09.03.2005 Kosteniuk answers the ACP questions

Should the ACP support classical chess, or would it be more beneficial in your opinion to promote rapid and blitz chess?

I think that classical chess, rapid chess and blitz are three completely different things. It might be a good idea to create 3 different rating lists.

How should we deal with short draws?

Short draws is not a greatest evil of chess at present. People who make short draws do not risk winning, so I think it’s their own business. I don’t think we have to fight against it. Granted, spectators don’t like it, but one could understand players, too. For example, in Wijk aan Zee one could simply go crazy without making a quick draw from time to time, because it’s a long and tiring tournament. And tournaments like the Aeroflot open motivate you to play for a win, because you have to fight to get your prize.

Is it possible to fight draws by adopting a different scoring system, for example, to give 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw?

I’d prefer to leave the current rating system unchanged, but to create a rapid chess rating. It was introduced some time ago, but did not ‘survive’ for unknown reasons, and I think it was quite interesting.

Do you think there should be special controls against various electronic devices used by players? What is your opinion about doping tests?

Doping control is a joke. We don’t know if anything could assist chess players during long competitions like world championship or Chess Olympiad. We don’t even know if the doping is possible in chess in principle. Right now using computer assistance is the most serious threat. However, strong grandmasters would hardly use it, or perhaps a probability of strong grandmasters using computer assistance is not too high. There were players who suddenly started to produce outstanding results and defeat grandmasters, but they immediately went under suspicion, and investigations revealed their use of computer assistance – so for cheaters it would be difficult to win more than one tournament and not to get caught...

What is your favorite system of determining the world's strongest player?

Three years for one championship cycle is too slow. Our world changes faster than that. Knock-out is also not a solution: one mistake and you’re out. I can’t suggest anything concrete, but it is clear that the system should be changed or corrected...

What in your opinion could make chess more spectacular, generally more popular?

There are many ways indeed. Blitz is, of course, more popular, but we shouldn’t do blitz of classical chess... We could try show matches on TV, for example, blitz matches with entertaining commentary, because a key problem with chess is that very few people understand what happens on board. It is boring for me to watch tennis because I don’t find tennis action interesting, and for most people it might be boring to watch chess, because they don’t understand it. Chess will never be as exciting as tennis or football, because it is less spectacular by its nature. We have to exploit other aspects, but it’s a task for professional managers working to make chess more attractive. There is still a great interest to chess: chess schools and clubs are full of newcomers...

Questions were asked by Christina Ivanenko
Translated by Misha Savinov.

This article is published with permission of Association of Chess Professionals

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