Loek van Wely: "You Won't See Me in Las Vegas Anymore"

Время публикации: 24.01.2013 01:42 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2013 02:13

One of the leading Dutch newspapers de Volkskrant published a large interview with GM Loek van Wely. Namely, Dutch GM talked about his chess and poker careers, he mentioned FIDE and Dutch Chess Federation and told why he is persona non grata in US. Apart from that Loek revealed what is he going to do when he's sixty, why has chess destroyed his marriage and a lot of other things.

We offer you excerpts from the interview with King Loek.

"I'm not saying that I play exceptional chess, but I'm a fighter. I fight till the end.

In the wife-chess tandem now I choose wife. It wasn't always like this. Far not always: it was in a completely different way for twenty years in a row. Nothing could compete with the greatest aim of showing the highest possible performance. Nothing. That has ruined my marriage. We always had conflicts because of this sacred aim of mine.
Now I'm forty and I became wiser. I understand that I won't ever win Wijk aan Zee tournament after 20 years of participating in it. My girlfriend is also a chess player. She was born in Salvador and she has her own chess career. In contrast to my first wife, she is lucky not to see me deadly upset if I happen to draw against Timman.

Now I strive for more realistic goals. After being knocked down by Carlsen, I know my place; however, I still want to be #1 in Netherlands. I know what I am going to tell Giri if I will outstrip him in this competition... But this tournament is not the Dutch Championship."

About poker.
"When I dedicated a year to playing mostly poker, I thought I would earn millions. That didn't happen. Despite that my love to another
game than chess is still with me; and I don't consider poker to be based only on luck.
Anyway, you won't see me in Las Vegas anymore (laughs). Last time I flew to New York I was asked the main purpose of my journey. I said that apart everything else I was going to teach chess. The strangest thing is that chess in US is considered to be a hobby or gambling rather than a form of activity. Really? Did you come here for teaching chess? They treated me as if I was some criminal, I was put in a jail cell. I was searched thoroughly. They checked if I had a rope for, if you please, preventing me from hurting myself. I spent a night in the jail cell and the next morning I was deported to the Netherlands.
Now I'm persona non grata in US. This summer I'm planning to go to Australia and play poker there."

About FIDE and DCF.
"FIDE is absolutely incompetent and corrupted organization, while Dutch Chess Federation is just incompetent. In any other more or less normal organization this kind of governing body would be fired
immediately .
Only Giri is supported by the federation. The prizes at the national championships remain at a very low level. If they won't pay me this year, I will go to Australia to play poker.

I have talked about Jan Timman defiantly and not once, nevertheless, I respect everything that he managed to achieve in chess. I admit I cannot compare to him even though I've been showing decent results during past several decades.
When I think of Jan, I remember Bobby Fischer. They both were legends and they both did everything in order to destroy their own legends.
Timman plays in Group B and I was thinking: what is he doing here? He shouldn't be doing anything to prove anything to anyone. He could be an honored guest or a big wig here.
When I will be of his age, that will happen in twenty years, I won't be playing chess and you won't see me in Wijk aan Zee.
What I'm going to do? I hope I will be swinging in a hammock somewhere in Bahamas..."  


photo by Fred Lucas


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