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Nigel Short: Belarus can call itself a country with chess culture

Today's guest of the TV program Week on the CTV is Nigel Short, who came to Minsk this week for the European Championship in Rapid Chess. At age 19, he became the youngest grandmaster in history and today one of the strongest players in the world. Our correspondent Yana Shipko talked with Mr Short.

I know little about chess, but I was up all night reading Chess for Dummies. Let's see if that helps me. I know that the whites begin and win. Can I go this way?

Nigel Short, chess grandmaster, contender for the world champion (UK):
Pawns go forward. I will go in the same way.

This is your first time in Belarus, what impressions do you have?

Nigel Short:
We strolled through the old town, it was very nice, we found a couple of lovely cafes. I have a great feeling here, I feel comfortable, even better than expected.

In safety?

Nigel Short:
Yes, I feel safe. On the whole, the tournament is great, it is awesome to see so many participants from different countries and children among them, our new generation.

You were the youngest grandmaster in the world?

Nigel Short:
You can play chess for fun. It is an occupation for a few people. I started playing as a child and still love chess.

You also play music? Rock?

Nigel Short:
At home, I play guitar every day. I like to use fingers, other parts of the brain. I like to travel and this is the 109th country I have visited. I love swimming, however, I would never dare swimming here. Too cold!

Can you compare chess to politics? Politicians in fact, like in chess, have to thinkseveral moves ahead?

Nigel Short:
It's a little different. When I see people like Donald Trump in the US, who is running for president, I am not sure if there is a need for politicians to think too much...

Recently, in the Old World is not so easy, all these attacks, the migrant crisis... Could one predict such a situation?

Nigel Short:
Now there are a lot of problems in the world, not only in Europe. We are witnessing a collapse in Syria, in Greece. In Germany, there is an incredible number of refugees. Under their influence the countries will change.

I live in Greece now. Now there are a lot of difficulties. There are positive aspects in the EU, I do not think that it will collapse but the Eurozone is experiencing big problems, more than the EU.

Does the EurAsEC look more promising?

Nigel Short:
If countries have common interests, values and are logically combined, I think this cooperation will make your countries stronger. Agreements on integration are important for economic development.

You played with a legend, Garry Kasparov? How was it?

Nigel Short:
I played with him with pleasure.

In Minsk, the Normandy Quartet met and recently, our city has become a place where all parties are looking for ways to find peace in Ukraine. Is Belarus getting more weight in the international arena?

Nigel Short:
There are many unsolved problems in Ukraine. And they cannot be resolved so quickly. But trying to solve them is a good venture.

The Belarus President met this week with the chairman of FIDE, they talked about how to organize chess centers for children. Is is a good idea?

Nigel Short:
If this comes true, of course, it will be great. When a president supports this idea, there is a huge potential. You can call yourself a country with great chess culture and it is valuable that the government supports the sport.

Mr. Short, thank you very much for your time and for the chess lesson. I wish you a good time in Belarus!

Nigel Short:
Thank you, thank you! 

Nigel David Short, English chess grandmaster, chess columnist and chess coach