A master class by FIDE Executive Director GM Victor Bologan came as a nice bonus for 31 players from 24 countries who traveled to Ankara, Turkey to participate in the first edition of the FIDE Confederation Cup for the Disabled. GM Bologan gave a lecture covering many aspects of top-level chess such as tactical weaknesses, critical moments, strategy, training and much more.
The master class was wrapped up with a Q & A session - the participants had an opportunity to ask GM Bologan various questions. Here are a few of the most interesting ones:
Q: “Why is it important for you to support players with disabilities in this event?”
GM Victor Bologan: “I believe we have to share the knowledge. This is very important and it’s my first point. Second, I have a personal motivation for this. My elder daughter has very serious cerebral palsy; she cannot move, she cannot talk, she cannot do many things. We take her places we go and she is really a part of society. The same thing with chess, it can be a tool to be part of the world of chess, competition, travel, seeing other people, discussing. Through chess, we don’t see limits, this is why I think it’s good to share the knowledge. In addition, I do not see a difference. When I was growing up in Moldova, I used to see chess players with disabilities and one player even managed to get a Ph.D., he’s a very good chess coach now. Also, we discussed in the DIS Commission, that we see the inclusion of players with disabilities not only as players but as arbiters, trainers, etc.”
Another player asked GM Bologan for advice on how to teach his daughter, who has the same disability, to deal with losses in her own games.
Q: “I have two daughters, and my second daughter, who is 7 years old, has the same disability as me. She is interested in chess because it is the only sport that we can practice. However, she has problems handling defeat. How can I advise her on how to deal with defeat in chess — she only wants to win.”
GM Bologan’s: “This is not related to a disability, this applies to all of us, no one likes to lose, not even the big boys. Take my advice about self-confidence — you should not be afraid of losing. Every decision you make is something you get for yourself, you mature, you grow, and you get stronger. If you connect it with the analysis of every mistake, it is a way to improve. Then, psychologically, she will put it together. But it is important that she senses this improvement and doesn’t repeat her mistakes. Once she sees this works, then she will make the adjustment. If you simply tell her to be confident, don’t lose a game, this doesn’t work. On the other hand, if you say, look you made this mistake, try to avoid it by doing this or that. If she does this — that will be her victory. This is the way we progress. Then, victories will come by themselves because you grow and it is natural — you turn the defeat into a win.”
Following the conclusion of the Master Class, the audience took a group photo and used this opportunity for selfies and individual photos with GM Bologan. The players were very happy to participate in the master class and, if they were not already, quickly became big fans of GM Bologan, expressing their appreciation at the conclusion of the class with a round of enthusiastic applause.
Text: Dora L Martinez
Photos: Dora L Martinez