10 quick questions:
1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
Since I became a GM at 14, more or less, 24 years ago.
2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
3) Who taught you how to play chess?
With an uncle who barely knew how the pieces are moving.
4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)? How old were you?
At age 10 I became European and World champion U10 in Szombately and Bratislava in 1993.
5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
I do many things but only at lowest amateur level, cooking is probably my second best after chess.
6) Do you have any family members/relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
My parents learned how to move pieces at university, as a kid I was the only chess player in the family. Now my wife plays around a rating of 2000, my son 2200 and my daughter 1400.
7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
Actually, I do many things around chess, coaching Maxime Vachier Lagrave, coaching talented young French players, and own together with my wife AlphaEchecs (alphaechecs.fr) a shop of chess products. I don’t see myself doing something not chess-related.
8) What is your strength as a chess player?
I had great coaches and coaching a great player so my understanding of chess is quite good.
9) Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
As I don’t consider myself a full professional I now take it easy, no more superstitions!
10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2021 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
The tournament is very interesting and I will play in each game for a win, let’s see what it brings!