This week the esteemed Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev joined me on the podcast. GM Bareev has been ranked as high as #4 in the world. He has been the trainer of the Russian National Team, and was a vital member of the team that assisted former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in the early 2000s.
Evgeny is also an acclaimed chess author. His prior book, From London to Elista, (co-authored with Ilya Levitov), won the 2007 Book of the Year, from the British Chess Federation. This year, Thinker’s Publishing has recently released his new work, Say No to Chess Principles . This fun and informative book contains some great stories and explores the topic of when one should “break the rules” in chess, as shown in Evgeny’s and some other top level games. In our interview, Evgeny discussed both of his books, shared some stories, and offered some chess improvement advice. Read on for details, links and timestamps.
0:00- Intro and discussion of Say No to Chess Principles . GM Bareev tells the story of the idea behind the book and of how the project came to fruition. He also shares some memorable stories from growing up in the Soviet Chess School which are touched on in his book. People and books mentioned include Boris Postovsky, who headed the Vasily Smyslov School of chess, and the book Devoted to Chess: The Creative Heritage of Yuri Razuvaev . This includes a discussion of whether or not it's important to have a good memory (14:00) to be a top chess player. According to GM Bareev, former World Champion Anatoly Karpov had a notoriously faulty memory in his prime. Evgeny gives some helpful tips for how to approach chess if you have a bad memory.
23:00- How do we know when to “say no to chess principles” anyway?
28:00- As a former member of his “Team Kramnik,” was GM Bareev surprised by the retirement of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik? Evgeny also reflects on some of the stories and perspectives from the classic book From London to Elista. His current take on the some of the stories shared in this book might surprise you. We also touch on Carsten Hensel’s recent book about his time as the manager of GM Kramnik. You can hear my interview with Carsten Hensel here.
37:00- GM Bareev shares some stories dealing with getting sick at a chess tournament and about how to deal with tough losses. This includes some discussion of Peter Leko, who lost to GM Kramnik for the 2004 World Championship in a very close match.
45:00- Who were GM Bareev’s toughest opponents? Players mentioned include Garry Kasparov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexey Dreev and Alexei Shirov.
49:00- Chess books! Since GMs Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri have been tradingbarbs about Vladimir Tukmakov’s new book, I asked Evgeny if he had read it. Evgeny does not read all of the chess literature, but has enjoyed the books of Boris Gelfand, Matthew Sadler and Yasser Seirawan.
54:00- A Patreon supporter of Perpetual Chess asks if GM Bareev uses a particular method as a trainer.
58:00- We talk a bit about how GM Bareev ended up emigrating to Toronto, Canada, and he answers a question from a Patreon supporter comparing chess and literature.