Interview of GM Sergey Yanovsky, head coach of Russian junior team Print
Friday, 22 November 2002 00:00
Russia has one of the largest delegations to the World Youth Chess Championship. They are all strong contenders and future masters. Since 1998, GM Sergey Yanovsky has been head coach of the Russian juniors. Interview of GM Sergey Yanovsky, head coach of Russian junior team since 1998. by Casto Abundo
Q: How large is the Russian delegation to the World Youth?
A: We have 39 players and about the same number of accompanying persons, parents and personal coaches. The World Youth Championships have become very popular for young players. They gain valuable experience. It is very important to develop their ambitions to have good results. It develops their interest and understanding that chess is part of our life. To be a good chess player they see the importance of winning medals. It gives them a different point of view.
Q: Is the Russian delegation composed of your top players?
A: Most of them are our top players. Others have good potential. It is not good for their future not to allow them only because they did not finish first. If they have the financial means, we let them join. If the number of representatives were fixed, we would send only the best for sports purposes. But it is a good idea to let others gain experience as well. It produces good psychological changes. After such an experience, they study chess more seriously.
Q: What is Russia`s recent record in international youth competitions?
A: In the World Youth, we had five medals in 2001 (one gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze), four medals in 2000 (3 silvers and 1 bronze.) Our best year was in 1999 when we won ten medals (2 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze.)
In the European Youth, we had 13 medals in 2002 (3 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze), 8 medals in 2001 and 14 medals in 2000 (7 golds out of 10 categories).
Both our boys and girls are improving. We have new talent in Jan Nepomachni. He was three times Eueopean champion (under-10 in 2000, under-12 in 2001 and 2002). Among the girls, Elena Tajinova was European Girls Under-10 champion in 2001. In the same year she won bronze in the World Under-10. She tied 8/9 with Muzhyny in the 2002 European under-12 but got silver in the tie break.
Q: Do you have a regimen for your players in the World Youth?
A: They prepare two hours for the next game and in the evening analyze past games. They are very serious and see themselves as future professionals.
Professional sportsmen have become younger. At the age of 12 or 13, it is time to make serious decisions and dedicate all efforts to this aim. Many players in the world such as Ponomariov and Radjabov reach the top at a very young age.
Q: What is the difference between the Soviet system and today&rsquos Russia?
A: In Soviet times, sports were better organized in all state systems in finding new talent. There was more state support for the preparation and training. Now for young players there are many different possibilities. If a talented player wants to improve himself, it is possible to find support, not only government but corporate sponsors.
The young generation faces many dangers such as drugs. Many see chess as a way of keeping children occupied. Sometimes the city government supports chess programs, the Russian Chess Federation also raises funds, parents and local sport organizations also help.
Q: In the past, when a promising talent is discovered, he would be sent to Botvinnik`s School. Do you have organized schools in the Central Chess Club?
A: Karpov conducts chess clinics sometimes, Kasparov also runs a chess club and we have had good trainers like Mark Dvoretsky who trained GM`s Yusupov and Dolmatov. But we do not have regular classes at the Central Chess Club.
Q: What is your national youth chess program?
We conduct the Under-10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 championships in the city level, regional level, national semifinals and finals. For the last two years, we began the under-8 level and had around 50 participate at the national level. It is funny but it helps bring children to chess.
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