Page 4 of 46 FirstFirst ... 2345614 ... LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 682
  1. #46
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,840
    I am willing to take on the possum again when I have finished losing most of my remaining games in the freestyle tournament.

  2. #47
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    1,977
    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom
    Certainly HK..............Just waiting on official possum challenge acceptances.
    This will be a 1 year anniversary of the birth of the possum special challenge!


    ****NEWS FLASH******

    2 further possum challenges have been issued ,one to Mr. K.Bonham and one to Mangafranga.

    All challenges to be accepted by June 22nd.
    Thankyou,
    Axiom
    Accepting the challenge would conflict with my commitment not to be cruel to native animals.

  3. #48
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,383
    Quote Originally Posted by Mangafranga
    Accepting the challenge would conflict with my commitment not to be cruel to native animals.
    so you accept?!
    Last edited by Axiom; 13-06-2007 at 11:23 PM.

  4. #49
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,383
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I am willing to take on the possum again when I have finished losing most of my remaining games in the freestyle tournament.
    thats the spirit! ,cool KB

  5. #50
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,840
    Well with such a big train of interviewees to come I'd better not hold it up any longer!

    Quote Originally Posted by heaviestknight
    When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?
    Does it? I never really thought about these things in advance - it was one of many interests that I had (and still have) as a teenager, and at some point in the mid-1990s I started getting involved in the administration side of things. From that point my involvement has gradually increased, but it is still just one of a number of interests and hardly the centre of my life.

    Who was your first Chess mentor?
    I never really had one, as such. I've never had a coach. In the early days I got stronger mainly just from competing, and my opening repertoire and so on I have always worked out by myself. But you need a competitive environment to do that in, and Michael Bailey, who was the co-principal of my high school, did a lot to support that environment. He had a great rapport with all of us who played there and respected our various skills as players.

    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?
    Yes and no. Everyone in my family could play the game, and my brother and I played a lot when we were very young children. But I did not have access to any kind of competitive chess until I was about twelve. Also at a certain point I became confused about the rules; having read somewhere that a gambit involved giving up a pawn which you would get back later, I assumed this meant you could take it off the board and put it back! It was rather hard for my brother and I to work out exactly how this could be implemented, so for a while we became more interested in other things.

    How much support did you have by your family?
    A useful amount, but nothing as intensive (or expensive) as many juniors have these days. Lifts to tournaments, an airfare to an Australian Junior (where I played abysmally) and so on - in adult life, places to stay and looking after my house while I'm away.

    What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?
    A few breakthrough moments stand out:

    - In 1988 I played board four for a Hobart Interclub team comprised of the best players from that wave of juniors. On ratings we were the weakest team on paper by far, but we won the thing with a week to spare, and I scored 8/9 for the season, losing only after the title was ours.

    - In 1995 I played in a rather strong Hobart International Club Championships double round robin and won it with a very grandmasterly scoreline: +15=5-0. I had won a couple of Sandy Bay events a few years earlier but this was the first time I realised I could become one of the state's best players.

    - My first state title in 2001. Not because I played well but because I won it dramatically and against a very strong field. Won a drawish ending in round two, beaten in audacious fashion by Premilovac in three, swindled a hopelessly lost game in four, drew a game I was losing in five. Then in seven I won two pawns against Sakov with great opening play only to lose them both back and only won because of a terrible endgame blunder by Sakov. My last round game could have gone either way too, and suddenly the smoke had cleared and I'd won by a whole point!

    But by this stage it's the cumulative record of vaguely consistent success that becomes most important - all kinds of players win one rated tournament, but not too many at any level win forty-one. I'll never touch Otto Weber's record for the most Tasmanian Championships, but I'm proud of my record for the most Tasmanian Opens (five now), and hope to push that further in the future.

    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?
    Kasparov. I would say that the dominant mood in world chess is a certain brand of aggressive universalism (founded in deep theoretical study) that Kasparov was primarily responsible for, meaning that the up-and-coming players often seem to me like mini-Kasparovs.

