Monday, 30 April 2012

Interview with Nils Grandelius (Part 2)


Nils Grandelius

Grandmaster Nils Grandelius. Born in 1993. Currently No. 8 between Swedish players in the world rankings, FIDE rating 2545.The gold medallist of the 2011 Youth European Championship. Lives in Dalby, Sweden. He became a grandmaster in 2010 and that is a current Swedish record for that title.

This is a second part of my interview with Swedish GM Nils Grandelius.


On chess and life
Jasmin Bejtovic: Ok, I think that is just as it is, but someone has to say that. Not pretend that everything is fine. Let´s talk about something else. Recently you played a lot league games. Is there a big difference between normal tournament play and team chess?  What you prefer?
Nils Grandelius: Of course I prefer team games, as it is much more exciting and motivating to play for a team. But I also prefer tournaments rather than singel games. The conclusion of this is that I like the Olympiad and ETCC the most! But playing in the leauges is also fun, and a good way to combine chess with school as I only play in the weekends. Next year, when I have the time,  I plan to play more tournaments though.
Jasmin Bejtovic: What is your favorite league form, 9 days competitions like Balkan leagues and Russian league for example, or weekends like in Sweden and Germany, Denmark e.t.c.?
Nils Grandelius: It's the same question of amateurs vs professionals. For myself, it's much better with 9 days, as they then don't overlap each other as much. But for the club players it might be boring to not have games all around the year. Now both exists, and that's perhaps not a bad idea.
What could be said though, is that it should be played during weekends with 2 or 3 games every time. Who want's to travel 600km for one game?
Jasmin Bejtovic:... but Bundesliga is a league with most proffesional players in the Europe, and it is played on weekends?
Something strange?
Nils Grandelius: Yes, Bundesliga is played in the 'amateur way' but it also has to do with the whole concept of 'Bundesliga'. That is a concept not only for chess, and I guess it has to be played the way it is.

Jasmin Bejtovic: Are there enough tournaments in Europe/World for players with playing strength between 2600 and 2700 Elo points? I mean there is Aeroflot, Moscow Open, Gibraltar, and that´s it. Players above 2700 can expect to play closed tournaments, and players below 2600 are normally satisfied to play in open tournaments.  I assume that you will soon reach level of 2600+, do you think about problems like these? Do you feel that there is a luck of real closed tournaments, witch are not on very top level?

Nils Grandelius: I agree that it's a problematic group of players, but it's actually not that bad. With 4-5 strong tournaments every year, and the Olympiad, it's enough with some closed tournament and a few leauges in order to play almost all the time. There are simply too many players in that category, which makes it very difficult for everyone to play closed tournaments. But I definately don't regard it as a major problem, no.
For myself.
Jasmin Bejtovic: But than, what about public opinion that there are not enough money in chess? Is that a case, and if it is, how it can be changed?
Nils Grandelius: More money would always be welcome, but how to get it? It's a very complex question, to which I can't give an answer.
Jasmin Bejtovic: Recently you played two ECU competitions, European Individual Championship, and European Club Cup, and in both competitions we played with zero tolerance. You also played Olympiad and a few more junior competitions with zero tolerance. What is your opinion about that rule, and can you comment on dress code rule?
Nils Grandelius: I've gotten used to playing with zero-tolerance now, but I still think it's ridicolous. Why would anyone care if I am a minute late? If it's a closed tournament there might be some kind of interest for the media the first minutes, but when playing on board 77  in the European Championship I doubt anyone care. Now there are just a lot of silly losses, which hopefully will gradually disappear.
The dress code seems equally silly but less harming. Normally players dress properly, and I have never experienced any problems with it. On the other hand, a rule might not hurt, as it doesn't affect people. But then again, why bother making it?
Dress code?
Jasmin Bejtovic: Well, if you are a minut late, what is wrong if I am two minutes late, and my oponent three minutes late, and so on. We have to draw a line somewhere. Usually it is one hour or 30 minutes, but ECU thinks that is unacceptable. One Swedish blog even had a poll about dress code, and amazingly a lot of probably amateurs thought that dress code is not necessary. Well, I actually do mind if my opponent plays without shoes or with some strange hat on his head, like one American GM in Cappelle la Grande. Do you think that is general amateur opinion about dress code, or it is just a case in Sweden?
Nils Grandelius: I agree, 30 minutes is a bit too much. But the thing is that even 5 minutes would make a big difference. Then there would be 5 minutes left for photopraphing anyway, so that wouldn't be a problem. With 5 minutes I don't have to worry about if the elevator or if I forget something in my room. Now I have to leave ten minutes earlier just to avoid being defaultet. Still, as the players get used to it, they will gradually accept it as normal.
Yes, but there shouldn't be need for a rule against strange dressing, just as their shouldn't be a rule on how to behave at the chess board. Some general guideline of proper behaviour is enough. We are, after all, humans.
Jasmin Bejtovic: It shouldn´t be, but still.... All right, let´s change a subject. Who is your favourite player from chess history, and why?
Nils Grandelius: Well, I don't have a particular favourite player. All the World Champions helped develope the game, and for that they should be appreciated. They influenced the developement in different ways, but which one is more important? Probably Kasparov and Fischer are the most influential players, due to their extreme professionalism.
Jasmin Bejtovic: If you are not chess player what would you like to do in your future, let´s say about 10 years.
Nils Grandelius: I don't know. I'm pretty sure that I'll play chess in ten years, but who knows? Perhaps I suddenly find something interesting, but I have no clue what that would be.
       Jasmin Bejtovic: Do you have a girlfriend?
 Nils Grandelius: No, I don't have a girlfriend.
       Jasmin Bejtovic: Are you serious enough with  trainings and level of ambition for breakthrough in Worlds elite?
Bob Marley. Similarities?
 Nils Grandelius: I am definitely not serious enough with chess at the moment, but after finishing high school I will hopefully be. How far it takes me is very difficult to predict, though.
     Jasmin Bejtovic: What is your study routine now?
 Nils Grandelius: In general I still look at chess purely based on motivation and inspiration. When I don't feel like looking at chess, I simply don't do it. School also makes a structured chess schedule very difficult to follow.
 Jasmin Bejtovic: There are lot readers from Bosnia and Herzegovina. What you think about chess on Balkan, and more precisely, Sarajevo´s tournament where you played two times?
 Nils Grandelius: Chess is very nice to play in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The popularity of the game amongst non-chess players is far higher than in Sweden, which makes it attract a lot more attention. It is always a good feeling to be appreciated for what you do, and when a lot of people know about it, it's very nice. As for the tournaments, it was nice Opens. This year they made it less serious with double rounds and less prize money, which I think is a pity. Hopefully next years edition will be like it was in 2010!
Jasmin Bejtovic: Thank you for this interview, and if you have some messege for the end.
 Nils Grandelius: Thanks, keep up the good work with the blog!

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