Interview with Armenian GM Hrant Melkumyan

Hello Hrant. Only a few rounds have remained until the completion of the championship. What can you say about the games you’ve played so far?

I think my performance is quite good as I am in the leading group now. Overall I am satisfied with the quality of my performance. Frankly speaking, the game with Cheparinov was just a stroke of luck. As for the other games, everything was under control.

In the last two years you rarely visit Armenia, you mostly live in Europe and participate in various tournaments there. Can we say that this fact has an influence on the quality of your performance?

I think it is of less importance in which country you play, you just need to put the knowledge acquired during trainings into practice. As you know it is hard to come to Armenia and after a short period again leave for Europe, that’s why in recent times I visit Armenia rarely.

You often visit foreign countries, and I think you are dealing with problems in the chess world from time to time. In your opinion what are the main problems and what would you like to see improved?

I think the problems for extra-class chess players are less than those for others, because they take part in a great number of tournaments mainly with good conditions. Of course, it will be great if there were more strong open chess tournaments in which chess players with 2700 and more ratings would be interested to participate, thus we will have chance to compete with them.

In August the FIDE Presidential Elections will be held. Who do you think has real chances?

Garry Kasparov is undoubtedly a great chess player and one of the most illustrious figures of the chess world. But I think Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has done a lot for the development of chess, has real chances.

What goals have you set for yourself before the start of the championship?

Every time I participate in this championship obviously I want to get the right to take part in the World Cup, and, of course, this time is not an exception. But as the World Cup will be held in Baku, I do not think that Armenian chess players will participate in the tournament, that’s why I try to show a good game and, why not, to participate in the fight for medals.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thank you too.