Hovhannes Gabuzyan: “It’s hard to keep the status of the Champion”

Sep 19, 2017, 8:40:00 PM


Interview with 2017 Armenian Chess Champion GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan

Hovhannes, first of all let me congratulate you on your first victory. That was rather easy one. Please tell me about today’s game.

Thanks for congratulations. Yes, it was rather easy victory; the game just lasted 14 moves and ended even before struggle started. In the beginning I did not like my position at all, but on move 13 my opponent blundered Qh5 move and had not seen that rook on e8 was hanging so he just resigned.

How often do you have such quick victories?

Actually not often, even on the first rounds of open tournaments one has tough opponents. This is because the level of chess players has increased drastically in recent years. The low rating of the opponent is not very important.

Hovhannes, you live in Yerevan, you were born in Yerevan, do you like to play here?

There are of course good sides to play at home, but as it’s stated the coin has two sides; it is comfortable to play when you stay at your home. On the other hand when you play abroad, you explore another city, another culture.

You played in 1st Yerevan Open as well, how you evaluate your last year’s performance?

Last year I played very bad. 2016 was very hard and difficult period in my career; I hope that this time I will play much better.

This year you play as a reigning Champion of Armenia, is this an additional pressure on your shoulders or does it help you?

Of course, the Champion attracts an additional attention towards himself. He’s not one of the GMs playing in a tournament; his games are followed more closely. But if I manage to win as a current Champion it will be more pleasant for me and hope for Armenian fans as well. However, it is an additional pressure.

Who are your main opponents in the tournament?

The tournament is a very strong one; 25 GMs are playing and whoever is in a good shape, he is a candidate to win the title. I cannot name anyone. There are many candidates.

How is the organization of the tournament?

The tournament is organized on high international standards. I can say that every tournament in Armenia is organized very well. When I play in Armenia, I feel safer, I am sure that everything will be on level.

In October, as a member of Armenian national chess team you will participate in European team chess championship, is it a special event for you?

Of course, this is a very special tournament for me. I will play for our national team for the first time. It differs from all the other tournaments that I have played in my life; here I will play not only for myself, but for my whole nation. This is very obligatory.

Your teammate Levon Aronian now participates in the World Cup, do you follow his games and how you evaluate his chances?

I am not only following his games but cheering for him. I hope he will succeed.