"I have learnt a lot from Kramnik"

7/14/2002 – After his 2002 defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in London, Garry Kasparov has changed his style and redirected his chess preparations. The world's strongest player talks about Deep Blue, FIDE, upcoming players ("Ponomariov, Grischuk and Radjabov") and his chances of regaining his title in a Sunday interview in the German newspaper FAZ. More

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The interview with Garry Kasparov appeared on the FAZ.NET site in German language and was conducted by Stefan Löfler.

On losing to Deep Blue: The Deep Blue match is the one people remember. It was not just a personal defeat but a disaster for chess. We allowed a computer giant to steal the result and deceive the public.

Kramnik: Kramnik played extremely well in London and I have analysed his strategy. These days it is essential that one is open to new ideas. You must be ready to learn and diversify. One must play the Najdorf and the Berlin Defence, one must always have a weapon in the background. The match in London forced me to redirect my preparations. Kramnik is by far the most talented player of his generation. But he has lost his drive and is spending too much time on chess politics. While I was studying his chess style he was emulating my lifestyle. For the sake of chess I hope he will start training for chess again.

Ponomariov: I was only able to judge him from his games. In Moscow there was little to praise, he was more than once outplayed by Ivanchuk, who then lost control in time trouble. But in Linares he showed that can play well and has tremendous potential.

His students: I learnt a great deal from Karpov, and now I myself have a lot to give. I ran a chess school together with Botvinnik, and most of today's top players went through it. Only Kramnik shows appreciation, Shirov hates to be reminded of it.

Coming top players: First of all Ponomariov, then Grischuk, who is a bit unstable but possibly more talented than Ponomariov. And Teimur Radjabov. These are the three to watch.

Kasparov's future: I was always pessimistic about chess at my age. But my mother says you are as old as you feel, and I just have to look at Karpov who reached the final in Prague at 51.

Legends and stories: I know nothing about an "illegitimate child" and the fifteen languages I am said to speak is a joke. I was not caught in Croatia with a gun, I merely visited a shooting range.


Kasparov, Illyumzhinov, Kramnik

Illyumzhinov: I have always judged him by his actions, and this time he has done the right thing. He has recognised that FIDE must be reorganised, and in this respect we are partners. Every war ends with a peace treaty. I was the loser in war against FIDE, the beneficiaries were Kramnik, Karpov and Anand.

Regaining the title: I have to win two matches, against Ponomariov and probably Kramnik. I think my chances are better than fifty percent. Some think Ponomariov will be a pushover. That is nonsense, his fighting spirit makes him a dangerous opponent. And remember, I'll be forty and he'll be twenty. I will have to plan the next year very carefully.


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