Gata Kamsky: "Raising of One's Voice As Well As "Shaking Up" the Team is Considered Intolerable Among Free People"

Время публикации: 03.02.2013 18:53 | Последнее обновление: 03.02.2013 20:41

The discussion around the refusal of Kosintseva sisters to play for the national team until Sergei Rublevsky is the captain continues on our website. The famous GM and one of the leaders of the US national team Gata Kamsky has also shared his opinion: 

"I can say nothing about other countries, but in US they always consider the players' opinion in regard to choosing the captain. As long as our team has always been tight-knit, the older players used to initiate the dialogue between the captain and other members of the team in order to help each other in any issue. I can't recall any situation when the captain has raised his voice or started to "shake up" the team, since this is considered to be an unacceptable behaviour among free people.

I'm talking about the field to which I'm acquainted personally - that is chess. I can't comment on other sports. From the stereotypes about NBA and American football it's known that the sportsmen are so helpless in their private lives that sometimes the coaches have to settle different issues and be the father figures for them. You of course forgive a lot to such a person. Chess is still more intelligent sport and despite some well known people with explosive temper, they stay in minority; in addition the merit of such a coach apart from the result and the talent of the player stays unknown. From my own experience when I was winning my father used to say that we have won (as a team), while he abstracted away when I was losing. By the way, the well known and distinguished captains like Postovsky, Donaldson and others hardly ever raised their voices; they managed to find approach to each not just as to a player but as to a person as well.

Of course I'm not trying to teach or impose my opinion, I'm just sharing my experience.

I have been playing for the US team for many years so I can say there always been a so called setup for the result. The captain always considers the players' opinion at the meetings giving everyone an opportunity to speak out, sometimes he just tells who is going to play the next day. We have a different than in Russia approach. We don't have the Sport Committee here and we actually never feel any pressure from the Federation functionaries, I mean anything like "we need the prize winning results only and that's it." The sponsors also don't demand anything, they just allow us to prove ourselves in the team. Everyone understands that the adult people have gathered, who themseves need the result; we are free in preparation and communication. People forget about personal animosity and work with each other as in regard to chess so on the spiritual level - they support each other. If someone is not in his/her best shape, all the guys try to support him/her and help to recover. Our captain, for instance, keeps in touch with us by email throughout the year. He tries to inform us about all the possible team competitions beforehand; he tells who will be playing, where the conditions are better and so on and so forth. This makes it clear that they care about us, they believe in us and what is more important they support us without blaming for anything. We have the long-term goals, the solid replacement represented in new generation is growing and everyone longs for getting into team, because they, as well as the coach, know how prestigious it is. Our team has always played above of its potential. We have won Bronze in 2006 and 2008, we were sharing 1st in Istanbul after 9 rounds but then we lost to China, in Bursa the team, this time without me, has won the Silver.   

In any case there are different approaches to the being. Some consider the result to be above all, others think differently. There's this kind of saying in chess: the best is just to play good chess and continue to perfect oneself, while the result will come itself. I believe in this."

Let us remind you, John Donaldson is the US men's national team captain, while the women's team is headed by Mikhail Khodarkovsky. 


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