    The strongest?
    Kasparov at his peak may or may not have been the strongest ever. But today it is a difficult question as several are quite close. If strength is the ability to massacre run-of-the-mill SGMs in double round robins then it is Topalov, but if it is the ability to win a match no matter what then it is Kramnik.

    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?
    I have at times studied a lot of games by both Shirov and Kramnik (an odd mix, yes, I know) but I do not consciously try to rip off any top player's style. There is no point doing so; I am not a good enough player to do it justice. Sometimes I might do something and think it is a Shirov move, a Kramnik move or even a Smerdon or Solomon move, but I do not set out to imitate those of whom I would be at best a third-rate copy!

    The one that you always wanted to meet?
    I'm not really into going out of my way to meet famous people, even in fields I operate in. Perhaps that's because I have at times had a degree of local celebrity status (largely for reasons unrelated to chess - campus politics and writing and so on) and through that I realise that there is nothing so special or mysterious about being famous for something, and no reason to go out of one's way to meet someone just on that account, unless you in turn have something to offer. Like, I met three members of my favourite band (The Church) this year, but it was sensible for me to do so as a very long-term fan who has actually done a few things to promote and circulate their music. But if I'm just another random fan of someone, why would I even cross the road to get their autograph? I don't get it.

    That said I do form personal opinions about some of the players. I find Kramnik likeable, and put a note of support on his website during the last match when Danailov was being [a bit of a troll].

    Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?
    That would be the little girl who one day, in a tournament I was running, put up her hand and softly and calmly said "I don't know what move to make". The way she said it ... it pops up in my mind now and then, even in situations utterly unrelated to chess. And all you can do when it happens is just sit there calmly until you think of a move to make, and then make it, which was exactly what I told her. She just said "OK" and went back to her game. I think she won it.

    I'd like to give an answer that related to strong players of course, but as I am Selection Co-Ordinator that would not be appropriate. Perhaps my favourite Australian player is anyone who is doing well on the world stage at any time.

    Who is Australia’s most aspiring and hopeful young player?
    I assume by "hopeful" you mean "promising". Objectively it would still be Raymond Song just because he is so strong so young - but there are many other excellent prospects.

    What’s the future of chess in your state (Tasmania) in terms of participation and strength? How do you compare it with the rest of the country?
    Participation is booming and I hope it will continue to do so. It was on the improve anyway after the doldrums of the early 90s but has taken off especially since the advent of Chess Kids teams tournaments in the state. We had 32 players in each of the Championships and Open this year. Possibly tournaments of 40 are not out of the question now, and at that stage higher Grand Prix categories start to become viable. Eventually, we want to host a major event here. It's been a while!

    Tasmania always struggles for strength per head of capita because when the best locals are around 2000 strength, or sometimes a bit better, no-one's likely to become an IM-strength player playing them. That is something we may always face, or maybe the current generation of juniors may set a higher standard with the access to coaches and strong players that is becoming more and more possible.

    How difficult have you found it combining study, work, Chess and of course being a moderator in a busy Chess Chat Forum?
    When I was a student (up til 2003), study was always a very low priority for me, although I did miss one state title (1994) because of a clash with an exam. My work commitments tend to be quite flexible, and usually are not a problem for my chess. What I find really difficult is juggling chess with other spare-time interests, of which I have a number. Some weekends there may be three or four things on I'd like to do.

    Time constraints are rarely a problem with modding, though I do find a small number of posters will continue to send me requests even when I have clearly said that I am busy, and one or two people expect things to always be done for them on a platter straightaway.

    Like other moderators of this board, you have been a subject of (sometimes vicious) attacks a plethora of times. How seriously are you taking those attacks?
    Not at all! In my far-off campus days I used to sometimes heckle rallies that I disagreed with, one person versus three or four hundred, and I didn't find that intimidating at all, so a bunch of weedy little internet trolls who are fun to wallop in debates will hardly get me down. I thrive on being in the public arena and hosing down criticism, it's what I have done much of my life in a range of different areas.

