Vladimir Kramnik: “I’m afraid Klitschko wouldn’t have time for me”

The game between two Russians, Dmitry Andreikin and Vladimir Kramnik, was first to end in the first round.

The players agreed to a draw on the 32nd move and answered the journalists’ questions afterwards.

Dmitry Andreikin: It’s hard to battle Kramnik in the opening. He can respond to 1.d4 with almost anything. The line occurred today against the Nimzo-Indian was prepared at home.

Vladimir Kramnik: Playing after a long break is tough. One has to adjust to the game rhythm. No matter how much you train and study, you never get the adrenaline you get during the game. Training games don’t cut it. Since I had Black in my first game, the idea was to play solid and safe, get used to playing and avoid disasters.

From the tournament prospective this was a good game for me. I got everything I wanted – warmed up a little and got a draw without burning too much energy.

– Oleg Skvortsov revealed a secret that you prepared for this tournament in Ukraine. Could you tell more about it?

V. K.: I quite liked it. First, one of my seconds is from there, and we stayed near his home in Transcarpathia. Second, I have Ukrainian roots – my mother is from Uzhgorod. So I am half Russian, half Ukrainian. There is nothing exotic about this place. Of course, the current events in Ukraine created somewhat unpleasant background, but the place we stayed was really nice. I thought about visiting my good friend Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev, but I’m afraid he wouldn’t have time for me.

– Dmitry, how was your preparation?

D. A.: It was quite modest. I don’t want to reveal all my secrets, cause I don’t have many. I have certain general ideas about playing with Vladimir, but I don’t want to disclose them.

V. K.: I think I already understand what you mean. This approach is more subtle than it looks, and battling it, unfortunately, is not easy.

– Dmitry, Alexander Nitikin said in his interview on the RCF site that he is rooting for Vladimir Kramnik and for you, and he called you “the mystery player”. Do you agree with his opinion?

D. A.: It is always pleasant when reputable people say nice things about you. For me my chess style is not a mystery. Everybody can define it for himself.