Benjamin Gledura

“Judit Polgar invited me to play for Hungary which was mind blowing”

Photo: David Llada, photo@davidllada.com

Interview by Ingemar Falk

 

Hungary is one of the prime chess countries in the world. Who inspired you to be a chess player?
”I learned from my dad to play chess, but later I fell in love with chess thanks to my first coach Tamas Bodi.”

Who of all great chess players from Hungary do you admire most?
”I don’t really admire Hungarian chess players but if I have to pick one, I would say Peter Leko, because I think he was the one who achieved the most in chess from Hungary.”

How is the chess scene for young players in Hungary. For example, do you have chess lessons in every school?
”In some schools we have chess lessons, however this is still in progress, but I think we are on the right way to achieving something great.”

And how is media coverage in Hungary?
”I think chess is quite popular in Hungary, I mean, you can read about the tournaments and the results in many Hungarian newspapers.”

You played for Hungary in the Olympiad 2016. Where you surprised to be elected to the team, and how was the tournament for you and the team?
”Yeah, it was a little bit surprise also for me, the thing is that I was 17, I had about 2600 in ELO rating and our captain Judit Polgar invited me to play for Hungary, which was mind blowing of course! Our results were unfortunately not the best, because in the last round we had no luck, I lost a winning position and we made 2–2 against Greece. If we could have won then, I think we would be in 6–8th place. I think I played quite decent chess, except for the last round.”

You will celebretate your 19th Birtday this year, and has already climbed over 2600. What are your future goals in your chess career?
”My future goal is to be a 2700 player, and to play for the Hungarian national team.”

Do you play chess full time, or do you also study or work?
”I’m studying but not too much, mainly I concentrate on my tournaments, and on my training.

You played in Sweden a few months ago, during Rilton Cup. How was that experience for you?
”Rilton Cup was a very good experience. It was well organized, I met many friends, and it was a nice city.

And what do you hope to achieve in TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
”I hope I can show some quality chess, and to achieve good result.”

 

SHORT CASTLE

What was your favourite chess opening when you were twelve years old?
”Sicilian Dragon with black.”

And your preferred chess opening nowadays?
”Grünfeld defence.”

What’s your best tip to more easily fall asleep at nights during a chess tournament?
”To watch a movie.”

Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
”Yes, I always write with the same pen during chess games.”

Who was your first chess trainer?
”Tamas Bodi, who had 2200, but was a very entertaining coach.”

How much chess do you study an average day?
”If I’m preparing for a tournament then it’s usually 6–8 hours – at least!”

Who is your best chess fan?
“I would say my dad is my biggest chess fan.”

When you think of Sweden, which three things pop up first in your mind?
”Beautiful girls, nice cities, nice people.”