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Press conference with Mesgen Amanov of Turkmenistan

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KARLOVICH: Dear ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome our new guest: it is the first board and the captain of the Turkmenistan team Mesgen Amanov. Also today he has a birthday. We wish him health and success in chess and life. Our first question is how the Olympiad is going for you so far. How is your team playing?

AMANOV: Thank you for your wishes. Yes, I have a birthday today and I made myself a present by winning a game. I had two losses in a row, losing to Shirov and Topalov but today finally I managed to win.


So far overall tournament seems to be a success for us. Before two rounds, we were on 14th table, playing better. After that we lost to two strong teams from Latvia and Bulgaria and we are somewhere in the middle now.

KARLOVICH: To my mind it is not a big shame to lose to such strong players like Shirov and Topalov. Anyway my congratulations on today’s victory. Please tell us about today’s game and match in general. Will you celebrate your birthday today?

AMANOV: I spent some thirty minutes to prepare for today’s game. I guessed the opening and we entered to a game which I had about a year ago. It was an interesting game to my mind. My opponent had an advantage at one point but after that he made two inaccurate moves and it was over. My teammates are also trying to contribute to my birthday. Board number two won already and two other boards seem to have drawish positions. One draw will be enough for us to win the match. So, this is a good day for us.

As for the celebration, there will be nothing special. We will receive guests from our Embassy tonight and most probably we will have a dinner. But again, nothing special, it is more important to concentrate on chess and our state. Actually this is first time when I have my birthday during the tournament.

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KARLOVICH: We know that you live in the US now. Tell us about that, do you teach chess or you are just chess professional?

AMANOV: It has been already 5 years since I moved to Chicago and I have my academy there. I mostly teach private students, we have group sessions and I also teach in schools. It is great, I like living there. Of course I like Turkmenistan, but I moved to the US to improve my chess. It was my goal. At the beginning I just played chess and trained. But at some point I got a green card and I had already many students and I could not leave them. So, I am there.

KARLOVICH: Tell us about chess in Turkmenistan? Do they organize any chess events there?

AMANOV: yes, we do have chess events, but not of an international level. We are looking forward for the Asian Games, which will be organized in 2017 I think. We have lots of national tournaments. But it is being developed now. The Turkmenistan chess federation supports in a way our players. Not like other federations I must say, but it is ok, we don’t complain.


Press conference Mesgen Amanov