Friday, 24 May 2013

Interview with GM Constantin Lupulescu aka "The Wolf"

1. Hi, Constantin! First of all, let me congratulate you with sharing the 1st place at the European Individual Chess Championship in Legnica! How do you feel about it, do you think you could have achieved more?
     Hi, Irina, thank you! Well, I think if I could achieve  more- it had to be in my game against Moiseenko. I played quite uninspired and I was slightly worse for some time but right after the time trouble I had a powerful  41.g5 that would have given me a big advantage. I totally missed the idea which the engine shows immediately.  Of course everyone can hit space and become an expert after the game so I guess I cannot complain with my +5 finish.

2. Which were the critical moments of the tournament, the ones where you felt confident in your chess and the ones which made you worry the most?
      Actually the first time when I really worried was right in the first round against a 2400 player. I got a bad position and it was enough for him just to play normal moves to get a big advantage. Luckily, he went for a “winning” combination and eventually the game ended in a draw. After that I started playing really well with nice attacking games. I think I felt most confident in my game against Fedorchuk, it was that game when I started to think that I could achieve more than just qualification.

3. Your best Elo was 2657, in November 2011, since then you dropped it to 2603 in May 2012 and you’re raising it again this year, with a live Elo of 2655 now.  Do you see yourself as a 2700+ player in the near future?

     As you said it was really not difficult to lose more than 50 points so I try not to be bothered by rating anymore. I will just try to play good chess.

4. Which qualities should a chess player have in order to become a strong  Grand Master?
     It's not so easy to give a clear recipe but basically I think you need a lot of hard work and determination and this is of course possible only if you really like chess. :)

5. When was the moment when you’ve decided that chess is the thing that you want to do for  your whole life?

         Since I was quite young I enjoyed playing chess much more than the subjects I had in school. I started to go in a lot of tournaments and I began having good results. After a while playing chess for a career was just the natural thing to do.

Constantin playing vs Dieter
6. You played on the 1st board in the last team events, leading the team to a great result -8th place at the last Olympiad in Istanbul, 2012. What do you think about the absence of Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in the last team events?

     We also got 9th place on the European Team Championship in 2011 in Greece. Well I didn't play particularly well but somehow the team managed to get very good results. But of course, having again in the team someone like Dieter Nisipeanu, with a 2700+ level understanding and also with good leadership skills surely would be very nice.

7. What is your opinion on the latest cheating “trend”? Do you have any ideas of how to fight against it?
     I think nowadays it became easier and easier to cheat as even a smart-phone can play at a very high level. Of course I am not an anti-cheating expert but I think there should be taken the minimum measures to at least discourage the most primitive cheaters (like the jamming devices they already use against students cheating in some universities).

8. The match Carlsen-Anand, on whom would you bet your money and why?
     I think that if Anand gets back some of his motivation it will not be as easy for Carlsen as most people expect. Nevertheless, I think that the odds would still tip in Carlsen's favour.

9. What are your goals for the future?
     Even after a good tournament like the one I had you still discover a lot of faults. So I would really like to improve my play in the areas I feel it's lacking.

10. Which things do you like besides chess?
     Whenever I get the chance I like to spend some time with my family and friends. Although I am not really an expert- I like playing some table tennis and some pool from time to time. However, I would like to have more time to visit the places where I travel to play chess.

11. What are the things that motivate you to be better or who are the persons who inspire you for greatness?
     A strong tournament like the Europeans always motivates me a lot. Although usually I had the starting rank around 80 and more I was very close to qualify in 2007, 2008 while I qualified in 2009, 2011 and 2013. I don't have someone particularly in mind but I usually try to be around optimist and honest people. It always lifts my mood to be among persons like that.

12. Why have you chosen living a life of a chess player- always travelling-never home, do you ever regret making this choice?

       I like that in chess compared to a regular job you get an immediate feedback of your abilities and skills. If you miss-evaluate yourself, your opponent brings you down on earth immediately. I also like that I can travel to a lot of places and meet a lot of interesting people. Of course sometimes I cannot be at home on Christmas or Easter (like it was last year when I played Al Ain in late December and now the European Championship) but I think these troubles are outweighed by the opportunities I am offered.

13. You’ve become Romanian Champion earlier this year, now this great result at the EICC, what is the recipe of your success ?

    2012 was really not a good year for me as a chess player but I learned a lot from my mistakes and after some hard work I started to have good results again.

14. How do you recover after a painful loss during an important tournament?
  I think it's important to try to relax somehow in order to forget a little bit about the tournament after such games. But what I think that is the most important it's having a good sleep after such losses; which as the most chess players know, is much easier said than done. Always when you're half asleep a position comes back to haunt you. However, a bad sleep after a painful loss is like a time trouble in a bad position – hard to give a good advice anymore.

15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    I will probably be at the peak of my chess career. I will also, most likely, be already teaching chess for some time. And of course with a nice family. :)

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