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Sergey Karjakin: If I will be champion in Shamkir, Shahriyar won’t be offended by me CHESS 2016
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Sergey Karjakin: If I will be champion in Shamkir, Shahriyar won’t be offended by me

Participant of dedicated to the memory of  Vugar Gashimov Shamkir Chess 2017 tournament, Russian chess player Sergey Karjakin gave an interview to the official website of the competition. We are presenting this interview.

- Who is unlucky opponent for you, between chess players, who will take part in Vugar Hashimov Memorial?

-I will compete with great joy in in the tournament in memory of my friend Vugar. Until now, i was not able to win the Shamkir tournament. My goal is always to be in the first place. Speaking of  staff, we can say that all the strongest players are invited to Shamkir. Therefore, I have no obvious favorite. I would not say unlucky opponent, but game with each of them will not be easy.

- Does World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s absence  make the fight easier?

-Magnus Carlsen is a World Champion. He is the head of FIDE rating. Of course his participation in match increases the rivalry of every competition. However, I'm sure that , it will be  the uncompromising fight  even without  Magnus in Shamkir tournament.Carlsen is favourite in the games he takes part. But no one can say that if Magnus would come to Shamkir this year he would be a champion. Even if Carlsen participated he might not be the first. To parcitipate does not mean to win yet.

- -The former world champions Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) will take part in the tournament. May the meeting with them be called the principal encounter?

-I think you can expect surprising results from each round. But, meeting between Kramnik and Topalov can be called principal. I believe that two powerful representatives of the chess world will demonstrate an interesting game. First of all, we are professional chess players. We must fight in front of the chessboard. We should control our emotions. It is well known that relationship between Kramnik and Topalov is not very good. However, both of them are valuable people for chess world.

-  Azerbaijani grandmaster Shahriyar Mammadyarov wants to win again this year in Shamkir. How do you estimate the chances of Mammadyarov?

- As well as being a strong chess player ,Shahriyar is also my friend. He was one of the players who helped me in both contender tournament and Championship match with world champion Magnus Carlsen. Mammadyarov has worked in my preparatory team. He has high game qualities. Sometimes it becomes difficult to decide debut. A lot of moments depend on Mammadyarov’s mood. If Shahriyar feels good, it’s hard to compete with him. He smiles before the  round  and you can see he that has a great advantage in game in 10 minutes. He can create a problem to any player. If I will be champion in Shamkir I’m sure Shahriyar will not be offended.

- You used to share the Shamkir impressions with us. How do you remember this tournament?

-Organisers of Shamkir tournament approach to each guests with professional and the unique style.  Hospitality is already being felt in Ganja. Being met at the airport, hotel accommodation are being executed at a high level. Therefore today, ShamkirChess is among world's leading chess tournaments. Guests do not get bored even in rest. Usually we meet with young players, and then we play football. A competition held in Shamkir is worthy of Vugar’s name. This year we will observe theXXI category competition. It will be a serious fight.

- How do you remember Vugar Hashimov?

- As a friend and favorite partner. He always was cheerful. Even in difficult days, he was able to laugh. He spread positive energy. Before most matches we used to talk with him. In spite of a serious argument sometimes created by discussions we have always been friendly. I remember one day we went to play billiards. Vugar said he could not play very well. But he defeated me. Then I won and equalized the total score. He could also play billiard well.