Daniil Dubov: "It's Completely Possible That I'd Play the Benko Gambit Against Kramnik"

Время публикации: 13.07.2012 21:17 | Последнее обновление: 13.07.2012 22:21

E.SUROV: It’s 21:08 in Moscow. This is Chess-News, I’m Evgeny Surov and Daniil Dubov is with us. Daniil, good evening!

D.DUBOV: Good evening!

E.SUROV: Daniil is the winner of the Premier League of the Russian Championship. Oh, I’m sorry, he’s not the winner, he was leading the tournament for the most of the race, but lost in the last round and finally was second.

D.DUBOV: Yes, I took 2nd place.

E.SUROV:  However, he achieved his aim – Daniil qualified for the Super-final. So, Sergei Shipov, your coach, and Evgeny Bareev said almost the same after the tournament, they just used different words. Bareev used, so to say, a nice expression: “the stars were with him”, While Shipov just put it directly: “He was lucky from the first to the last day.” Well, maybe that was some sort of exaggeration, anyways, do you agree with his evaluation?

D.DUBOV: In general, I think, that it’s somewhat true. Actually, during the tournament I understood that there’s a group of people whose average rating is from 2520 to 2580 points and who aren’t favourites at all, but in terms of good play and some luck they could have all chances to fight even for the first place. But I… Well, I think that I played quite strongly in a tournament which worked out for me. So, all those comments about luck, in general, are quite true. However, I would also like to think that luck wasn’t the only factor that helped me to achieve this success.

 E.SUROV:  Our readers, who left questions for you on our website, helped me a lot. So, I will build our conversation on the questions proposed by our followers. Alexei congratulates you with your brilliant performance and asks: “Please, tell us how did you start to work with Sergei Shipov? How helpful he was during the Premier League?”

D.DUBOV: Our cooperation started approximately two years ago. Taking into consideration my age, it is quite much. That happened spontaneously. I mean, I was just playing by my own and didn’t have a permanent coach. So, it just happened, I don’t even remember that… I guess, that was Sergey Moiseevich Janovsky  -I thank him for that – who recommended Sergei Yurievich to my father. So, we just met, got along and everything started.

E.SUROV: But how did you attract each other? As long as you are working together for already two years, perhaps, there’s some kind of a contact.

D.DUBOV: It’s hard to say, but that’s probably our characters, we’re enjoying ourselves. In general, I can hardly be called an obedient student, whilst Sergei Yurievich is a person who is also quite stubborn from time to time. So, we have sort of similar characters and we’re looking at chess from the same or very close perspectives. Therefore, it’s comfortable for us to work together.

E.SUROV: So, are there any problems occurring because of that similarly stubborn characters? For instance, he could recommend some opening and you refused playing it because of your stubbornness. Has anything like that happened?

D.DUBOV:  I don’t think anything exactly like that has happened. What usually happens is for example, Sergei Yurievich suggests something, I say: “No, I don’t like this and I don’t like that either. And here’s what I like.” I mean, we just come to some common decision, but it’s hard to say that I obviously do that first suggestion made by Sergei Yurievich. Not like he offers something and I agree with it without any consideration. No, we usually argue, but I think that is how it should work. I just realized that the coach is not the person whose suggestions should be approved without consideration, no this is just a person who wants to help, so you have to argue with him and ask him questions like why? How? Because of what? And it usually happens like that in our work.

E.SUROV: A famous chess specialist Sergei Dolmatov was your coach before Shipov. As I know you had some conflict with him after which you stopped working with him. Could you tell us more about that?

D.DUBOV: I can tell you about that. That’s true. I got to know Sergei Dolmatov right when the Dvorkovich Chess Lounge was starting to work. He has been training me for more than two years. It’s hard to say the exact reason why we stopped working with each other. I guess officially I was dismissed as an unpromising player. Actually, he didn’t get along with my parents; in addition to that he wasn’t happy with me attending the school.       

E.SUROV: Wait, did he want you to leave school?

D.DUBOV: He wanted me to do externship or something like that. Honestly, I always go to school when I’m not playing in the tournaments.  That takes a lot of time, which is true. I’m attending a quite good school, I like it and so on. Sergey Yurievich is also sometimes complaining because of that, but Sergei Dolmatov said that I had to leave school and that was one of the things he couldn’t agree neither with my parents, nor with me.

E.SUROV: Are you doing well at school?

D.DUBOV:  I’m good enough. I have unbiased grades. Physics is the only subject which is hard for me to understand. […]

E.SUROV: Sergei Vasiliyev asks about Dolmatov: “In a recent interview your previous coach blamed RCF Juniors’ Commission in an inability to grow strong players. Do you agree with it?”

D.DUBOV: That’s a bit strange question. Partly I agree, but it just appears that there are some clubs where the coaches teach children playing chess. The thing is that they mostly focus on winning the medals at the Russian or European Championships. For example, I know that in Moscow there are three leading clubs: Pioneers’ House, the club named after T. Petrosian and Perovo.  I was a member of Perovo for several years and everyone knows that they focus on winning the medals. They don’t have this aim of growing super strong chess players. So, one can probably admit that at the moment there’s not any place in Russia where they are working on growing strong GMs.  

