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Friday, November 4, 2011

Super chess interview with chess great GM Boris Gulko

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

We found this very nice interview with 2011 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Inductee, GM Boris Gulko. The interview was prepared by U.S. Chess Trust Trustee, FIDE Vice President and Former US Chess Federation President, WIM Beatriz Marinello. Here are some excerpts:

WIM Beatriz Marinello: How do you feel about being chosen as one of the 2011 US Hall of Fame Inductees?
GM Boris Gulko: Of course, I am proud.

BM: What did you think about the induction ceremony and the new Chess Museum?
BG: Both (the induction ceremony and the chess museum) were very impressive.

BM: How did you learn how to play chess?
BG: I was introduced to chess by a boy at a children’s camp. But, the only thing I remember about the boy is that he wore a red cap.

BM: What chess players had the greatest influence on your style?
BG: Different players impressed me at different times. I started to play actively in the years of Mikhail Tal, which was very important for my formation.

BM: You are known as a strong middlegame positional player and for your solid style. What advice would you give for those chess aficionados who would like to become good positional players?
BG: It is useful to study positional games of grandmasters with good annotations. I can recommend a book I wrote with GM Sneed titled, “Lessons with a Grandmaster.”

BM: You have a plus score against former World Champion Garry Kasparov. How did you achieve this result? Was it preparation or do you think that your style allows for good defensive play against aggressive players?
BG: I simply played those games well.

BM: What do you consider the highlights of your chess playing career?
BG: Probably my winnings in the USSR and USA Championships.

BM: What do you think is the best game you ever played?
BG: I’ll name the most beautiful. My game with David Bronstein in 1968.

Bronstein vs Gulko (1968), final position
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bb5+ Nc6 6. Ne2 Qb6 7. a4 Nf6 8. O-O Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. c3 cxd4 11. g4 Bg6 12. Nxd4 O-O-O 13. a5 Qc7 14. a6 Nxd4 15. axb7+ Kb8 16. cxd4 Bc2 17. Qe2 h5 18. g5 Ng4 19. f4 f6 20. hxg4 hxg4 21. Ba4 Bf5
22. Qa6 Bc5 23. dxc5 Qxc5+ 24. Kg2 Qe3 25. Ra3 Be4+ 26. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 27. Kg3 Rh3+ 28. Kxg4 Qg2+ 29. Kf5 fxg5 30. Rxh3 Rf8+ 31. Kg6 gxf4+ 32. Kh7 Qxh3+ 33. Kxg7 Qh8+ 34. Kg6 Rg8+ 35. Kf5 Qh7+ 36. Ke5 Qe4+ 37. Kd6 Rg6+ 38. Kc5 Rxa6 39. Bxf4+ Kxb7 40. Bb5 Ra5 0-1

Note: A selection of GM Boris Gulko’s games will be published in the next volume of“Lessons with a Grandmaster”.

BM: What do you think is the ideal format for a national championship?
BG: I think a Round Robin with 10-12 players.

BM: You are the only chessplayer who became both USSR and USA National Champion. What were the differences between Soviet Chess and American Chess back in the 1980s?
BG: The list of players. In the USSR Championships my opponents were Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov, Polugaevsky, and Geller.

BM: Scholastic chess is booming, we have more children than ever learning and playing chess. However, most young talented American Grand Masters are not staying in chess. Why do you think?
BG: Obviously there is not enough money in chess to attract young people to the profession of a chess player.

You can read the full interview at this link.

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