World Chess Olympiad: Interview with GM Alexander Delchev

Watch LIVE the 41st World Chess Olympiad 2014 with computer analysis:
Tromsø 2014 Open | Tromsø 2014 Women

Previous editions of the tournament with computer analysis:
2012 | 2012 Women | 2010

Official website

GM Alexander Delchev is the third ranked chess player of Bulgaria with rating of 2655. At present he is at the World Chess Olympiad in Tromsø as coach and captain of Norway's second team. He agreed to give an interview to ChessBomb.

As the third ranked chess player in Bulgaria, it is a surprise that you are not in the Bulgarian team at the Olympiad, and other tournaments recently. Why?

The first time I was not included in the Bulgarian team was at the European Championship in 2013 in Poland. The decision of the Bulgarian coach, Silvio Danailov, to invite young and promising players was brave and I congratulate him. However, the team's performance was rather modest - 25th out of 38, although Veselin Topalov has won a gold medal on first board.

And again, you are not part of the Bulgarian team at the Olympiad this year...

Yet again, in 2014 I was not invited to play at the World Chess Olympiad in Tromso. I have no intention to dispute that decision. I just want to answer your question, as many chess fans would also like to know why I don't participate at the Olympiad.
The male and female teams representing Bulgaria at the Olympics are selected by the coaches and approved by the Board of the Bulgarian Chess Federation. This is the established procedure. I am sorry that although I have played for the national chess team since 1994, I was not given a chance to compete for a place on the team.
You maybe know that at the Olympiad in 2008 in Dresden, I won a silver medal on third board with 8/9 points and a performance rating of 2780. In 2007 at the European Championship in Greece, where Veselin Topalov was not playing in the team, I won a bronze medal on third board.
I mention these facts not to brag about my successes but to explain why I am disappointed to be ignored in this way as if I don't exist. More importantly, I think I can contribute to the performance of the Bulgarian team, but I am simply not given the chance.

In what capacity are you now at the World Chess Olympiad 2014?

In recent years I have started coaching. I was invited as a captain of the second team of Norway at the Olympiad. One of the most significant achievements of the team so far is the draw against the two times Olympic champion Ukraine.
In the match against the top team of Russia in round 9, the insufficient experience of our players was the only reason to lose the match with a minimal difference.
You can see the detailed comments on our match here:
Alexander Grischuk - Frode Urkedal (1-0)
Frode Elsness - Peter Svidler (½-½)
Sergey Karjakin - Ringdal Torbjorn Hansen (½-½)
Aryan Tari - Ian Nepomniachtchi (½-½)
Congratulations to the Russian team for their tough play and of course, to my students from the Norway 2nd team for their courage to compete with the world's best players!

What are your general impressions of the Olympiad - venue, organisation?

Norwegians definitely has raised the level for tournament organisation. Everything has been excellent! Organisation, hotel, food. The play hall is well organised and there is no chance for cheating or any misconduct.

Does the national element play a role for the popularity of the event in Norway - after all, the World Champion is Norwegian?

In Norway chess is like a religion. Magnus Carlsen is extremely popular not only in Norway but around the world. And he is young - only 22 years old. There are numerous private sponsors for chess and the government supports chess as well. This is a very positive trend to promote chess among young people.


Regulations for the Chess Olympiad

Teams - Open

Teams - Women


Watch LIVE the World Chess Olympiad 2014 with computer analysis:
Tromso 2014 | Tromso 2014 Women

Previous editions of the Chess Olympiad with computer analysis:
2012 | 2012 Women | 2010

Chess Olympiad 2014

Follow ChessBomb