10.03.2005 Pavel Tregubov answers the ACP questions

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

I think we should promote rapid chess more actively as more spectacular form of chess, but classical chess should not be neglected, too. A whole cycle of classical tournaments, I mean the world championship, the European championship etc. should be conducted under the classical chess format.

How should we deal with short draws?

The choice of anti-draw measures is wide, and we discussed that at the ACP Board. We did not take any decision, but there were many in interesting suggestions. A primitive prohibition of a draw offer would not be effective in my opinion. There are other ideas, for example, giving extra minutes to a player declining a draw offer, or a time penalty for one who offers a draw. Generally, decisions that change the rules of chess should not be taken by bureaucrats – they should be discussed carefully. There was another interesting idea – to permit a player that declines a draw offer to flip the board and play the same position with a different color. It is a highly original idea, but I think it also deserves attention.

Should the present rating system be changed? Do you think that winning as Black should bring a player more rating points that winning with White?

It is a common knowledge that the major flaw of present rating formula is that it is not suitable for Swiss tournaments. We need to change it, but, first of all, we have to understand that the present system is not so bad. The most important is not to commit follies. Of course, if a more perfect system emerges, it should be accepted, because what we have now is not suitable for professional chess. A new system should be more justified mathematically, and it would be nice to include a color factor into the formula. Sometimes it happens that one plays 3-4 more games with Black in team events. This is, of course, not the only factor that should be included into the ideal rating formula.

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

I would be very surprised if any of chess professionals answers this question differently. Just as any other chess player, I am completely against doping control in chess, because it is rather unpleasant procedure and I doubt its usefulness. It is desirable to introduce a control aimed against computer assistance, but the problem is that it might be quite expensive. Receiving computer aid during the game already allowed amateurs winning strong tournaments, so it is a serious issue.

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

It is difficult to answer this question. My reply would depend on whether FIDE organizes a final match or not. That would affect the entire chess community. I didn't like the old cycle. Mainly, it was way too unwieldy, and if you were unlucky or simply got sick at one of the stages, you would be thrown out of the cycle for years. I like the tennis approach more. In order to get an invitation to the final Top 8 tournament, one has to produce consistent results all over the year. In chess it could be either a championship match-tournament, or, if we stick to a tradition, a candidates' tournament with winner receiving the right to play a championship match. I like this system more, as it eliminates the situation when everything depends on a single event.

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

I think, Masha Manakova and Sasha Kosteniuk do a lot to promote chess. We have to find original solutions. Promoting chess as a sport of intellectuals is not bad, too. Two players sitting on a podium in tuxedos... We should work in all directions. One could organize rapid tournaments, or chess shows. Here is an example of a show popular in French: two people play a rapid game and at the same time share their thought about the game with a public. Players can't hear each other, because they wear special helmets. It is important to attract children to chess, because it is a good investment into the future of chess. We also need to develop chess in schools.

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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