The winner of the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, world champion in rapid chess in 2021, winner of many international tournaments Nodirbek Abdusattorov is considered one of the chess players with high authority not only in national but also in world sports.
2022 was full of unforgettable events in the life of a talented chess player. He won the title of champion at the 44th World Chess Olympiad, successfully participated in the Tata Steel Chess India tournament, the VIII International Tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov in Baku, prestigious competitions held in Türkiye, Iceland, and the United Arab Emirates. In the last competition of the year – the World Rapid and Blitz Championships, held in Almaty, unfortunately, he did not manage to perform at the level of his abilities.
How was the year for Nodirbek Abdusattorov, whom world chess experts called the “Uzbek prodigy”? Is the chess player satisfied with his results? He spoke about this during our conversation.
– Nodirbek, first of all, we congratulate you and all your loved ones on the New Year. Would you tell us if you are satisfied with the results you have achieved in 2022?
–Thanks for the congratulation. 2022 was successful for us, chess players from Uzbekistan, and very eventful for me. I will remember the Fischer World Chess Championship and the Tata Steel Chess India tournament as an excellent school of excellence, where I gained a lot of experience, competed against the leaders of the FIDE rating. I managed to win someone, drew with someone, lost in some games… I consider the victories in Baku and Sharjah the biggest achievements of the past year, because the opportunity to play with the strongest chess players in the world will serve as the basis for my future achievements.
– Could you share your impressions about the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Almaty?
–The VIII International Tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov in Baku served as a kind of technical and tactical preparation for the competitions of the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Almaty. I had a good start to the competition: by the end of the first day, I won 4 out of 5 games and suffered one defeat against the reigning world champion in classical chess, Carlsen. In the meetings on the second day, I showed 2 wins and 2 draws. On the third day, I made a mistake in the duel with Vidit Santosh from India, which decided the fate of the meeting.
– What do you think caused this mistake? After all, you were one step away from victory.
–I cannot say exactly. In general, there were no distractions, but during my game at the next table, Carlsen was defeated, and this may have affected my concentration. Competitions were held under great psychological stress. However, I accepted my defeat without chagrin. What had to happen happened.
– When did your confrontation with the world champion in classical chess Magnus Carlsen start in official competitions?
–I have been playing with Carlsen since 2019. In the first meetings, I was defeated, but starting in 2021, I began to beat him. This year we competed against each other in several tournaments. In some games I won, in others, he won. At the World Championships in Almaty, I felt that he had mastered my game tactics well, so in the next matches I need to use a different tactic.
– At the end of the last year, the best athletes, teams and coaches of the year were determined. Have you followed this process? Doesn’t it upset you that you are not among the best athletes of the year?
–Of course not. There are many strong athletes in our country who achieve high results. Frankly, I did not have time to follow this event. Just these days we participated in the World Championships in Almaty. I heard about the results later.
– Special programs are developed, specific goals are set to achieve high victories. What are the plans for this year?
–In 2022, we set ourselves big goals, moved along this path and achieved high results. This year, together with the leadership of Uzbekistan Chess Federation and our coaches, an annual work plan has also been developed, including a list of competitions in which we will participate and over which we will observe, individual or collective training. On January 7th I am leaving for the Netherlands, where I will train for some time and then I will take part in a super tournament that will take place in this country on January 13-29. On February 2-3, I will compete in the team competition of the prestigious tournament in Düsseldorf (Germany), and on February 15-26 in the single tournament competition.
– What is your biggest goal, or dream this year?
–My biggest dream is to bring the world chess crown to Uzbekistan. Perhaps this will happen this year or later, but all my efforts are aimed at achieving this goal.
Interviewed by Tulqin Ruziyev, UzA