Vassily Filipenko: During the Candidates we held quite a few regional-level chess events in Khanty Mansiysk
The Head of Khanty-Mansiysk and the President of Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko visited the Ugra Chess Academy several times during the event. Before the start of the FIDE Presidential Board he answered the questions of the FIDE Candidates Tournament press center.
– Vassily Alexandrovich, do you follow the candidates tournament?
– Of course I do.
– Do you like the organization of this event?
– I am a wrong person to ask! (Laughs.) Probably you should ask the players. As for me, I never heard any complaints about our efforts, so I hope everything is okay.
– Are you surprised by the outcome, Viswanathan Anand’s victory with a round to spare?
– Obviously Anand is a great player, and his convincing victory is fair and just. Of course, we were rooting for our players, but they committed some very unfortunate errors. It is also curious that the next World Championship match will be a rematch. There were many rematches in the chess history, but mostly in a distant past. No rematches were played for quite a while.
– Let us talk a bit about women’s chess. In 2012 Khanty-Mansiysk hosted the biggest women’s tournament – the World Cup. Soon you are hosting a FIDE Grand Prix event and World Championships in Blitz and Rapid. Could you tell me if it was the first tournament that influenced your decision to host more women’s events? Is there such interest to women’s chess in Ugra?
– Our interest to women’s chess has never disappeared, but let’s put it like this: the new era of chess in Ugra started in 2005. In general, the number of people playing chess is proportional between men and women. During the candidates tournament we held a number of regional-level competitions, and many girls and women attended these events. Naturally big international competitions promote women’s chess in Ugra, and its popularity grows.
– Do you mean there are equal numbers of boys and girls studying chess in Ugra?
– Well, there are more boys, of course, but the difference isn’t huge. Many girls in Ugra are interested in chess.
– Should we expect any innovations from the organizers of the coming women’s tournaments?
– Usually when people play competitive chess they don’t have much time for anything else. Of course, we always have our excursions and cultural events, if not for the players, then at least for their coaches and journalists. We are always happy to show our sightseeing.
– Which events do you prefer to watch, men’s or women’s? Classical chess, rapid, or blitz?
– You know, each format is interesting on its own. A classical game can be followed for a long time, you can see the tension of the players and so on. Other formats are more dynamic. I like everything.
As for men’s and women’s chess, naturally following women’s events brings more fun and pleasure. And I don’t understand chess deep enough to see the difference in their level of play.
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