    There are, of course, some lines I will not allow people to cross, and I have zero tolerance for violence threats and professional defamation and not very much more for people who drag irrelevant personal matters into debates or take out their grievances with me on other people. But while I may ensure that those involved are rounded up and vigorously thwacked, I still regard them as too ludicrous to lose much sleep over.

    There are questions about the degree of democracy, fairness, equal treatment, just to name a few, exercised by the Administration of this board. What’s your response to those who believe that the Forum’s function is undemocratic and dictatorial?
    It's hard to tell what people really believe and what they pretend to believe because it advances their cause. If people really believe a forum should be democratic then why are they not pushing the same case as vigorously on other forums they post on that are at least equally undemocratic but where they are chummier with the owners? I suggest that the reason some bring up the democracy argument is not that they are committed to forum democracy, but that they would like to use it as a tool to try to get rid of whoever they do not like from the Squad.

    That said - of course it's not a democracy! At least a facade of democracy is important in Western government because that's the only system that gives everyone the sort of say that protects society from periodic civil wars, unrest and revolutions, but on an internet forum if you don't like the government of a forum you can go away and start your own "society". Furthermore, trying to implement real democracy on a forum where you can't even identify all the hydras properly would be a total practical nightmare. I say this as one with much experience in areas related to electoral system design.

    As for dictatorship, the site is essentially a rather liberal oligarchy with a generally passive sovereign, which is quite different from a dictatorship. Actually those who throw around political terms in their criticisms are generally very ignorant about what those terms really mean.

    Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?
    I think it is vaguely important, especially in the exchange of ideas and the flow of information, but at the same time we need to bear in mind that many players have no interest in the online environment.

    Are you satisfied with the numbers of the Forum’s membership?
    Definitely. The forum is healthy and continuing to attract new members, almost weekly there will be new names in the who's online list who turn out to be real members and not spammers. Quite often we have 20-30 members online at once and this has not become any less common that I can see despite a few posters becoming inactive (voluntarily or otherwise).

    Are you happy with the members general behaviour?

    What is your opinion about their general attitude, participation and respect toward one another and the Forum?
    Generally I think it's fine, and much like any other forum - wherever you have lots of people posting on a forum some degree of competitiveness and conflict will always develop. Actually lately it has been especially good, because the habitual troublemakers are either banned or fairly quiet, and so those conflicts that do develop are more natural ones that tend to go away more easily.

    Are there any further plans for the Forum’s improvement?
    I am not aware of any at this stage. It is really a high-class forum functionally compared to many others I have posted on, to the point that upgrades coming out are not worth adding on because of the hassle of recoding everything.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 27-05-2013 at 02:30 PM.

  6. #51
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,237
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    ... but that they would like to use it as a tool to try to get rid of whoever they do not like from the Squad.
    Copyright Duggan acknowledgement, please. Otherwise a most enjoyable post.
    Good work, Bruce and Bruce. Thanks.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  7. #52
    . eclectic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    .
    Posts
    2,840
    To HeavyKnight


    My PM and email options are off for the foreseeable future.

    Please forward on to me the questions you would like to ask via Rincewind.

    He will email them onto me.

    That's assuming you would still like to interview me.

    If I get them sooner rather than later I can properly prepare my answers.


    eclectic
    .

  8. #53
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,864

    soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by eclectic
    To HeavyKnight


    My PM and email options are off for the foreseeable future.

    Please forward on to me the questions you would like to ask via Rincewind.

    He will email them onto me.

    That's assuming you would still like to interview me.

    If I get them sooner rather than later I can properly prepare my answers.


    eclectic
    Hi Eclectic
    My godson draws lots of two names a week Eclecticus. Your name has not been drawn yet. The ones following are: Hartland, Hacche, Duggan, Watto, Jordan, Sprouty and Mischa!
    Boris and Jono have already been PMed with the interview questions sent to them.
    Cheers and good luck!

