Sergey Shipov: Chess is not that complicated as it seems from the outside

Sergey Shipov: Chess is not that complicated as it seems from the outside

The famous chess commentator Sergey Shipov, who is currently in Khanty-Mansiysk, talked to the press-center of FIDE Grand Prix  about the favorites of the tournament, the support of chess players and grand masters he is cheering for during the games.

 –  What could you say about the level of organization of this tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk?

– Khanty-Mansiysk has a big experience in organizing such events. I would also like to mention the venue – the Ugra Chess Academy that was build here is unique. While talking about the organization of the tournament, neither experts no players have any problems or complaints. Everything’s very good but for one thing – there’s not much audience in the playing hall.


– Let’s talk about the favorites. Who do you think has the biggest chances to win this Grand Prix?

– Chess is not that complicated as it seems from the outside, even from the sport aspect of this game.  I think that Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana have the biggest chances to win the tournament. Now we can say that they both are representing USA as Caruana is currently changing the chess federation. Besides, we believe in our players and hope that they will be able to deprive the leaders. Evgeny Tomashevsky has very good chances to do this. I would like to note that winning this Grand Prix is the only opportunity for Evgeny to play in the Candidate’s Tournament. As for Karjakin, Jakovenko and Grischuk – their chances are mostly theoretic and if they want to win they need to show their best performance and even more.

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– It can be said that Dmitry Jakovenko is playing his home tournament and receives support from his local fans. Does it matter for a chess player?

– Unfortunately, no. The “home stadium” effect means a lot in football, but in chess the situation is quite the opposite. Sometimes the additional attention of public makes concentrating more difficult. That’s why I would advice all supporters of Dmitry not to disturb him, because it is very important for a chess player to keep his private atmosphere and not to get distracted.  But on the other hand, when you are in your hometown where you know everything, it is almost impossible to get any surprises or unpleasant eventualities.


 – As a famous chess commentator, do you support any players more than others?

– I, as a commentator, try to be neutral. It is obvious that I am supporting Russian players; it would be strange to deny this. Still I try to give credits to all chess players. As for my favorites, they are women, so when talking about women’s chess I can name some players I am supporting. But as for men, they are all equal for me.