Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gelfand interview, Part 2

Read it on ChessVibes.  But allow me to steal a passage of interest to readers in Chicago, the Twin Cities, and New Jersey (not to mention Belarus, Israel...)

It was wonderful to see that you brought your four coaches to Moscow: Tamara Golovey & Leonid Bondar, Eduard Zelkind, and Albert Kapengut. Please briefly describe what they meant for your chess development.

Sure, it's my pleasure because they did a lot and they're part of my success. I was very happy when they accepted my invitation and came to Moscow to see the match and to cheer for me. Eduard Zelkind was my first coach. I started to work with him when I was six and we worked until I was 11, when he moved to the United States.

So he was the one who taught you that rook ending?

Yeah, exactly! He taught me the rook endings. I still have notes with the rook endings. So it's kind of a disappointment for me that I didn't win this totally winning rook ending in game 3 but it has nothing to do with chess knowledge.

Tamara took over when he moved to the States, and she accompanied me to many events, in Soviet Union Championships, and she gave me some valuable lessons, like before each game you should not only try to remember what you'll play, but you should also move the moves at a chess board because then you'll remember them well. I still do this.

Leonid Bondar is her husband and he was my teacher at the Chess University, the same as where Andrei Filatov was studying, and Ilya Smirin, and Zsuzsa Polgar... He had a lot of prominent students. His passion for chess is incomparable. There we talked about cities, and he told me that Geneva is the best city in the world because in the city parks they have big chess sets! I learnt a lot from his passion and his love for chess.

And of course Albert Kapengut was my trainer for many, many years, till 1993. With his help I won the first Interzonal; I worked the whole first Candidates cycle with him. He taught me a lot of things. Most importantly, he taught me how to deal with information and the importance of information, and how chess players should work on chess. This is the most important thing, I think. You can have the best trainers, the best computers, but if you don't know how to work, if you don't have passion for it, nothing else can help you. These are the most important lessons I got from them. And of course all of them taught me that you should win dignity and lose with dignity.

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