    PS If you want to prepare about the core of the questionnaire have a look at some of the already published interviews... I try to combine general types of questions with some of a more personal content given that the interviewee wishes to talk about and other posters would be interested to read!
    CAGL
    Last edited by ER; 20-06-2007 at 05:13 AM.
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

  9. #54
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,864

    The Boris Interview

    One of the most well known and respected personalities of the Chess Chat Forum is Boris. His strength as a Chess Player and his achievents in his professional career are unquestionably of a very high level. Today, we present the unaltered text of the interview he so kindly accepted to give us for the benefit of the members of the Chess Chat Forum and other readers of the thread.

    Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

    I suppose it happened while I was busy making other plans.


    Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?

    Max Leskiewicz, David Smerdon, Charles Pizatto (three prodigies near to my own age when I started playing in tournaments)
    Stephen Solomon, Wohl, Dihn Duc Trong, David Stephson and other Qld players over 2000 seemed like untouchables at the time.




    Who was your first Chess mentor?

    Probably my uncle Larry. I could beat all my siblings and parents at quite a young age (maybe 7, can't remember clearly), but could not beat my Uncle Larry. He gave me a chess book (Purdy), and reading it was something like someone switching on a light.

    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

    No, my family refused to play with me any more (a sad but probably not uncommon scenario) and it wasn't until high school that I had access to a chess club.



    How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

    General ambivalence, but my wife is very supportive.


    What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

    Probably coming outright 2nd in the Australian Major earlier this year. I am also very proud of my lightning record against Solo - 1.5-.5 in tournaments.

    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

    To me there is not question that it is Kasparov.

    The strongest?

    Kasparov.


    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?


    Probably Karpov, as well as Petrosian, Spassky, Capablanca, Yusupov, Timman, Short, I could go on.



    The one that you always wanted to meet?

    Meeting them has never been an ambition for me.

    Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

    I'm not really sure how to answer this question, but I admire Mark Stokes for his infatigueable enthusiasm at getting people to sit down at chessboards.


    Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

    Moulthun Ly


    Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

    I would say probably somewhere in the middle. I think it is often overestimated by it's regular visitors and/or permanent inhabitants. From what I can gather, most people at club level have never heard of it and couldn't really care either way.
    I think this site has a lot of good uses, especially tournament news and info. Also, the generosity of some strong players (notably Sarfati and Goldenberg) to offer their analysis is difficult to over-state or over-applaud.



    Boris, thank you very much for your time, cheers and good luck!

    Always a pleasure HK.
    By the way, did you used to be HeaviestKnight, or is my memory playing tricks on me?


    No Boris, you are quite correct! The change of name has to do with a "titled" reward of my successful effort to shed some of my extra weight. According to Guy West the ultimate achievenent would be to reach the "Light Knight" category! Cheers!!!
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

  10. #55
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,864

    The Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati (Jono) Interview

    Dr Jonathan D.Sarfati (Jono in the Chess Chat Forum) is our guest today. He promptly answered our interview questions with clarity and frankness and we thank him for allowing us some of his invaluable time. HK

    Hi Jono, these are the interview questions for the “An interview” thread:

    I'm honoured

    Let’s start with a question that I always wanted to ask in detail… For those who do not know, you are one of the few players who not only has played against an ex-World Champion but managed to get a draw against him…


    Yes, here is the game. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1129514


    What were your first thoughts when you sat opposite the great Boris Spassky?


    To give the background, this was The Plaza Hotel International tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, so this was in the papers of that morning. And as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure.

    In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld, one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” In a chess seminar in Sukhumi (now Georgia, then part of the USSR) later that year, GM Platonov also said (through the now quite famous translator Lev Khariton) that there was nothing to lose by playing on. But GM Keene thinks that it is still hard to break down Black's position, and that I was right to accept.


