Grandmaster Alisher Suleimenov Answers Questions from Asian Juniors

The 26th Asian Youth Chess Championship is ongoing in Almaty, drawing around 650 young chess players from 34 countries. Beyond the intense battles on the chess boards, participants are enjoying various leisure events organized by the Kazakhstan Chess Federation. One of the highlights was a Q&A session with grandmaster Alisher Suleimenov. The Kazakhstani chess player answered questions from young Asian players, shared useful tips, and talked about his future plans.

Participants were eager to know how Alisher's life had changed after his victory over the 16th world champion, Magnus Carlsen. Alisher created a sensation at the Qatar Masters Open 2023 in Doha by defeating Magnus. “Life after the game with Magnus changed in some ways positively and in some ways negatively. Yes, there is more popularity and collaboration, but this takes a lot of time, which I want to spend on developing my chess skills and participating in tournaments,” Alisher explained.

Most of the juniors were interested in his preparation for competitions, both practically and psychologically. For example, Alisher was asked how many hours a day he dedicates to the game and how to cope with defeats: “I train 6-7 times a week, 6-7 hours a day. As for losing, if you truly love and are passionate about what you do, you should always be prepared for losses and negative emotions. This is inevitable; it is important to be ready for different outcomes. The main thing is to focus on the next goal,” the grandmaster advised the juniors.

When asked if he has a dream, Alisher shared his aspiration to become a world champion, which received applause and support from the young chess players. He also mentioned wanting to play against Iranian grandmaster Parham Maghsoodloo (ranked 2732, No. 19 in the world), who recently won the Aktobe Open tournament. Alisher had already faced Parham during this tournament and lost to him.

Pakistani chess player Hafsa Qamar received a chessboard with Suleimenov’s autograph as a prize for asking the best question. She asked about the justification of all the efforts and expenses on classes with coaches and participation in tournaments for young chess players. The grandmaster firmly answered that all efforts are justified: the more you invest, the more you gain in the end. “Today, excellent conditions have been created in Kazakhstan for the development of chess. This has never happened before. We have great support for preparation and participation, and this is very motivating,” noted Suleimenov.

The Asian Youth Championship, organized by KazChess with the support of the Asian Chess Federation, Almaty Akimat, Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, and Baluan Sholak Arena, with the general partnership of Freedom Holding Corp., will continue until June 20.