28 April 2023

Hisham Al Taher: I Want to Negotiate Strategic Partnership with CFR

General Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation gave an interview to Vladimir Barsky

- Mr Al Taher, please share your impressions from the first days in Moscow. First of all, from your visit to Izmailovo for the Russian youth championship.

- Actually, it was really an honour for us to come to Moscow, to witness the youth championship finals, it was really great. I see the growth of chess in Russia, it’s really amazing. We are really happy, Russia will be a big boost for our chess federation. 

- What are your impressions of the Central Chess Club and the Chess Museum? 

- This was awesome. We advise people – chess lovers, chess players – to come and see it.

- Is this your first visit to Moscow?

- I actually visited Moscow a long time ago, in 2006, on the way to the World Championship match in Elista between Kramnik and Topalov. This was my first meeting with the city, and there were also some FIDE Presidential Board meetings.

- What do you think about the perspectives of collaboration between the Asian Chess Federation and the Chess Federation of Russia in the future?

- Actually, I want to negotiate a strategic partnership with the Chess Federation of Russia. I believe this will add value to the Asian Federation. We already have big federations such as China, India, Uzbekistan, Iran and others, so I think Russia is going to fit very great in that portfolio. There are many topics we will discuss, such as qualification for the World Championship and the World Cup. Now that Russia has a big number of grandmasters and other titled players, I see that the Asian Federation can get more seeds, and this is good for us. We are also going to discuss how we can introduce the culture of Russian chess to Asian countries. We look forward to sharing knowledge.

- What do you think about the World Championship Match? 

- The 13th game was amazing. Actually, I was at the Aeroflot Open in 2008, which was won by Nepo. It was a very tough event, and it was amazing. I’m looking forward to the final game. Since the score is tied at 6.5–6.5, you can expect anything, and anything can happen all of a sudden, everything can change in a moment. I’ve got a feeling that the match will be tied and will go to the tie-break. I cannot say who will win, because I need to be diplomatic and I can’t show to any of the players, like, “I favour you”. I wish both players all the best.

- Do you expect a very interesting battle?

- Yes, it’s going to be an interesting battle. Everything is possible – a draw, or either of the players winning the game.

By the way, we’re not talking only about a chess game, it’s, as the experts say, a game of nerves. Nerves really play a big role. The one who has better nerves can win. 

- Let’s hope for an exciting game tomorrow.

- Thank you.