Armenians repeat their success
Little Knight meets big rook
The technical Olympiad spirit


The early bird

Dresden, 15/11/2008

The early bird catches the worm? Or win the point? I was surprised to see Bulgarian grandmaster Kiriel Georgiev entering the dining hall at 7:45 on the morning of the second round. Chessplayers are not known for getting up early. Actually he was not the first one as Sergey Fedorov of Belarus already had a seat at the round table in the Westin Bellevue Hotel. After hesitating for a moment Kiril agreed to an interview during breakfast.

Peter Dengler: Kiril, are you always up that early?

Kiril Georgiev: No, just coincidence, yesterday I came at 8 am, today it is 7:45, maybe tomorrow it will be 7:30.

Ok, does it mean you are also taking a run in the morning like my wife (Dijana Dengler) and Predrag Nikolic did yesterday?

No, no run! That is bad for my heart. I prefer to go back to sleep after breakfast (smiling).

What happened yesterday when you lost to Germany’s team B inlcuding your defeat by Arik Braun?

I just played badly, after two hours I thought we would win by 3 or even 3,5 points but eventually the games toggled.

Are yo
u still playing the Sicilian Dragon?

Yes, sometimes. Maybe once a year…

Did you play it already this year, can we expect a Dragon during the olympiad?

(Smiling) Maybe, I don’t know whether I played it already this year.

You played in German Bundesliga for a while.

Yes, for six years. I played for Bochum and Castrop-Rauxel from 1996 to 2002. I also play in team national championships in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and France. I am rather a team player than an individual chess player.

Do you rather like condensed national championships where you play all rounds during one week or stretched throughout the year?

I definitely prefer the condensed variation as you don’t have the hazzle with travelling all the time. That’s why I stopped playing in Bundesliga.

Is there a goal set by your federation? Yo probably have the strongest Bulgarian team ever headed by the world’s top ranked player Veselin Topalov?

There is no goal set, no pressure. But we will earn more money if we get a good rank in the final table.

Which mode do you prefer? Team points or board points first?

I prefer the old system (board points come first in ranking). I don’t like too many changes in chess rules.

What about the other new rules like 30 moves and no late show-up?

The regulation with the 30 moves is ok but it is ridiculous that you have to explain sometimes to arbiters that it is a draw due to move repetition before move 30 when it is not obvious for them. We are grandmasters and they should believe, not doubt us.

Is chess a subject in school in Bulgaria?

Yes, in some schools chess is a subject. However I don’t know how many hours a week the children study chess there.

Is it your first time in Dresden?

No, I also played the European Championship last year.

Did you do some sightseeing then?

A little bit, the city really developed nicely!

You are also a very good Blitz player. Why didn’t you play in last weeks Blitz World Championship?

I was not invited.

Not invited?

Yes, I think you could not qualify, the participants were invited. 20 years ago I played the Blitz World Championship in St. John, Canada. I beat Kasparov 3-1 in the quarter final, Karpov even in an earlier round. In the semifinal I lost to Vaganjan but Michail Tal got the title.

What do you use as a source for games?

The Week in Chess.

Are the olympiads your favourite tournaments?

Yes, I would say so. You meet a lot of friends. This is my 13
th olympiad since 1984 and I am only 43.

What about your family? Are your children playing chess?

I have a daughter of 18 and a son of 15. They are not playing chess.

Not at all?

Well, they can play. My daughter even became rapid chess vice champion of Bulgaria once but stopped to play afterwards.

Does your wife work besides the work at home?

No, she does not, I am travelling around 6 months of the year, that would not really work out.

Kiril, thank you very much and have a good nap for the rest of the morning!

Kirik Georgiev

Peter Dengler

The author of this article is working as a volunteer in the press centre of this year’s chess olympiad. As an amateur chessplayer of rating around 2250 he is taking the chance to meet with the chess world, gather some information from different teams, organize the daily press conference and write it down for publishing on the official website and the olympiad newsletter.