unrated, and my last name, ZH, your automatically alphabetically the last one on the list, but I actually started the tournament winning the first four games, before I lost to eventual tournament winner Radjabov! (That was the World Under 12 Champs). And that was when people started saying, wow, hes quite good and that was when I started thinking I might not be so bad after all...

    CCTP: So once you started taking yourself seriously, what were the differences between how you prepared yourself for chess?

    ZYZ: I guess, I wouldn't say I worked much harder, but I'm always travelling, I lived in Coffs Harbour when I first came, from when I was in Year 4 to when I finished Secondary School, but I was always travelling, by bus, by train, many times to Sydney for NSWJCL tournaments, and obviously I was very keen to take part in international events, when I was 13 I think I had already played in 4 or 5 international events, which is quite a lot especially in those days, because in those days, well Ian and Darryl did it too, but arguably my generation, me and David, played a lot of international chess.

    CCTP: First things first, you were first an international master, how did you achieve that title?

    ZYZ: I became an international master just before I was 14- it was a bit of a fluke, I played in the zonal in Auckland in 2000 I think, and I must admit it was a pretty weak Zonal, wasn't one of the stronger Oceanic Zonals, I had a tremendous result, I lost my first game, and then I went on a winning streak, mabe a few draws, I came 2nd, and since the guy who won was IM Alex Wohl, I received the IM title, but I wasn't that strong, maybe playing at about 2300. But that was the nature of zonals, and I did come 2nd, so that maybe wasn't too slack.

    CCTP: Growing up, did you have any chess coaches, who trained you?

    ZYZ: In Australia, it was definitely Manuel Weeks, he in fact coached all the juniors back then- Kuan Kuan Tian, Justin Tan, Michael Lip, Gareth Charles, you name it, everyone had a lot of contact with this particular person, he was a great coach, very good with kids, and the second person, I guess, would be Ian, simply because the time when I was playing the World Juniors he started giving me advice over the phone but sometimes coach there as well, the Australian team, and I have a very good personal relationship with both Cathy and Ian- it all started when i was 12-14, I stayed at their place in Amsterdam, I broke their phone.

    CCTP: Who were the players you wanted to emulate back then, whom you admired?

    ZYZ: When I was young, because I came from China, Xie Jun was probably my hero but not from a chess point of view maybe from a motivational point of view because that was why I play chess, probably nowadays, people I look up to in the past would be Capablanca and Karpov- my first chess book was given to me, it was on those two players, first book I read from cover to cover. In the modern era, I would pick someone like Carlsen because I've played him, and I think his chess is wonderful.

    CCTP: What do you suggest to juniors now, who want to improve their chess, maybe become a Grandmaster?

    ZYZ: I guess the main thing is to play at lot- in psychology they call this "deliberate practice" in any given arena of achievement if you want to do well whether its research you've got to stick with it, the second thing is obviously you have to study chess, so you have to seriously analyse your games, games of your peers, and people in the world who are strong, to find out why they are strong, and study your own weaknesses, and of course a lot of small technical things, opening repertoire, decent endgame understanding but the main thing is to play I think and if you have a coach, it probably speeds up the whole process.

    CCTP: So did you use computer programs when training, when you were younger?

    ZYZ: Hmm, not much, I started using computer engines very seriously maybe at 14, 15, mainly because computers before then weren't very strong, they were ok already I guess for checking one or two move blunders, but it was only when I was in my teenage years when computers became so strong it was clear everyone had to use them. I grew up half half- in China for example, I never saw a computer, I only saw one when I came to Australia! I still like studying by books.


    It's a really long interview- that was only part 1 of part 1!!! Below is Part b of Part 1, we discuss his road to the Grandmaster title.

    Please visit our website chesscrazytalk.com to hear the episode and more, like us on Facebook, follow on twitter, subscribe on Itunes!!!
    Last edited by aroniyang; 03-08-2011 at 02:49 PM.

  15. #600
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    GM ZYZ Part 1 Part B

    ok, My fingers are rested now for part b, here is Part B of Part 1!!!

    chesscrazytalk.com

    CCTP: First of all, did you set yourself the goal to become a GM, or did it come naturally?

    ZYZ: I guess at a certain stage, when I was about 15, 16, I really believed I would become a Grandmaster because then I was a very strong IM in Australia, and I really looked up to people like Ian and Darryl. By then, I realised I was very lucky by the age of 14 I'd already played one Chess Olympiad with people like Ian and Darryl and soloman, I really felt by then I definitely had the potential and I think other people realised this as well, so I did believe my chances were good, but of course I had to wait a bit after the HSC because that takes forever! But once I finished that I was very lucky because I went to Sydney, got to stay at the Rogers for about 6 years, just a wonderful place if you want to become a Grandmaster! I had the occasional study session with him, read his books, made use of his library, so it was really wonderful and of course I had more chess contacts because of that, so when I finally went on my big European tour I had a lot of help, suggesting which tournaments I should play, who should I stay with, it was really wonderful.
    I mean- I didn't really believe I would do it so quickly, because in my first couple of years in uni I didn't play so much chess and I wasnt progressing quite as fast as I would have hoped, but then I had one of two years of breakthrough- I don't know why, but in a sidenote, I think in chess when you become an adult you automatically gain like 100 rating points, because you are actually more mature- you dont make stupid decisions anymore, you are much more rational, you will collect more points, and hold your nerve in the nervewracking moments.

