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 Interviews

By Yaroslav Srokovsky
Kramnik on Dornmund 2000 and the World Championship Contest
"I will fight like never before in my life"


Vladimir Kramnik
What task have you set yourself in this tournament?

I haven’t set a task. I see this tournament as training. For the first time, I’m in a situation where it’s hard for me to be motivated. This fact makes my play worse, because in sports the most important thing is motivation. I don’t have a concrete aim – my thoughts are in the match with Kasparov. This is the reason my play doesn’t work.

But you played a good game with Akopian.

That’s right. And today against Junior, though with wavering, too. Against Adams I began to play unjustifiedly for a win. I could have made an easy draw. My position wasn’t worse. I could have simply done nothing, but finally I threw it away. A silly game, but it isn’t important. Somehow, unconsciously I wished to lose, because for a long time I haven’t lost a game. This grew to become a psychological stress, so I’m happy to have lost finally one game.

Your opinion about the participation of a computer program?

I don’t mind, but I think it would be better to have single matches with the computer. Today tournaments are rare, and a program takes away a grandmaster’s place in the tournament. And a grandmaster needs the money. I understand that ChessBase pays money for this place, but I prefer exhibition games with the computer, organized as a show.

Today you won relatively easily against Junior. Is the reason that you have some experience with other programs, like Fritz?

I don’t have much experience, but I understand how it “thinks” and this helps a lot. An advantage of computers is that humans still don’t have much experience with them. But the humans will become stronger when they have learned how to treat them.

In Frankfurt you won a very dubious position against Fritz!

This doesn’t matter. Playing a computer it’s more important to get the right type of position and not to look at the evaluation. I was very confident with my position. I knew that objectively it was a worse one, but I understood that I got excellent winning chances. I’ve foreseen what the computer would do and what it would underestimate. This brought victory.

In other words, you can understand the computer’s psychology?

Today I hadn’t much in the opening but I knew it would make mistakes.

Did you feel a psychological pressure when playing Junior?

No. It’s important to play solid chess. The only problem is to avoid mistakes. A mistake costs the game, because the computer doesn’t know mercy. A human can always made mistakes in time trouble but the machine is never in time trouble and doesn’t make mistakes. However, this fact can probably lead to psychological pressure.

How do you assess your chances in your match with Kasparov?

I’m a player. My job is to play chess. It’s the journalist’s task to assess my chances. I know that I’ve good chances. I will fight like never before in my life. I expect to win.

Who is a more unpleasant opponent for Kasparov – Anand or you?

If you compare the statistics of Kasparov’s games with Anand and with me, you will see that obviously the advantage is on my side. Our score is even. Anand is a brilliant player, but he has enormous problems playing Kasparov. Nowadays I have the best chances of all players against Kasparov. This doesn’t mean that I will win, but it means that I have the best chances. It will be an interesting and tense match.
 


See related articles:

  • Garry Kasparov Chats in the Playing Zone (5/20/2000)
  • The Yasser Seirawan Interview (5/19/2000)
  • Interview with Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua (5/17/2000)
  • Interview: Vladimir Kramnik (1/27/2000)
  • Interview with BORIS GULKO (1/13/2000)
  • Interview with Bent Larsen (2/13/2000)
  • Interview With Peter Leko (1/30/2000)
  • PART TWO OF OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH VLADIMIR KRAMNIK! (1/27/2000)
  • Garry Kasparov’s First Coach (2/1/2000)
  • Interview with Viktor Korchnoi (2/22/2000)
  • An Interview with GM Emil Sutovsky (2/28/2000)
  • Interview with IM Watu Kobese (3/28/2000)
  • Interview with A. Alexandrov (4/12/2000)
  • Interview with GM Vladislav Tkachiev (5/15/2000)
  • Interview with Ruslan Ponomariov (5/15/2000)
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