Moshe Slav: "We Got Kind of an Israeli-Ukrainian Team"

Время публикации: 13.10.2012 11:01 | Последнее обновление: 13.10.2012 11:01

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E.SUROV: This is Moshe Slav ladies and gentlemen. If you think that he is the President of the Israeli Chess Federation, the main organizer of the tournament, which is now held in Eilat and, as it turned out today, a great swimmer, then you are of course right. However, not everyone knows that Moshe is also the owner (or the President - how should I call that?) of the chess club Ashdod - the club which brought first surprises at the start of the European Club Cup. Could you tell us what is going on? How does your club manage to overplay the favourites?

M.SLAV: Firstly, our club got new players this year - Volokitin and Ivanchuk joined us and this was of course a very important reinforcement for us. Eljanov has been playing for our team for a long time, Romanov has also been representing us at the Israeli League... That's why one can say that we have kind of a Israeli-Ukrainian team. I guess everyone arrived in a good shape, in general the team looks good. First three boards - Eljanov, Volokitin and Ivanchuk - got used to each other and I think they have a friendly team, they usually play for the Ukrainian team together [...] Actually, I don't have that much time for following the team issues - I just watch their games sometimes, but in general I'm into more global issues now. Our captain is Vitali Golod this year - I put him as a captain instead of playing because I really don't have enough time for doing the thing I really enjoy - taking care of the team. 

E.SUROV: Tell us honestly: did you except such a start?

M.SLAV: Well, that's not a cheap team...


M.SLAV: Here they even joke about that: the team of the millionaires beat the team of billionaires. That's just a joke. We are far from the soccer standards yet, however, they say SOCAR pays reasonable money. Sutovsky who was second in the Israeli national team and in my team usually played on Board 1, is playing on the last board in SOCAR. That shows how strong is the Azerbaijani team.

What has happened in our match? Well... anything can happen in chess, as in any other sport... Our weaker players drew, while those of the equal strength managed to beat their opponents. 

We have Ivanchuk, Gashimov couldn't come, so we invited Volokitin. We planned to fight for the prize winning places and we still have a chance. We will continue to fight!

E.SUROV: I should ask you about the failed live transition of Round 1. Tell us what's going on now, will the spectators be able to follow the games live?

M.SLAV: Let me explain the situation. We, the Israeli Chess Federation, signed the contract with the company DGT. They said they wanted to make the wireless transition as they already had such experience. Firstly we doubted the idea, so I even flew to the Netherlands in order to test it; however, that wasn't something completely "real", because the test was half theoretical. Anyways, it worked. Everything worked. They told me it's so easy that there's practically no chance of any failure. They said this would be their third time doing this kind of transitions. Despite that we wanted to secure ourselves and asked them to bring the cables with them in order to have some alternative if anything goes wrong.

E.SUROV: Did they bring the cables?

M.SLAV: They didn't send them to us. We discovered that when we opened all the boxes sent by them. That's it. We couldn't foresee that... They told us they would send the cables, but they didn't, so we bought everything needed today. Everything, including the cables.

E.SUROV: Does that mean the wireless connection doesn't work?

M.SLAV: It works, but there's probably some problem. I guess twenty, thirty or maybe forty boards work out of eighty boards. [...] We have settled almost 70% of everything for now. Approximately 40 boards work. We will put all the cables tomorrow, so I think everything will work as it should. Now I can only bring my apologies to the spectators, because we really had only best intentions. I guess all the games will be put on the website  - actually Round 1 games are already published, so they will be available for the chess players and the spectators. 

E.SUROV: You took part in an interesting action today - you played underwater chess. How was it?

M.SLAV: Firstly, I would like to note that some new sports connected to chess have appeared. We all have heard of chess and boxing. The idea of the underwater chess was presented by Boris Altshuler  - a famous Israeli sportsman, swimmer and coach. He also loves chess. He came to me as to the Head of the chess federation and I decided to help him in realizing that idea. We already did this three years ago and it went quite successfully. So, we decided to do the same at this year's European Championship. 

That's a very interesting question. How does the pressure under water change the way person thinks? Does it influence his/her abilities or not? The experiments we are carrying out show that the chess player can't play at the same level while being under water. The question is - why? That's because the person can't concentrate only on chess, he/she also thinks how to save oneself while being under water. It's very interesting to know how the pressure influences the players' thinking. 

E.SUROV: So, that means you are doing some kind of medical researches? 

M.SLAV: I don't think so, however, we started to think about that. There are plenty of different pressures influencing the players' minds. If water is one of them, maybe air should also be considered? Well, what about atmosphere or temperature... Maybe there also are some other factors responsible for changes in the player's mind (I mean those apart of his own knowledge). Today chess is at a such high level, that the players rated above 2700 practically don't make any mistakes. Do you see how many draws are made? So, when you see the mistakes you surely have this question - why? What made the player to make this or that mistake? This theoretical question hasn't been researched yet, but it is worth of being considered. 

E.SUROV: Well, I guess now everyone understood why the team Ashdod is winning for the moment. I wish you every success in future.  

М.SLAV: Thank you.


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