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Andrey Volokitin with his father Andrey Volokitin and his father and coach Alexander Volokitin

An interview with GM Andrey Volokitin

25 January starts a robin round tournament 15 cat. at Bermuda Island. We are talking with the youngest participant 16 y.o. GM from Ukraine Andrey Volokitin and his Father Alexander Valerievich.

   What do you think about your participation in the forthcoming event at Bermuda Island?

   According to the rating I am at the end of the list of players who will take part there. Among the participants there are such strong players as Peter Svidler, the Champion of Europe Bartlomiej Macieja, Sergei Movsesian, the Russian Champion Alexander Motylev, the USA Champion Alexander Shabalov (by the way my congratulations to him on this recent victory). So it is difficult to make any forecasts about my participation in this event. After my wins over Ivanchuk and Bareev in the tournament in Warsaw which was held lately I feel I can win anyone. But of course I have to play my best chess for that.

   Do you look after the tournament in Wijk aan Zee? What do you think about the tournament struggle and the standings of the participans? Who is your favourite there?

   Of course I do look after this tournament. It is a very strong event. A lot of interesting games. The World Champions take not their places. Vladimir Kramnik suffers of the lack of playing practice and besides he propably tryes to keep in secret his opening schemes before the match with Leko. And Ruslan Ponomariov plays under the strong psychological pressure as you know. My favourite is Vasily Ivanchuk there. We are from one city with him - from Lvov. I hope he will win several victories at the final rounds.

   What do you think about conflict between Ponomariov and FIDE and about the new World Championship circle?

   I have to have sufficient information about that to estimate it right and unfortunately I have no such information. Certainly I care about my compatriot and I think FIDE has to support it's Champion and not to put the ultimatum before him. I think it would be logical if the conditions of the both semi-final matches were equal at every point. I hope they will find the compromise decision. And now about the unification of two World Chamionships: I think it is very good idea but I cannot understand why they ignored the opinions of such players as Vice-world Champion Vasily Ivanchuk and Ex-world Champion Viswanathan Anand? There are many other great chessplayers besides. I understand that the sacrifices were necessary but some of them were incorrect.

   Alexander Valerievich, are you satisfied by the results of Andrey? (the question to the Andey's father)

   Of course one always wants more and more. After the row of the excellent results in 2001: Lausanne, Championship of Europe in Ochrid and event in Portoroz, where we were invited by the President of ECU Boris Kutin (thank him a lot for that) and where Andrey made two GM norms, then there was very offensive defeat in won ending to Sakaev in the World Championship in Moscow. In the most of the tournaments in 2002 Andrey played well. I just don't want to recall the club championship of Russia in Ekaterinburg. But, as the coach and the teacher with 20 years of record of service, I know that the defeats are inevitable and one has to take it easy. I am satisfied by his purposefulness, I see his big potential so I am sure he will show good results.

   Andrey, where are you going to play in 2003?

   Certainly I will play in the individual European championship, of course I would like to play in the strong round-robin events, with the participants who have the ratings higher than mine. Probably I will play in Lausanne in youngmasters tournament, in Portoroz, Esberg, in these events I played not so bad, so I hope to get the invitation to take part there. Besides I want to play in Mainz. Here is my e-mail address for the interested organizers: [email protected]

   Andrey what do you think about the perforamnce of the Ukrainian team in the Olympiad in Bled? Would you like to be in the team?

   The result, frankly speaking, is not good. The place of our team must be as a minimum in the top five, and not the 14th. Only Moiseenko played excelently, Ivanchuk played well. Of course I would like to play in the team, but this time they decided to make the team according to the rating and mine was not enough for that. And I think they did it right despite of the bad performance of our team. I suppose the reason of this result is the absence of the prepartion assembly before the Olympiad. But now everyone has the real chance to be in the national team. Moiseenko has used this chance and Neverov has not. As the coaches of the team I see Vladimir Borisovich Tukmakov and Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin.

   You are one of the youngest grandmasters of Ukraine and of over World. Does the state support you, do you have the sponsors?

   Unfortunately I have no sponsors. There in Lvov they promised to support me when I was invited to move to Kramatorsk, but already a year passed and nothing has changed. The state has no enough money for that too. I do not get any grants, we spend our own money to come in to the tournaments. The only exceptions are the club Championships of Ukraine and Europe. I played in the team "Karpaty-Galycina".

   In this year you finish the school. What do you plan to do after?

   I am going to enter in Lvov University or in Kharkov juridical academy.

   Good luck to you in Bermuda event!

   Thanks. I wish your web-site a lot of the visitors! I promise to tell about the Bermuda event.

22nd January 2003

The interview was taken by the director of Shahcom company Boris Yeshan

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