Saturday, February 7, 2009

CH Interview with GM Dejan Bojkov

Chess fans who are regularly following the live games with commentaries of GM Wesley So's campaign in Corus tournament may want to a know a thing or two about the commentators over all thoughts about Wesley's triumph in Corus. One of them are GM Dejan Bojkov from Bulgaria and let us hear what he has to say about So. Thanks that the site provided GM Dejan Bojkov his chess blog and make this interview possible. A bit of his bio: GM Bojkov was installed as a new chess Grandmaster during the 79th Dresden FIDE congress in November last year, also the same time GM John Paul Gomez was honored. Currently GM Bojkov work as a trainer in Greece-Kavala, the strongest chess club in that country. ChessHeroes wish to extend its gratitude to GM Dejan Bojkov for this interview.

Before commenting one of GM So's live game at chessdom, have you already done live game commentaries/annotations of other top Grandmasters?

The game So-Holzke was my second live annotated game at chessdom. The previous day I annotated the game Ivanchuk-Movsesian also from Corus, for chessdom. However, I have lot of experience in annotating GM games for various magazines, and sites, too.

Since majorities of the followers of live games are below masters level and generally rely on the commentators insights of the ongoing game, are there any pressure from these passionate kibitzers?

I did not feel any pressure of anyone. My annotations are the thoughts that I want to share with the general audience. I understand that there are many supporters of Wesley So, but on the other hand, there are also many supporters of Frank Holzke (or any other player) and also mere chess fans, who enjoy the battle, and do not care about the result. I believe that the annotator needs always to be objective, no matter who plays.

GM Wesley So had just won the 2009 Corus Group C where he is the top seed by virtue of higher rating than the rest. Are you surprised that So won the tournament despite competing in his first ever major tournament in Europe and a completely different chess environment compare to Asia?

If a top-seeded player wins a tournament, this is never a surprise. Moreover, as far as I know GM So did at least one of his GM norms in Europe (I believe his first one), in Germany. I know that because a friend of mine drew against him in the final round and told me about the talented fellow long before the others knew him.

Now, about GM Wesley So's blunder in round 8 against Holzke where he got overly excited and gave up a piece in his 34th move that cost him the match, his only defeat in the tournament. What is your thoughts about this?

If you follow my live annotations, you will see that just before committing the mistake I am saying that he must not follow this line. The forced line in which he gets is giving a lot of counter play for his opponent, and he is no longer winning that easy. Obviously the young GM blundered something else before, and then the piece blunder came. As the old GMs say: "Mistakes never come in solitary". I think that he became a victim of his opponent's time trouble, and hurried to wrap up the game. However, the side that is in time-trouble always has advantage when taking rapid decisions.

After the loss to Holzke, So surges to his fourth straight victories which virtually sealed off the C Group for him with a round to spare. How do you assesses Wesley's comeback in the crucial latter rounds of the tourney?

The young star showed character. This is important if he wants to have the bright future that many expect. There was no great player who did not have strong character.

Your final thoughts and impressions about GM Wesley So.

First place with a spare round-his performance speaks for itself. I saw that he is working, and trying to widen his opening repertoire, which is a must for the nowadays top GMs. He also needs to include the semi-open games in his arsenal. He is young, talented, and has strong will to win. However, this is not yet enough- he must continue to work with fast temps. It is only up to him now till which level of the world he might climb.

I wish him good luck!

- GM Dejan Bojkov chess blog
- Photo courtesy of EICC 2008 website


boy lopez said...

Nice interview. There is also this young teen age GM who commented the game So-Gupta, also in corus. That would be also quite interesting if you can bring him in your blog :)

Anonymous said...

"He also needs to include the semi-open games in his arsenal."

Yes Wesley should try 1.d4 once in a while!