    What was he like as a person? Before, during and after the game?


    Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.


    Did you have a chat apart from Chess matters with him?


    Not too much actually. At the time he was spending a lot of time with fellow famous emigrés who were in town, the pianist and conductor Maxim Shostakovich and the recently deceased cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich playing in the concerts. My parents saw Spassky moved to tears at one of them.


    What is your greatest memory from that meeting?


    Probably shaking hands at the conclusion. Or maybe the post-mortem with lots of onlookers, who would not dare contradict Spassky!


    Did you at some stage think “ok I drew with the ex World Champion! What else is there? Do I continue my life as I did before, or do I forget everything about my academic and professional career etc in order to become a full time Chess player”?


    That wasn't really an option. Even at the World Junior Champs in Belfort, 1983, there were too many who outclassed me (Salov, Short, Bareev). All the same, some other contemporaries whom I battled to draw, e.g. Lars Schandorff and Suat Atalik, and even defeated, like Julio Granda-Zuniga (see http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess...d=1450679game), have become GMs.


    On the other hand, you seem to have excelled in whatever field you have chosen. Your doctorate title, your Chess FM title, your writings and thoughts achieving international recognition having caused widespread acceptance as well as passionate controversy; how much all those situations have changed you?


    Thank you for the kind words. It's an interesting question. I have no regrets about not adopting the uncertain life of a chess pro.
    What I am best known for certainly changed: in NZ, it was for chess; in Australia, probably for my writings, (and possibly for blindfold simuls).

    My first book sold almost half a million copies. Interestingly, there were some proposals from our then sister organization in America to make me second-author behind a big name in the area, on the grounds that an unknown author like me would not sell well. Fortunately, my Australian boss strongly backed authorship rights, and now my book has outsold the big name's.



    Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?


    I think when I was 11 and was second in the Wellington schoolpupils champs. Or becoming the only New Zealand junior apart from Chandler to win (1st=) the Aussie Junior, given that Aussies had (and still have) a definite edge.

    Certainly, players are becoming stronger at a younger age than when I played in the world junior, and it's hard to keep up with who's who. GM Benjamin is just a few years older than I am, and in a lecture a few years ago, he noted that in his junior days, when he was one of the top few in the world, there were no 14-year-old GMs. For reasons why this may be, check out this Scientific American article, The Expert Mind: Studies of the mental processes of chess grandmasters have revealed clues to how people become experts in other fields as well, July 2006. Also interesting is Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public schools by Richard Sousa, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2007 : "In 2005, a 16-year-old homeschooled child won the U.S. Chess Championship, making him the youngest player to claim the title since 14-year-old Bobby Fischer won it in 1958" (i.e. GM Hikaru Nakamura).


    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?


    Not really. The NZ stereotype is rugby, racing and beer, and I don't like any of them.


    How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?


    My parents were greatly supportive, and also sometimes helped in the chess community. E.g. my father was listed as consultant physician for the players in the Burroughs International Tourney in 1978, and my mother ran the entrance ticket booth (and was on friendly terms with Zsuzsa Polgár and her mother who accompanied her).


    What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career? (Apart from the Spassky game and your FM title of course)


    Probably winning the NZ title convincingly, and also winning an international tournament in Sukhumi, all in 1988.


    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?


    Today, Kasparov, because he showed that sacrifices for initiative were possible in a much wider range of position. We should not underestimate Karpov either, who demonstrated so often that "slight" advantages were enough to win. An unfortunate side-effect of the latter was people trying to copy him, but without his superb technique they became drawish (including me at various stages).


    The strongest?


    Kramnik today. He might lose some tournament games, but no-one at present seems capable of defeating him in a match. It's a shame that Kasparov has retired and Karpov well past his brilliant best.



    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?


