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Talk of the Universe: Ganguly in conversation with Boris Gelfand

by Shahid Ahmed - 20/08/2020

Boris Gelfand is a legend and his contribution to chess is immeasurable. Surya Sekhar Ganguly continues bringing legends of the game to his talk show titled 'In Conversation with' and this time it was the 'Evergreen Legend' Boris Gelfand. In this two-part episodes, we get to know his journey into chess, what was the first book he read, who were his first coaches, his experience on writing critically acclaimed 'Positional Decision Making on Chess', his relation with the federation, his thoughts on the 2012 World Championship match against Anand and much more. Gelfand also analyzes various positions and explains his thought process in them. These two episodes are absolutely a must watch to enrich your knowledge and wisdom. Photo: Surya's youtube channel.

The Evergreen Legend - Boris Gelfand

We are all familiar with Gelfand through his books Positional and Dynamic Decision Making in Chess. As a player also he has a long list of accolades. He has won the FIDE World Cup 2009, FIDE Candidates 2011, six times World Championship candidate. He competed in eleven Olympiads, he has also won Wijk aan Zee, Tilburg, Moscow. His peak rating is 2777. In this two part conversation with Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Gelfand talks about his journey in chess, his experience on writing the critically acclaimed books, his relationship with the federation, how he feels about social media, his thought process on selected games and much more.

The legendary Boris Gelfand | Photo: Amruta Mokal

"I think I was more or less five... Once he was returning from a trip, he saw this chess book Averbakh-Beilin's Journey to the Chess Kingdom at a book shop in the train station. He brought it home."

He - Gelfand's father

It was also Khalifman, Ivanchuk and Grischuk's first chess book | Photo: Amazon IN

Gelfand showing his first chess book | Photo: Surya's stream

Although this is not the original book which Gelfand's father got him as that one got misplaced after he gave it someone who forgot to return it and then Gelfand bought another one.

"One day I think I stayed home, probably I didn't feel well. I don't remember why. I stayed with my grandma. You know, I went rest of the whole book by myself. I was so captivated."

Gelfand's coaches (L to R): Eduard Zelkind, Tamara Golovey and IM Albert Kapengut

Did you know - Gelfand's coach IM Albert Kapengut has also worked with both Mikhail Tal and Anatoly Karpov?

Gelfand talks about Rubinstein and Geller's influences early on in his career; his experiences with Petrosian

Gelfand at the Microsense Camp | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Gelfand playing football with the students | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Gelfand's games

Here are the positions which were discussed in Episode 17

Ilia Botvinnik - Gelfand, Belarus 1984

Black to play

Gelfand turned 16 during this tournament and this was also the first time he won the Belarus championship.

Gelfand - Ulybin, Jurmala 1985

White to play

Gelfand - Delchev, FIDE World Cup 2001

White to play

"I want to say that it went to all on a subconscious level."

Gelfand - Wang Yue, Medias 2010

White to play

Gelfand - Alekseev, Russia 2008

White to play

"This game is definitely the best I won against Karpov"

Gelfand - Karpov, Vienna 1996

White to play

Replay the games

Episode 17

In Conversation with - Episode 17: Boris Gelfand - 'Evergreen Legend' | Video: Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Gelfand answers and analyzes

In the second part, Gelfand answered questions asked by the audience. He talked about his experience on writing Positional Decision Making on Chess, whether a person's character in daily life affects his strength as a chess player, handling difficult situations during a game and loss in an event, if he were a scientist, which field he would choose, favorites to win FIDE Online Olympiad 2020 and much more.

Gelfand's wife - Maya Gelfand along with their daughters Avital (elder) and Avner

Gelfand got a heroic welcome after returning from World Championship 2012

Gelfand's team (Clockwise from the top) - Alexander Huzman, Pavel Eljanov, Maxim Rodshtein and Evgeny Tomashevsky

Gelfand mentioned that this December, it will be 30 years since he started working with Huzman.

Gelfand's road to World Championship 2012

Israeli GM Baron Tal at the end of the show had beautiful words for Gelfand in the chat

Here are the following positions which were discussed in this episode

Gelfand - Svidler, Groningen 1996

White to play

Gelfand - Shirov, Poland 1998

White to play

Gelfand - Malakhov, Sochi 2005

White to play

Nakamura - Gelfand, London GP 2012

White to play

Gelfand - Judit Polgar, FIDE World Cup 2009

White to play

Karjakin - Gelfand, FIDE World Cup 2009

Black to play

Mamedyarov - Gelfand, FIDE Candidates 2011

Black to play

Gelfand - Grischuk, FIDE Candidates 2011

Black to play

Replay the games

Episode 18

In Conversation with Episode 18: Boris Gelfand - 'Ask Boris'  | Video: Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Gelfand's books on ChessBase India shop


Surya Sekhar Ganguly's youtube channel