E.SUROV: So, have you communicated with Dolmatov after that story with the dismissing you as an unpromising player?

D.DUBOV: No, we somehow didn't get on with him. Not the most pleasant rumors reached me, namely… Now, it’s a bit funny, because after my successful string of achievements started , he suddenly started to talk about the Dvorkovich Chess Lounge’s merit in it. Actually, he recently gave an interview where he made a funny statement: “Now Danya Dubov became a grandmaster. I don’t think we should be given a credit for it, but we speeded-up that process somewhat.” He said something like that, although a year ago some unpleasant rumors were reaching me.

E.SUROV: The continuation of Alexei Vasiliev’s question: “Do you get enough support from the RCF for further development of your career?”. The word “enough” is made bold.

D.DUBOV: It’s hard to say is it enough or not. The only thing that RCF has been doing during all these years is that during the last year and a half it started inviting me to the training sessions of the RCF’s school of GMs. It’s not a secret that my parents have repeatedly appealed to the Russian Chess Federation, however, I haven’t got any financial or other kind of help from them.   

E.SUROV: Well, some sort of stories regarding your relationship with RCF have spread approximately a year ago. Actually, before this interview with you, I’ve checked the interview with Ilya Levitov which was made a year ago. A topic regarding Dubov was discussed then a bit. So, he refused admitting that the RCF is not helping Daniil. He said that after you had a conflict with Dolmatov, you haven’t spoken to him. Accordingly, you’ve been talking to press, - he said, - while haven’t appealed to him [Levitov – CN]. “However, we’re still ready to help, - Levitov noted. – we actually do so, because he visits our school gatherings.”

D.DUBOV: Yes, but… Well, it’s not that I want to call Levitov a liar, but still he’s not saying the truth, because my father personally met him. And that happened right after I left Dvorkovich Lounge… We wrote a letter and Levitov, he actually wasn’t the Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation at that time… So, he met my father and then he didn’t pick up the phone for next several weeks.

E.SUROV: Here’s the last question from the same author: “You are already 16 and you are finishing school next year, have you already decided anything about your future chess career?”

D.DUBOV: Firstly and fortunately, I’m not finishing school next year. I only moved to the tenth grade now, so I still have time to think over it; but in general I guess it’s clear that chess will stay in my life. At the moment I think that it will be my profession, but I’m not 100% sure about that. Very likely it will be so.

E.SUROV:  Yakov Zusmanovich asks you: “What are your interests except chess?”

D.DUBOV: I have a lot of interests. I love sports very much, I like reading, listening to music, I mean I am not much different from the guys of my age.

E.SUROV: Do you agree with the statement that a strong chess player is not obviously an intelligent person?

D.DUBOV: I don’t know. That depends on what do you mean under “intelligence”. If you mean IQ than probably the strong chess player is an intelligent person. But it’s evident that the strong player is not obviously well-read person who would be a nice company or anything like that. Those are really different things.

E.SUROV: Actually well-read doesn’t mean intelligent.

D.DUBOV: Well, perhaps yes. But if talking about intelligence generally, I think that’s not obvious. If talking about IQ then I think that is true. Anyways, that’s an interesting question. By the way, it would be interesting to check that, because I haven’t actually thought about that earlier.

E.SUROV: How are you going to check that? Do you mean checking on yourself?

D.DUBOV: Why? It’d be interesting to check the IQ of the top-10 players, don’t you think so?

E.SUROV: Oh, do you mean an IQ test?

D.DUBOV: Yes, that’s what I meant. Just as an experiment, why not? […]

E.SUROV: What are your plans for the Super-final?

D.DUBOV: Honestly, I haven’t thought about that yet. It seems like I don’t have plans. To be completely honest, I didn’t have plans for the PL as well. Even when I was a leader with +4, I was giving some interview and they asked me if I had any aim, I gave them a completely honest answer “No.” They looked at me as at a quite strange person, but I just said the truth. Probably, I don’t have any plans for the Super-final. Well, it’s such an unusual feeling, especially for a young player, - a year ago you came to watch them playing as a spectator and you will most likely come to watch them as a spectator next year too, but now you are playing with them, that is of course very interesting. Maybe I’m just saying it in a modest way and it’s clear that I won’t be happy if I will lose all of the games.

E.SUROV: Are you usually worried before the games?

D.DUBOV: To be true, I’m not worried before the games. I mean that hasn’t happened for a long time.

E.SUROV: Does that depend on the rival?

D.DUBOV: No, it doesn’t. It can depend on the situation, but actually it’s hard to say. I can’t say I was worried before the last round of the Premier League. The tournament was quite hard from the psychological point of view; it was hard physically as well – not that much space, heat, hard to fall asleep and so on. I don’t know, maybe I didn’t even have strength to worry, or maybe I just didn’t experience any special emotions.

E.SUROV: So, you will keep calm playing against the strongest Russian players, except Kramnik and Karjakin… Generally, the name and the rating aren’t of any importance for you, right?

D.DUBOV: No it is important, but what if I’d be playing against Kramnik? Well, I’d be very interested and pleased, but isn’t it just ….

E.SUROV: OK, let me ask it in another way: would you play the Benko Gambit being black against Kramnik?

D.DUBOV: That depends on the situation. I would say that’s completely possible. 


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