Hikaru Nakamura: I wish I knew Russian to understand the commentary of this tournament

Hikaru Nakamura: I wish I knew Russian to understand the commentary of this tournament

The second round of FIDE Grand Prix Final in Khanty-Mansiysk is over. After the games grand masters are coming to the press center of the tournament to discuss their playing and to answer the questions of journalists that are not only about chess.

The most lively and diverse press conference today was with Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand. They talked about the organization of chess tournaments in Khanty-Mansiysk, discussed the recent strengthening of US team and even paid their attention to football and ice-hockey.

– A question to both grand masters: what could you say about the level of organization of this tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk?

Hikaru Nakamura:

 I think in general the organization is quite good. In Russia I was playing not only here but also in Moscow on Tal Memorial and I have no complaints. I wish I knew Russian because I heard the commentary is of extremely high quality from such professional people like Shipov. Nevertheless, everything is fantastic just as good as anywhere else – for the commentary, for the live broadcast where you can see individual boards. I don’t think there’s any advice to be made, it is really good all around!

Boris Gelfand:

 I am very happy to play in Khanty-Maniysk. I’ve played here on 2 World Cups and the Olympiad. I of my best memories is that I won World Cup here. And also I think it was the best organized Olympiad where I played and I played on 10 Olympiads.

And I think chess players here in Khanty-Mansiysk are privileged to have such a beautiful building that is also very functional inside. There are not many such unique buildings dedicated only for chess in the world maybe only here and in Saint Louis.

– Hikaru, recently there are many players that strengthen the team of USA for example Wesley So and now Fabiano Caruana, still on the last World Championship in Armenia  the US team was not playing in its optimal lineup. Maybe you want to play a match against the world?

Hikaru Nakamura:

 First of all, Russia still has the strongest team. The team of Armenia is also very good but still Russia seams to be leading with a margin. And also, when talking about the Olympiad we have to realize that it is not just for one player, even three cannot guarantee a success, there is 4th board as well. Besides, like in situation with Russia, the fact that you have strongest players still can’t bring a good result. Anyway, the the strengthening of the US team will make the Olympiad more interesting.

MERK0325

– Boris, this question is not about chess. For you as a fan of “Barcelona”, what made you more happy: the second goal of Messi (in the first game against “Bavaria”) or the fact that “Real Madrid” did not get to the Final of the Champions League?

Boris Gelfand:

 Of cause, the victory of “Barcelona” made me very happy. I would not mind if “Real” would also have been qualified for the final. It’s always nice to beat main rivals in the big match. But anyway it will be a big match and I am going to follow it as it will start right after the tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura:

 Actually, I am also a little bit interested in football an I was also happy top see Messi scoring two goals. Recently I have been to Italy quite often so now I am supporting “Uventus”, so I am also going to watch the final of Champions League.

– A question about ice-hockey. Hikaru, who will win tomorrow in the semifinals of Ice-Hockey World Championships – Russia or USA?

 Well, I don’t know since it’s Ovechkin from “Washington Capitals”, I think Russia has good chances. But I will still root for the US.