Anton Shomoev is one of the few players in the Russian Championship most chess fans will never have heard of. Rated 2579 and ranked around 300 in the world he doesn’t usually get to lock horns with the likes of Vladimir Kramnik. A pre-tournament interview shed some light on the qualifier from south-east of Lake Baikal.
Anton was interviewed by Eteri Kublashvili for the Russian Chess Federation website. Some excerpts:
Without question it’s the strongest tournament in my career, so I’ll enter the battle with great interest.
Can you please list your achievements in the last year?
Well, it’s all very modest. My only achievement this year was precisely to qualify for the Superfinal.
Do you consider yourself a chess professional or do you do something else? Do you work as a trainer?
Yes, I consider myself a chess professional. Mainly I play myself, but sometimes I also coach. [...] A personal trainer would be a real luxury for me and I’ve never had one. I mainly work independently, although quite often I hold mini training camps with my grandmaster friends.
You’re considered a well-known theoretician; how did you manage to achieve such a level?
Being a well-known theoretician is an exaggeration. I simply play less than others so I have time left to look at things.
She’s an art historian and specialises in modern art. For her it’s both work and a passion. She barely plays chess and only knows how the pieces move. However, she picks everything up very fast and after playing two games against me she’d scored two spectacular wins!
So something like this!
Buryatia has its own specific atmosphere and I like a lot of things there. Some aspects of culture and art are very well-developed. In terms of sports wrestling and archery are traditionally very popular.
The republic is subsidised, but it seems to me it has its own potential. Buryatia is rich in natural resources, and our greatest pride is Baikal.
How is chess life in Buryatia? Can we talk about a chess boom? Do a lot of people play?
Buryatia has quite a lot of chess enthusiasts, particularly among the young generation, but you couldn’t say there’s a boom.
Do you receive support from your city or republic?
Yes, but now I live in two cities: Moscow and Ulan-Ude.
Why is that?
There are a few reasons, one of which is to do with chess. From Moscow it’s much more convenient and easy to get to venues.
The full interview (in Russian) can be found at russiachess.org.