Nigel Short's opinion
What do you think about the situation with Fischer receiving the Icelandic citizenship? Is it good, bad or neutral news for chess?
I think it is very good that Iceland offered him a citizenship. It is good for Bobby and good for them as well. I don't believe that this will spoil Iceland's relation with the States – the US officials are not that stupid to create a scandal out of it.
People are getting a bit tired of all that rubbish coming from the US and Britain as well. In Iraq they first told us about weapons of mass destruction, then decided to dethrone Saddam's regime, now it is all about brining a democracy. Fischer's story is somewhat similar: he was arrested because of his expired passport, then they wanted to depart him to the US for violating the sanctions, and now the US brings up a tax evasion charges. These are goverments used to do whatever they want, not paying much attention to a justification. And if one justification fails, they just bring up another one. "Maybe someday we'll finally guess it right!" This is ridiculous.
What changes of the present situation with the world championship are the most probable from your point of view?
I really don't know... The chess world has experienced almost 25 years of bad presidency. I like Kirsan personally, he is a nice guy, but he is not running FIDE. He appears once in a while to shake hands and smile, but FIDE is run by people like Makropoulos. I think that FIDE's current Presidential board are not equipped to sort out the problems. And I am rather pessimistic about possible positive development.
It has been said that certain regimes can't last for very long time, because they collapse due to inherent contraditions. However, if you look at the Ancient Egypt, an empire based on slave labour, you find that it lasted for thousands of years... The FIDE leadership ought to be replaced, but nobody can tell exactly when it happens.
Who of modern young players could in your opinion feel Kasparov's shoes in the future? Who could break to the elite?
There are lots of very-very good young players. It's little bit unfair for me to single one or two. But I have to tell that I've been very impressed with Sergey Karjakin's play. By the way, he'll come to visit me soon, so I'll have a chance to become acquainted with him little better. We will do some chess study, but this is not going to be a Spartan kind of training.
I wonder if Mamedyarov applies to a definition of "young player" – he feels almost middle-aged compared to the likes of Karjakin or Carlsen! But he is a good interesting player. I would also like to highlight Volokitin. I haven't done encyclopaedic research on his games, but judging from what I have seen – I like his chess! These guys really impress.
Photo from ChessBase archive
Questions were asked by Misha Savinov.
This article is published with permission of Association of Chess Professionals