Indonesia open

GM Ivan Sokolov: “I want to be the champion”

Being the top seed is no guarantee of success and GM Ivan Sokolov has not enjoyed an easy ride at the Indonesia Open Chess Championship (IOCC) 2012. The 44-years old has twice had to fight hard to be back in the running.

His efforts have paid off as Sokolov managed a win in round eight to reach six points and earn a last round match against the tournament leader GM Yu Yangyi from Cina who is a whole point ahead. So what does Sokolov think?

GM Ivan Sokolov

GM Ivan Sokolov

Q: You have not had the best of tournaments at IOCC?

A: I have won six times but unfortunately have also lost twice. The Chinese play very well and are dominating. In the last around I meet Yu and I will do my best to become the champion in this tournament.

Q: What was your target at the start of IOCC?

A: As the top seed of course I wanted to win. Even if I am not the favourite I always try to become the champion but of course there are many factors that determine the success of a chessplayer in a tournament. But of course my results at IOCC were not what I had hoped for. I have not made a single draw and this is a very rare for me.

Q: Is there a tournament you will be playing immediately after?

A: I will play in a closed tournament in Barcelona, Spain four days after IOCC ends.

Q: How do you maintain your performance and look after your fitness?

A: I work out at the gym and swim. On chess I train everyday, study what happens at competitions, play chess, work on openings by use a variety of computer programs. So I work like I would any other job, 7-8 hours a day.

Q: You still wish to increase your rating?

A: I don’t know. Of course I would like my ranking to return to the time when it was better than it is today. I have been in the top 12 in the world and that was great but now I am focused on being in the top 50.

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