Ruslan Ponomariov answers the ACP questions
Should the ACP support classical chess, or promoting rapid and blitz chess would be more beneficial in your opinion?
It doesn’t matter; it is not the most important thing the ACP should work on.
How should we deal with short draws?
Short draws do not honor chess. We play not only for ourselves, but for sponsors, too. Look at half-empty halls of round-robin tournaments with just a few players onstage. Internet observers just log off if there are no good games to watch. Maybe we could introduce a rule that prohibits draw agreements and communications between players without an arbiter’s presence. Then draws would occur only in case of a threefold repetition, or a perpetual check, or in a theoretically drawn position. And any chess amateur would be able to play through the game and say, OK, it’s a clear draw, I understand. Unfortunately, sometimes players agree a draw in a complicated position because they are afraid to take risks. So maybe such rule could help. It is a harsh rule indeed, but nevertheless we have to do something for the spectators. If players still want to make a draw, well, they should put some effort, come up with a new game, and make no less than 40 moves...
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?
Maybe certain reforms should be done, because if you don't play for a long time, such inactivity does not affect your rating – and this can’t be correct. I don’t think making a distinction between winning with White and Black is important. After all, we play approximately even number of games with each color. Of course, rating should be calculated more often. Also, it makes sense to subtract points from those who don’t play. In general, current rating system must be changed.
Do you think there should be a special control against various electronic equipment used by players? What is your opinion about doping tests?
Various transmitters should be under control. It cuts off temptations, and makes chess a fairer sport.
What is your favorite system of determining world's strongest player?
There is no ideal system. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Most important is that the chosen system must be democratic: everybody should be able to participate on equal terms. This is sporty, this is objective, and this is a method to determine the world champion. Maybe it is more traditional to invite the world champion into the final, but in my opinion it gives him a big advantage, and I would prefer equal starting position for everyone...
What in your opinion could make chess more spectacular, generally more popular?
One could play show games, living chess, organize something like a guess-the-move lottery, permit spectators to ask questions after the game, organize interesting and informative commentary, etc. There is room for ideas!
Questions were asked by Christina Ivanenko Translated by Misha Savinov Photo from ChessBase Archive