    CCTP: Could you tell us about that trip, a quickrun down?

    ZYZ: Sure, my whole trip really started in Hungary- I should mention one other coach who was of tremendous help- he was actually Hungarian, very famous trainer who trained the Polgar sisters, Lazlo Hazai, and I had the fortune to work with him for the entire month when I was 13, and before I got my first Grandmaster norm I worked with him for about two weeks before hand and that was amazingly helpful because he had great ideas, he just gave them to me basically, actually I did horribally that first tournament, I was on 50%, I knew I needed to win all the games, and he told me "stop killing yourself, make it easier to yourself to play" - that was great advice, I started playing normal chess, and once I did that, I went on the dream run, because I then went on a dream run, I got all the wins I needed, actually I think I only lost one game, 3 very strong tournaments.
    My first tournament was in Budapest in Hungary, followed by a Grandmaster invitational in Spain, an open tournament in Seville, then I played a really strong tournament in Gibraltar, I had the tournament of my life, beating Nakamura, everything just fell into place. Actually, after the first norm, it was so difficult, that the rest of them just flowed.

    CCTP: What did you feel when you were in such a streak, did you feel special ,

    ZYZ: It was so good that I didn't even think about chess, I didn't think about what to play, I just knew I was going to play well, I think when you are playing well it's just subconsious, maybe its a bit like watching Federer play tennis, he's not really thinking about his strokes, he just does it. I think if you are in good form, good moves come to you, if you are in horrible form, you think for 10 minutes, and still you can't find a good move.

    CCTP: You are going to the World Cup soon, what are your current chess goals?

    ZYZ: I don't have such serious aspirations of chess, maybe because I have such a serious pursuit of medicine. My short to medium goal is still to crack 2600, it is quite a barrier, lots of GMs never crack this, I believe its very achievable for me to do this, and my long to medium term goal is to crack 2650, and I really believe if I pursue a career in medicine that is the best I can hope for, actually I think if you can reach 2650 and maintain it, and be an amateur player, that would be a record!

    CCTP: So you consider yourself not fully professional, because of med, would you see yourself as semi-pro?

    ZYZ: No, because actually I play less chess than the average chessplayer, for example, I've only played 20-30 games this year, and there are a lot of 22-2300 who play 50-60 games, so I don't regard myself as semi pro.

    CCTP: So was there a time when you struggled to find the balance between pharmaceutical studies and chess?

    ZYZ: Pharmacy was a bit easier to manage than medicine, especially clinical med, its not so easy, that's why I say 2650 is already asking for a lot, I guess its a goal though!

    CCTP: You've had an illustrious career in chess so far, could you tell us some of your highlights?

    ZYZ: From a personal point of view, it would be coming to Australia, because I believe I wouldn't have achieved half the things I could of, because I came from a relatively poor family, and here I have this chess contact that i would never have been give in China. The other big thing was the education I recieved in Australia, its a lot better. From a chess point of view, it was to win the Australia U12 title twice, and after that finishing 4th in the World U12, after that would definitely be the IM title, in 2001 the Australian Junior title, and I mean I won some Australian Opens, but the next one would be winning the GM title, which is the logical next step I suppose. And from a personal life point of view, getting into pharmacy and medicine, and getting married recently.

    CCTP: Nowadays, what's your main method of studying chess?

    ZYZ: I haven't had much time this year because of the marriage, adjusting to family life, but I am still quite motivated at the moment because this world cup I see as one of my last chances before I settle down into medicine- I feel in good physical shape- I hadnt had a real good start to the chess year but I really feel like I'm in better shape, I believe I stand a serious chance, whereas last time when I played against Carlsen I honestly believed I didn't stand a chance but against Tomashevsky, I think I have a good chance.

    CCTP: Could you tell us a bit about your match with Carlsen, and your preparations for the World Cup? (without going into too much detail)

    ZYZ: Sure, I must mention my match with Carlsen actually, I stated by talking about my three tournaments and my playing in them but actually I had met and played Carlsen before that, and we became really good friends, because he was playing in the World Blitz Tournament before in Moscow, and I was in Moscow for a day so I met him and his father, and actually I was probably the only person there that could speak normal English, everyone was speaking Russian, Magnus's father knew I was playing his son but his father was super friendly- and one of the first things Carlsen said to me after the match "You played so well against me I have no doubt you are already of GM Strength" and I guess that was a huge compliment and it made me really believe in myself- because I met this guy for only four, five days, and it was already his opinion that I was competent. Even back then people knew he was going to be champion back then!
    Tomashevsky or Efimenko, I actually don't know or played any of them, either of them are strong and have played in many tournaments, I really respect them, but I also do believe I can defeat them at least in a two game match, I started serious preparations early, as soon as the draws came out, working on my openings and pinpointing my and my opponent's weaknesses, hopefully I can target them.
    I think the first game is very important- if that is dropped, you can easily be blown apart, I'll see what the situation is after the first game, and readjust my strategy. Whether I win in the classical matches or rapid tiebreaks its still a win!

    CCTP: Australia will be following you intently! We wish you luck!

    ZYZ: Thank you.


    Wow my fingers are dead That was Part 1 of 3 of our interview with GM ZYZ, in the future we talk about his personal life, chess issues, and the future.

    chesscrazytalk.com for the episode and full interviews.

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