    I've liked Capablanca from a young age, having read Chess Fundamentals early on, and appreciate Karpov and Smyslov. However, I have loads of game collections, because only by studing the greats can one really improve, and just because the games are a pleasure to play through. The collections of Keres, Alekhine, Fine, Botvinnik and Tarrasch have been most informative. It seems too hard to follow players like Tal and Shirov — they can play like that, but it seems too hard for lesser mortals.
    Chess history is fascinating as well.


    The one that you always wanted to meet?


    Tartakover.


    Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?


    Ian Rogers has clearly gained the highest achievements, and has dominated Australian chess for an impressive >20 years.


    Who is Australia’s most promising young player?


    David Smerdon seems to have the best chance of becoming Australia's next GM, and was an IM at 14.



    Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?


    I've not been involved for that long, really. I hope it will be a forum to help players improve, arbiters achieve consistent and accurate rulings, and publicise the chess clubs around.


    Jono, thank you very much for your time, cheers good luck!


    Thank you too.
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

  11. #56
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,237
    Good one, gents. Thanks again for an enjoyable read, Elliott.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  12. #57
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,864

    pleasure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    Good one, gents. Thanks again for an enjoyable read, Elliott.
    It's a pleasure, Howie. Your turn will not be long now!
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

  13. #58
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,237
    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    It's a pleasure, Howie. Your turn will not be long now!
    No hurry. As with everything to do with me, it's over-hyped and under-delivered (except the personality - that really is a darling!)
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  14. #59
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA (formerly Brisbane, and before that Wellington, NZ)
    Posts
    19,572
    For some reason, links and formatting didn't come through, so here is the version with links. Looking forward to President Duggan's soon

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    These are the interview questions for the “An interview” thread:
    I'm honoured

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Let’s start with a question that I always wanted to ask in detail… For those who do not know, you are one of the few players who not only has played against an ex-World Champion but managed to get a draw against him…
    Yes, here is the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    What were your first thoughts when you sat opposite the great Boris Spassky?
    To give the background, this was The Plaza Hotel International tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, so this was in the papers of that morning. And as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure.

    In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld, one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” In a chess seminar in Sukhumi (now Georgia, then part of the USSR) later that year, GM Platonov also said (through the now quite famous translator Lev Khariton) that there was nothing to lose by playing on. But GM Keene thinks that it is still hard to break down Black's position, and that I was right to accept.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    What was he like as a person? Before, during and after the game?
    Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Did you have a chat apart from Chess matters with him?
    Not too much actually. At the time he was spending a lot of time with fellow famous emigrés who were in town, the pianist and conductor Maxim Shostakovich and the recently deceased cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich playing in the concerts. My parents saw Spassky moved to tears at one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    What is your greatest memory from that meeting?
    Probably shaking hands at the conclusion. Or maybe the post-mortem with lots of onlookers, who would not dare contradict Spassky!

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Did you at some stage think “ok I drew with the ex World Champion! What else is there? Do I continue my life as I did before, or do I forget everything about my academic and professional career etc in order to become a full time Chess player”?
    That wasn't really an option. Even at the World Junior Champs in Belfort, 1983, there were too many who outclassed me (Salov, Short, Bareev). All the same, some other contemporaries whom I battled to draw, e.g. Lars Schandorff and Suat Atalik, and even defeated, like Julio Granda-Zuniga (see http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1450679game), have become GMs.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    On the other hand, you seem to have excelled in whatever field you have chosen. Your doctorate title, your Chess FM title, your writings and thoughts achieving international recognition having caused widespread acceptance as well as passionate controversy; how much all those situations have changed you?
    Thank you for the kind words. It's an interesting question. I have no regrets about not adopting the uncertain life of a chess pro.
    What I am best known for certainly changed: in NZ, it was for chess; in Australia, probably for my writings, (and possibly for blindfold simuls).

