An interview with Chess legend Artur Yusupov

March 10, 2020 04:35 PM

Marta Motuzova: Mr. Yusupov, you began playing chess when you were six years old under two good trainers Mikhail Botvinnik and Mark Dvoretsky. How was it that you came across these good trainers at such a young age?

Yusupov: “I was of course very lucky. Talented children learned to play chess in Pioneer palace in Moscow in the Botvinnik school. There I met Mark Dvoretsky. He was my chess teacher. My work with Mark was very important to my development as I learned many things from him. I am still profiting to this day from this contact, because now I am a trainer and I can use those experiences in my current work. 

Motuzova:  You started a Dvoretsky - Yusupov Chess School. Can you tell me about this project?

Yusupov: Our school was inspired by the Botvinnik school to provide chess training and experience to the young players. It was actually a very successful project. We had clever children. Many Grand Masters came from this school; for example Sergei Movsesjan and Peter Svidler.

Motuzova:  When and how did you emigrate to Germany?

Yusupov: It was in 1991. I received an invitation to play in Bundesliga and that started my resettling.  As you know, many years ago it was very difficult to emigrate from our country.

interview with GM Artur Jussupow interview with GM Artur Jussupow

Motuzova:  What are your plans for the future?

Yusupov:  I have my own chess school in Germany and I continue to work as a trainer and coach.  Although I still have some students, my focus is writing and working on the chess books.

Motuzova:  You wrote many books with Mark Dvoretsky. How did that originate?

Yusupov:  This was a big project. We took what we learned from our chess school, and decided to start our own chess school that would also publish useful training manuals about chess. We put it all together as a concept. When we started to talk about school, we already agreed we would write some books and other material about the structure of the sessions; what to do and how to do it. The chess books and classroom material tied together our concept and that is what makes it so successful.  

Motuzova:  What gives you your biggest joy?

Yusupov:  There are many beautiful things in this complicated game of chess; when I find something new and interesting, it still makes me very happy. 

Motuzova:  Tell me about your personal life.

Yusupov:  I have a family; two children and a cat. :-) My children played chess, but now they don’t do it. They successfully played as juniors but now they have different interests. 

Motuzova:  What are your plans and goals in the near future? 

Yusupov:  I will continue my chess school with the talented kids in Germany. We have a new project. We start with children aged 7-8.  You have to be very careful, but it is very important start earlier nowadays. All strong players already achieved good results at a young age. It is recommended that children start to learn chess around six years of age. It could be earlier, but it is very much dependant on the child. Children are all different and they need to balance their training accordingly. 

Motuzova:  What do you think about the children and chess nowadays? 

Yusupov:  Children have too many distraction in the world; e.g. video games, computers, mobile phones. The world is difficult for children. I am not against progress, but we need regulate it. I would prefer that children do not use the mobile phones. I think chess can be a very important component of education. You are doing a very good thing when you teach the children chess at a very earlier age.  Chess is a very interesting field and from chess, children can learn many things like how to be successful and more importantly, what to do if you are not successful. When the child is successful in chess, they can use it as a model for many other life lessons. This is very important. Chess can improve many different types of thinking; imagination, fantasy and many other things.

GM Artur Jussupow and FA Marta Motúzová GM Artur Jussupow and FA Marta Motúzová

Motuzova:  We spoke about children. What about chess in seniors’ lives?

Yusupov:  It is very nice, that we have senior competitions. We talk about how important chess is for children. But also as you age, you may have more time and this is a very nice game for your brain. Bring mentally fit and healthy is very important. I was a coach for many years and I had many students of senior age too. A very nice student told me something funny: “I can’t play chess better, but I understand it much better.”  Keeping your level is very important too. To have some interesting sport for seniors to compete. We all have ambitions. This is a beautiful tournament for us. I am very happy to see all my friends and play some matches. This is excellent!

Motuzova: Thank you very much for your time.

Yusupov:  You are welcome.


Interviewer: Marta Motuzova

Photos: Vladimir Jagr

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