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Boris Gelfand: A completely happy man

13 responses to “Boris Gelfand: A completely happy man”

  1. whoa!!! long one…. have to put off some for morrow.

  2. “The cycle was changed because of him, as he pulled out of the Grand Prix but still got back in – the regulations were changed. It was strange. I’m not judging him. It’s his choice.”

    Wasn’t the cycle changed first, Carlsen withdrew because the match between GP and World Cup winner was changed into the current rules, while Carlsen had no interest in playing after the rule change? They can hardly have changed the rules to accomodate Carlsen if the rules were the reason he didn’t want to play.

  3. doex: While I can no longer recall the details and exact chronology of the many twists and turns of the cycle, it’s possible that Gelfand was referring to the addition of a second rating qualifier slot. This slot appeared without any explanation some time after Carlsen had withdrawn from the GP, but one might just as easily say that it was aimed at securing Kramnik’s place in the candidates.

  4. “it’s possible that Gelfand was referring to the addition of a second rating qualifier slot. This slot appeared without any explanation some time after Carlsen had withdrawn from the GP, but one might just as easily say that it was aimed at securing Kramnik’s place in the candidates”

    That must be it, even if my feeling after reading interviews with Gelfand is that he’s no Carlsen fan. He states it as a fact that the cycle was changed for Carlsen’s benefit, and seems to find it strange that the spoilt kid refused to participate when everything was made to accomodate his wishes. But maybe that isn’t a particularly generous interpretation of what he’s saying.

    Anyway, what Carlsen wanted was that the cycle would go on as before the changes. Gelfand must have wanted the same thing since it qualified the World Cup winner for a two-player Candidates final instead of an eight-player knockout. To me it would have been more strange if the only thing Carlsen wanted with his compaint was to be given a spot in the Candidates without qualifying, and, once FIDE introduced the second rating spot, he should just be happy and play. He was also clearly ahead of Kramnik on the rating list, so as you say it’s not certain that the second spot that went to Kramnik was introduced because of Carlsen.

  5. I suspect that Gelfand simply doesn’t have his facts straight when it comes to this matter. Because even if were to be true that the cycle was changed to get him back in, it’s not at all clear that FIDE was doing it on his request or even for his benefit. After all, when Carlsen stated he would not participate in the candidates matches, FIDE just wouldn’t take no for an answer and sent him the invitation anyway (it wasn’t even possible to say “no thanks” to this invitation, you could only decline by not responding to it).

    Gelfand’s also signalled a few times that he was not happy with all the changes. But at the end of the day there was not much he could do. Even if he were to try to rock the boat, nothing good would come out of it.

  6. Wow, this is more than what I could ask for! Gelfand is very good at giving interesting interviews, and I admire his approach to chess.

    Great stuff, THANK YOU!

  7. Boris confirmed my first impression of him as a gentleman as well as a sportsman. I sincerely hope he gives the world champ a very hard time!

  8. Thank you so much for this! I have blogged about it at Chess.com because it’s too good for our members to miss!

  9. I will join the crowd saying “thank you mishanp”, but also thank you Boris – giving interviews is part of his job (particularly after such a success) but not everyone gives such interesting ones.

    On Carlsen: Yes Gelfand apparently got some facts wrong, but I can understand his overall attitude. He – and other Kazan participants – may get tired of such questions. Of course journalists have to ask obvious questions … . The most provocative one – which could be interpreted as “you only won because Carlsen didn’t play” – came only later, and he had a good answer (“home preparation”?).

    BTW in earlier threads people wondered about Kramnik interviews, now there’s one at Chessbase where he is rather critical of the Kazan format. Did Aronian “speak his mind” anywhere? He wasn’t very talkative at the press conference after his loss against Grischuk.

  10. Dear mishanp,

    This is wonderful stuff and food for thought. Trust it would not be missed by any one. BTW there is a slight correction to the following quote:
    As for the World Championship title… Yes, Kramnik lost to Anand in the match in 2007,
    I think Gelfand meant 2008 and the printer’s devil played its part in the original report. Could you set it right?
    I think both your site and the Crestbook have enough material for a whole book and perhaps you could think of publishing it some day.

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