    My first book sold almost half a million copies. Interestingly, there were some proposals from our then sister organization in America to make me second-author behind a big name in the area, on the grounds that an unknown author like me would not sell well. Fortunately, my Australian boss strongly backed authorship rights, and now my book has outsold the big name's.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?
    I think when I was 11 and was second in the Wellington schoolpupils champs. Or becoming the only New Zealand junior apart from Chandler to win (1st=) the Aussie Junior, given that Aussies had (and still have) a definite edge.

    Certainly, players are becoming stronger at a younger age than when I played in the world junior, and it's hard to keep up with who's who. GM Benjamin is just a few years older than I am, and in a lecture a few years ago, he noted that in his junior days, when he was one of the top few in the world, there were no 14-year-old GMs. For reasons why this may be, check out this Scientific American article, The Expert Mind: Studies of the mental processes of chess grandmasters have revealed clues to how people become experts in other fields as well, July 2006. Also interesting is Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public schools by Richard Sousa, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2007 : "In 2005, a 16-year-old homeschooled child won the U.S. Chess Championship, making him the youngest player to claim the title since 14-year-old Bobby Fischer won it in 1958" (i.e. GM Hikaru Nakamura).

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?
    Not really. The NZ stereotype is rugby, racing and beer, and I don't like any of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?
    My parents were greatly supportive, and also sometimes helped in the chess community. E.g. my father was listed as consultant physician for the players in the Burroughs International Tourney in 1978, and my mother ran the entrance ticket booth [edit: forgot to say this was the Plaza 1988 tourney] (and was on friendly terms with Zsuzsa Polgár and her mother who accompanied her).

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career? (Apart from the Spassky game and your FM title of course)
    Probably winning the NZ title convincingly, and also winning an international tournament in Sukhumi, all in 1988.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?
    Today, Kasparov, because he showed that sacrifices for initiative were possible in a much wider range of position. We should not underestimate Karpov either, who demonstrated so often that "slight" advantages were enough to win. An unfortunate side-effect of the latter was people trying to copy him, but without his superb technique they became drawish (including me at various stages).

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    The strongest?
    Kramnik today. He might lose some tournament games, but no-one at present seems capable of defeating him in a match. It's a shame that Kasparov has retired and Karpov well past his brilliant best.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?
    I've liked Capablanca from a young age, having read Chess Fundamentals early on, and appreciate Karpov and Smyslov. However, I have loads of game collections, because only by studing the greats can one really improve, and just because the games are a pleasure to play through. The collections of Keres, Alekhine, Fine, Botvinnik and Tarrasch have been most informative. It seems too hard to follow players like Tal and Shirov — they can play like that, but it seems too hard for lesser mortals.

    Chess history is fascinating as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    The one that you always wanted to meet?
    Tartakover.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?
    Ian Rogers has clearly gained the highest achievements, and has dominated Australian chess for an impressive >20 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Who is Australia’s most promising young player?
    David Smerdon seems to have the best chance of becoming Australia's next GM, and was an IM at 14.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?
    I've not been involved for that long, really. I hope it will be a forum to help players improve, arbiters achieve consistent and accurate rulings, and publicise the chess clubs around.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyknight
    Jono, thank you very much for your time, cheers good luck!
    Thank you too.

  15. #60
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,864

    ty Jono

    Thanks very much Jono! Sorry you had to do extra work, to make this text presentable and functional!
    Cheers and good luck!
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. JaK & Hobbes (s.f. An interview)
    By Hobbes in forum Non-Chess
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 13-12-2011, 12:18 AM
  2. CEO's, MD's, etc. [sf An interview]
    By road runner in forum Non-Chess
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 15-07-2010, 07:57 PM
  3. Kasparov 90 min interview
    By soupman_2 in forum General Chess Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 18-01-2008, 11:55 AM
  4. Interview with Danailov
    By News Bot in forum Chess Australia
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 16-10-2005, 09:01 PM
  5. Kengis-Hardegen, Aust Op (1) 2004
    By News Bot in forum Chess Australia
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 29-12-2004, 01:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •