43-year-old Russian grandmaster Aleksey Dreev came through qualifying to play in the recent Rapid World Championship in Astana, where he finished in a creditable tenth place. Afterwards he was interviewed by Mikhail Chesalin, and besides giving a detailed account of his own play at the event he had some controversial views about the chess played by the gold and silver medallists, Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen.
In the interview published at championat.com, Dreev was asked if he was surprised at how Karjakin managed to come from behind and beat Carlsen to first place:
No, I wasn’t surprised. Karjakin has long since earned a reputation as a brilliant blitz player. Karjakin’s play is a true joy to behold for a professional chess player. He plays chess, in contrast to Carlsen, who prefers to wait for his opponent to make a mistake rather than try to outplay him as real chess players do. Karjakin plays real chess, and genuinely tries to beat his opponent, so it was a deserved win as he really was the strongest player. He didn’t lose concentration and played good chess. Everything worked out for him and he truly deserved the title of World Champion.
The interview later touches on the differences between classical and rapid chess:
Does the rating of players at classical chess correspond to their strength in rapid?
It doesn’t fully correspond, but you had to take something as a basis and therefore the classical rating was used. It corresponds with Karjakin, Carlsen and Grischuk, while for some others it doesn’t. We’ll soon see, however, as ratings will be calculated for rapid and blitz and it’ll all become clear. For now it’s just guesswork.
There’s a view that rapid chess is more interesting for chess fans as it’s quicker and more spectacular than classical chess. Is that the case?
Of course rapid chess is more spectacular, but I think you’d encounter the same fans for classical chess, if it was held, as you do for rapid. It strikes me there aren’t any fans who’d go to one but not the other. In general, it all depends on the organisation. There should be a good commentator, and then it’ll be interesting.
Full interview at championat.com (in Russian)
Dreev: Karjakin plays chess, in contrast to Carlsen...