Ponomariov, the star of Capablanca › Sports › Granma

Ponomariov, the star of Capablanca › Sports › Granma
Ponomariov, the star of Capablanca › Sports › Granma

Cuba has had the privilege of having hosted several world chess champions: Enmanuel Lasker, Bobby Fischer, Anatoli Karpov, Mikhail Tal and, recently, Ruslán Ponomariov. The Ukrainian, monarch in 2002, arrived with his favorite poster at the Capablanca In Memoriam tournament, and supported it by taking the scepter of the contest.

At the chess event that was played at the Habana Libre hotel, they talked or asked about him. «I prefer to be calm. “I don’t want the life of a famous person, the one that makes people follow you everywhere,” he told us, almost as he left his breakfast, one of the few moments in which he can be approached, because then he locks himself in his room. for three hours, to prepare for the game.

It is his first time in the contest dedicated to the Cuban genius. «The tournament caught my attention since it is closed. Every day you play against a good opponent. It’s interesting to crash against players younger than me. You learn something new about chess. “Every generation has its own style,” he said.

«I want to thank you very much for the invitation you gave me to the tournament. I would like to continue playing chess, also return to Cuba,” said who has only praise for chess in the Greater Antilles.

«I remember that, in 2001, in a team tournament we were champions, we faced Cuba. They were among the ten best in the world along with powers like Russia and China. Today they also have good players, like Carlos Daniel Albornoz. I have been to other Caribbean countries, and many still do not have a Grand Master. “It surprises me that a nation of 11 million inhabitants has so much talent,” he said.

–There are many chess players who have declared themselves admirers of Capablanca’s style of play. Do you consider yourself one?

–I studied it as a child. I believe that each person has their own style and character. They may be similar, but not the same. I learned to use the best things of each player. I really liked Capablanca’s way of playing the endings.

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