GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, ECU
Q: What do your
duties as European Chess Union President consist of?
A: Represent the Union and its
members. Promote chess and assisting federations and players.
Raise new funds for chess and create development projects.
Safeguard transparency, run the Union business plan, raise the
Q: Is there anyone in particular in
today´s chess world that you admire, and why?
admire the pragmatism and coolness of Kirsan and energy of
Garry! I think their synthesis would give new impetus to the
development of chess worldwide, especially in the area of its
application in the educational system!
Q: Starting out as a chess player,
did you have any idea how far your career would take you?
A: I was not thinking about anything, just liked to play chess!
because I started playing at age 4:) just didn´t like to lose,
and always cried! well, when matured already ashamed to cry and
after losing the game was breaking pens or fist hitting the
Q: What do you think is the best
chess game you ever played?
A: I don´t like to devote my
games! the most famous one is with Karpov in 83 but I do love my
game with Mathias Walsh from Dortmund 1990.
Q: What do you enjoy most
about being the President of the European Chess Union?
A: I wish to reach our
targets and make a stronger European Chess Union. A Union of the
many. Meet new people, make new friends, learn from them much
more and use this knowledge for future activities and assisting
chess projects all around the Europe!
Q: Do you think chess events
like the Glorney are important in junior chess, and why?
A: Yes they are, because
raising the interest and the competition between juniors.
Especially when they are organised in a high level as in Ireland
this year! Young people have much more motivation for progress
and better results.
Chess Player and Coach, FM
Q: What do you think the
biggest challenge for young chess players to overcome is?
A: They need to forget about
ratings and results and just focus on playing the best move on
every turn and enjoying the game. Improve your play and results
will come. Only you can control how well you play, so that
should be the focus of your attention.
Q: What advice would you
give to a player starting out?
A: Play and study as much
chess as possible. Read as many books as you can. Analyse your
own games yourself and only then check with an engine. Try to
learn three new things from each game. Record the time spent on
each move by yourself and your opponent.
Don´t offer draws. It´s a silly thing
to do and it can easily distract you from playing the best
moves. If you´re better or worse then there´s no point in
offering a draw. If it´s equal, play it out. You never lose; you
either win or learn.
Q: What do you enjoy
most about coaching?
A: I enjoy helping players reach
their potential and seeing their reactions when they learn
something new. It is always rewarding to help instil a passion
for the game and a thirst for knowledge in a player.
Q: Are you satisfied
with this event as a whole?
A: It was excellent.
Everything ran seamlessly and the venue was fantastic.
Q: What is your proudest
moment as a coach?
A: The Irish Squad results in the
Glorney, Gilbert, Robinson, and Stokes competitions this year.
I´ve never worked with a more passionate, hardworking, and
deserving group of players. They are a credit to themselves,
their parents, their coaches and their country. The future of
Irish chess is in very good hands!
Chief Arbiter Peter Purland
Q: How long have you
been Chief Arbiter of the Glorney Gilbert Cup?
A: Since 2010.
Q: The Glorney used to
be for many countries, rather than just Britain and Ireland. How
many do you remember to have played in the Glorney at once?
A: I can remember that at
least nine countries played at one time, including France and
many other European countries.
Q: Do you think the
Glorney has changed a lot over time, and if so, has it changed
for the better?
A: The venue has improved over time
and the new boards and clocks are good for broadcasting the
games. But I do think that continental countries connections
have changed for the worse. I think that the host country should
pay for the expenses of the other competing countries, because
the cost of going and staying at the hosting country is very
high. I believe this is why many of the other countries dropped
Q: Who is the best
player you have seen play in one of your tournaments? And who is
your favourite player now?
A: In my time I have seen
many, many good players; I wouldn´t pick out one player but
Q: Who will win the
rugby World Cup?
A: If I was a betting man, I´d
definitely go for New Zealand, and I´d love to say Wales, but
unfortunately I can´t. Ireland has a good chance too, based off
their recent successes.
Q: What is the best
tournament you´ve ever run, and based off your experience as an
arbiter, how would you rate the Glorney?
A: If a tournament is based
off how good the players in it are then the best has to be
Gibraltar. The Glorney is a very good event. It´s probably the
only time all four nations come together to play chess. This
year was the best Irish performance I´ve ever seen.
Q: Do you have anything
A: I believe that one of the most
important things is that we as senior arbiters mustn´t only
think of the best chess players, but all of them. So we must
encourage the local congresses and average to keep playing and
enjoying the game.
Scottish Player and Coach GM
Q: Do you recall any
memories playing in Ireland?
A: I remember playing in
Bunratty. There´s always a blitz at the end of the tournament
and I remember reaching the final once and playing against
Q: Who is the strongest
player you´ve ever played?
A: I beat Levon Aronian on New
Year´s Day once.
Q: If you didn´t become
a chess player, what do you think your job now would be? Would
you do any other sports?
A: I did economics in
University so I probably would have gone into finance. I was
never really involved in sport, but I do hashing at my local
pub. Hashing is running by a trail of flowers from your pub
until they lead you back to the pub where you reward yourself
with a pint. So it´s a drinking club with a running problem!
Q: Who was your chess
role model growing up?
A: I never really had a
particular role model. I was coached by a local player. My
favourite player, however, was Sergey Dolmatov because he never
really seemed to be looking at his board!
Q: Do you have anything
else to add?
A: It really is fantastic to be here
in Ireland for the Glorney. I feel that Ireland has set a new
standard for the event.
Father of Two English
Representatives, CM Tim Headlong
Q: Did you play chess
when you were younger? And if not, what do you to encourage your
children to play chess?
A: I have been a chess player
since 1972. I regularly take my children to tournaments.
Q: Is life at home more
exciting now that your children represent their country?
A: I wouldn´t say that it´s
more exciting at home but I´m proud that my children represent
Q: Is your role in your
children´s chess life big?
A: Not so much but I try and
take them to the club as often as I can.
Q: How do you think your
children benefit from playing chess?
A: Well, it encourages my son
to sit still! I also believe helps him concentrate a lot better.
Q: Is this the biggest
tournament in which your children have been involved? And how
does this tournament differ from the others they´ve played?
A: My son did play in the
World Schools Championships in Greece, but this is far more
Irish Under 12´s
Representative, Adam Murphy
Q: How do feel about
getting 6/6 points in your first Glorney?
A: I feel absolutely over the
moon. I haven´t felt this good in ages!
Q: How are you going to
celebrate your perfect score?
A: I´m not so sure about that
yet. I´m stuck for words. I should have a lot of fun at the
Q: What do you enjoy
most about playing chess?
A: I like it because it tests
the mind more than anything. It makes me feel like the commander
of an army.
Q: What do you do to
A: I study, but I try to make it as
fun as possible, so that I can enjoy myself. I play online, but
not so much blitz, and rather ten or so minute matches and
Q: Who do you aspire to
A: Magnus Carlsen, because he has
achieved so much and became a grandmaster at a very young age.
Q: Is there anyone you´d
like to thank?
A: I would like to thank my family
for all their support, my coach Michael Crowe and everyone at my
club, Naomh Barróg.