Aronian: the world championship should be decided in a match

by ChessBase
7/9/2007 – Levon Aronian is one of the hot favourites for the world championship in Mexico City this September. What does he think of his chances, what does he think about the format? In an article in the German broadsheet Neues Deutschland, born in Armenian and now living in Berlin, speaks about these and other subjects relating to the inclusion of Veselin Topalov in the FIDE cycle. Interview.

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ND interview with Levon Aronian, candidate for the World Championship 2007

A Berliner by choice, Levon Aronan, 24, born in Armenia and playing for the Bundesliga team SC Kreuzberg, is one of the top favourites at the World Championship which is being held from September 11 to October 1st 2007 in Mexico City. ND author René Gralla spoke to the world championship candidate.

World championship candidate Levon Aronian

Neues Deutschland: At the Chess Olympiade 2006 you won Gold with the Armenian team. Do you want to crown this achievement with a world championship title in 2007?

Levon Aronian: I will do my best and hope to be successful.

During the recently ended Candidates Tournament in Elista you convincingly managed to qualify for the world championship. Is that a good sign?

I don't think about it. I am in training to increase my form for the world championship. Then I will see how things proceed.

You were able to beat world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 4:2 in a match played just two months ago in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. Does that make you feel optimistic about the world championship?

That was rapid chess, 25 minutes per player and game. But I also lost to Kramnik before that. So it is difficult to make any prognosis for the world championship.

After the loss in Yerevan shouldn't the world champion be afraid of you?

You will have to ask him if that is the case. In addition I am not sure that fear is the right word. Kramnik knows that I can cause him some problems.

The other big world championship favourite is Viswanathan Anand of India, who won the title in 2000 and is currently the number one in the world rankings. What do you think of your chances against him?

Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian in Yerevan in May 2007

What I said about Kramnik also applies to Anand. I look forward to our encounter, it will be quite interesting.

You have publicly wondered how you were able to reach the top of the world rankings in spite of what you call your "chaotic" style on the board. Do you still agree with this assessment?

Yes, I love unclear positions in which nobody can predict the outcome precisely. In such positions I have the necessary scope for my creativity.

Considering that around 800 million people in the world play chess, do you think that chess is receiving adaquate publicity?

Naturally I would be glad if chess was more popular. The game should be used more intensively in the school curriculum, because it trains the faculty for reasoning. Studies in the USA and in Russia have proved that conclusively.

In your home country of Armenia you are a superstar. What is the reason for this chess enthusiasm?

It is not so much chess as the success of our national team. The country has gone through a difficult phase, and people long for a taste of glory. That explains the enthusiasm we saw when our team returned for the Chess Olympiade in Turin with the Gold medal.

Tigran Petrosian, the world champion from 1963 to 1969, was from Armenia. Do you consider yourself a possible successor of Petrosian?

Some people in Armenia confuse our first names and call me Tigran. But seriously: the question is premature. We must wait for the world championship to take place.

If you win the title then the deposed world champion Kramnik gets a second chance. The World Chess Federation FIDE has given Kramnik the right to challenge the winner of the world championship. It this a fair privilege?

The world championship 2007 in Mexico City is a round robin tournament. In my opinion the world championship should actually be decided in a match between the title holder and a challenger. That is the traditional way of deciding the world championship. We are returning to that when the winner of the world championship tournament has to play a match against the former world champion.

The reunification world championship match in Elista in 2006 between the two world champions Vladimir Kramnik and the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov specified that the loser would be left out of this year's world championship tournament. Both sides agreed in advance to this article of the contract. Now the Bulgarian side is trying to get Topalov into the 2007 world championship cycle. What do you think of this?

Both sides knew full well under what conditions the world championship in Elista was being staged, and what the consequences of defeat for one of them would be. They accepted these conditions. For this reason I do not like what the Topalov camp is doing.

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