Interview with Viktor Bologan

by André Schulz
11/26/2015 – Viktor Bologan is a strong and successful grandmaster who currently mainly works as a coach. But at the European Team Championship he still was the player with the best Elo-performance. When Bologan was in Hamburg to record his new DVD about the King's Indian Defense he talked about his career, his approach to chess, his training methods and when chess is fun.

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Viktor Bologan comes from Moldova, a country that was once a Soviet Republic but in 1991 became an independent state. But the 43-year old Bologan received his chess education in Soviet times. At the age of ten he began to play chess and thanks to his excellent trainer he quickly reached master strength.

Though Bologan has never established himself in the very top he has always been a dangerous opponent - for anyone. In the course of his career he has won numerous championships and international tournaments and in August 2012 he reached a peak-rating of 2734.

Today Bologan plays less and focuses on writing and teaching. He has recorded a number of critcally acclaimed and popular ChessBase Opening DVDs, which are appreciated because they are instructive and offer a lot of valuable information. He has also published a number of excellent books. Currently he spends most of his time in Qatar where he works as a trainer.

Sometimes players who start to work as trainers improve themselves and when playing achieve excellent results. Bologan seems to be a case in point: with 7.0/9 and an Elo-performance of 2845 the Moldavan grandmaster was the best player at the European Team Championship in Reykjavik. The following table shows that he played and beat a number of strong opponents in Reykjavik.

Viktor Bologan at the European Team Championship in Reykjavik

Rd. Snr   Name Elo Land Rp Pkt. Erg. Br.
1 72 GM Leko Peter 2708 HUN 2677 4,0 w 1 1
2 121 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2748 POL 2467 1,5 w 1 1
3 98 GM Kveinys Aloyzas 2510 LTU 2534 4,0 s ½ 1
4 144 GM Beliavsky Alexander G 2622 SLO 2695 5,0 w ½ 1
5 106 GM Djukic Nikola 2553 MNE 2655 4,5 s 1 1
6 79 GM Olafsson Helgi 2549 ISL 2520 2,5 w 1 1
7 126 GM Lupulescu Constantin 2631 ROU 2749 5,0 s ½ 1
8 84 GM Vocaturo Daniele 2588 ITA 2744 5,0 s ½ 1
9 169 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2720 UKR 2627 3,5 w 1 1

On first sight Bologan often seems rather serious but this impression quickly vanishes if you meet him in person. The 43-year grandmaster indeed seriously pursues his goals and is a man of fine judgement but he is also very humorous and witty.

A few weeks ago Bologan was at the ChessBase office in Hamburg to record a new DVD about the King's Indian Defense that will appear soon. On this DVD the experienced coach offers Black a complete and modern repertoire based on King's Indian. Pascal Simon used the opportunity for a short video-interview, in which Bologan talks about himself and his approach to chess. At that time he did not know yet how successful he would play in Reykjavik.

Video: Pascal Simon

DVDs by Viktor Bologan...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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