Ivantsjoek-Kasparov

Kasparov Ivanchuk

English

Vasyl Ivantsjoek hoort zonder meer thuis in het rijtje van schakers die de potentie hadden om wereldkampioen te worden. Zijn talent is onmiskenbaar en reeds op zeventienjarige leeftijd werd hij wereldjeugdkampioen. De grootmeestertitel volgde twee jaar later. Op zijn negentiende, eenentwintigste en vijfentwintigste wint hij het toernooi van Linares, het sterkste toernooi van die tijd, waar een groot deel top tien aan deelnam. Zijn palmares is indrukwekkend en het leek een kwestie van tijd totdat hij wereldkampioen zou worden.

Waarom ‘Chucky’ nooit wereldkampioen is geworden is af te leiden aan de tekening van Rupert van der Linden. Waar Kasparov alle schaakstukken (alle tegenstanders) met huid en haar wil opeten, zit Ivantsjoek timide achter het bord. De drive om te winnen zit bij Kasparov in het bloed, bij Ivantsjoek is dat minder het geval. Vooral zijn mentale gesteldheid wordt vaak genoemd als reden waardoor hij die laatste trede niet wist te nemen. Hij presteerde vaak onder zijn niveau als er ‘spanning’ in het spel was. Van hun onderlinge partijen won Garri het merendeel, maar de overwinning van Vasyl in de eerste ronde van Linares 1991 is de moeite waard om nog eens na te spelen. Hij won het toernooi ongeslagen, met een halfje voorsprong op Kasparov. Je vraagt je af hoe het zou zijn gelopen als zij elkaar in de laatste ronde hadden ontmoet....

Net als elke schaker vindt Chucky verliezen niet leuk en hij kan zichzelf vervloeken. Na een nederlaag tegen Wesley So op de Olympiade van Khanty Mansiysk in 2009, kondigde hij op de toernooisite aan direct te stoppen met schaken:

“My unlucky days started when I could not win against Vladimir Kramnik in the final round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. But I could have! The real tragedy started after this. I was so unlucky at the Moscow FIDE World blitz championship, as I have never been unlucky in all my life. I blundered all possible pieces: queen, rooks, and pawns. At that blitz tournament, it was as if I was thrown out of a saddle. And plus, I was losing. To my mind, I should leave the professional chess now. Chess will become a hobby for me from now on. As for the signed contracts, yes, I will play in all tournaments where I have to. Perhaps I will even participate in a tournament before the New Year. I should win SOMETHING! And that will be the end. No serious plans, no professional goals.”

Een dag later was hij weer bij zinnen, kwam terug op zijn besluit en verontschuldigde zich tegenover zijn fans. (ES)

Ivanchuk-Kasparov

Vasily Ivanchuk definitely belongs on the shortlist of chess players who had the potential to become World Champion. His talent is indisputable, and he already became World Junior Champion at seventeen. The grandmaster title followed two years after that. At his nineteenth, twenty-first and twenty-fifth, he won Linares, the strongest chess tournament of that time, where most of the top-ten players participated. His record is impressive, and it seemed to be just a matter of time before he would become World Champion.

The reason why ‘Chuky’ never became World Champion can be seen in Rupert van der Linden’s cartoon. While Kasparov wants to eat up every scrap of the chess pieces (all his opponents), Ivanchuk is sitting timidly at the board. The drive to win is in Kasparov’s blood, but less so in Ivanchuk’s. Especially his mental condition is often mentioned as the reason why he was never able to make the final step. He often performed below his level in situations of ‘tension’. Garry won most of their mutual games, but Vasily’s victory in the first round of Linares 1991 is worth playing over also today. He won the tournament without a single loss, half a point ahead of Kasparov. It makes you wonder how things would have developed if they had faced each other in the final round...

Just like any other chess player, Chuky doesn’t like losing, and he may curse himself when that happens. After a loss at the hands of Wesley So at the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad in 2009, he announced on the tournament site that he was going to quit chess right away:

‘My unlucky days started when I could not win against Vladimir Kramnik in the final round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. But I could have! The real tragedy started after this. I was so unlucky at the Moscow FIDE World blitz championship, as I have never been unlucky in all my life. I blundered all possible pieces: queen, rooks, and pawns. At that blitz tournament, it was as if I was thrown out of a saddle. And plus, I was losing. To my mind, I should leave the professional chess now. Chess will become a hobby for me from now on. As for the signed contracts, yes, I will play in all tournaments where I have to. Perhaps I will even participate in a tournament before the New Year. I should win SOMETHING! And that will be the end. No serious plans, no professional goals.’

One day later he came to his senses again, reconsidering his decision, and he apologized to his fans. (ES)

 

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