GM: From your point of view, very close to the players, how has the atmosphere changed in the box area since Monday?
CJ: Well, let's take it day by day, because it changed dramatically on Tuesday. You know, I mean Garry was, as Vishy on Monday evening, it was like grabbing the tiger by the whiskers: tomorrow he's going to be furious. And yesterday, which was Tuesday, Garry was literally furious. I mean he came in like ... he roared in there like a lion and he was, I mean he was, had all of his anger up at the level where you can't stand up to him practically when he's that angry.
CJ: I mean he just has this anger that he wanted ... that he was upset that he lost and he can when he has that attitude, it's probably, you know it's difficult ... he's not a friendly person but I won't say unfriendly, but he's just very focused.
GM: Did you feel like you were in his way or something?
CJ: Oh no, no, no. not at all.
JS: Did he scare you into dropping the clock?
CJ: (laughing) That was so funny. But today was funny. Today was different again. Today they were both relaxed.
GM: What was the last game like?
CJ: They were both back to the gentleman approach. I think Garry felt with Black that he would have been happy to have a draw and he was going to fight again with White. He offered the draw on move 19. And when he saw the opportunity and won, of course when he wins he's just thrilled. He's elated.
GM: So I mean ...
CJ: I must say, look, I've done the championship between Karpov and Kasparov.
GM: Right. What's the difference?
CJ: This is really different because they're both more friendly to each other. They smile at each other. They analyze with each other. They're both human beings, you know they're both hospitable to each other. With Garry and Karpov ... They were both antagonistic towards each other. You know you never expect one to hit the other, I mean (laugh) or anything else like that but it's like Garry said in Lyon, he said if you wanted to play chess with someone, you play chess with Karpov because he's the only ... he's the best player in the world besides him. But he would never go out to dinner with him. I think with Anand they even go out to dinner together.
JL: During the match?
GM: I don't think so.
CJ: No. During the match, no.
SL: They had a nice dinner in Germany last year. There's a funny anecdote about this. It was at Munich, there was a blitz tournament, and Kasparov was taking Anand and 2 or 3 other players out to the most expensive restaurant in Munich, or one of the most expensive ones, and it was like a bill of 2 thousand, 3 thousand dollars, and Kasparov paid of course because none of the others could afford it. And the next day in the hotel Anand was offering Garry a cup of tea or coffee, and was saying: OK, now it's quits.
GM: How much discussion goes on behind the doors there?
CJ: Before the match there's no discussion.
GM: There's no ... there's complete silence ...
CJ: There's absolutely no discussion before the match. They're both intent on what they're going to do there. They shake hands, sit down. They fill out the scoresheets. They fix their pieces the way they ... I know how to fix the pieces now. It's really interesting because I know exactly how they each want their pieces positioned.
GM: I see.
CJ: And I'm still interested to see if they're still going to go and fiddle with all the pieces.
GM: The way they turn the knights and so on.
CJ: Well, Vishy wants his knights straight ahead so now that he's gotten them where he wants he doesn't bother the pieces. Garry has the knights exactly where he wants them but he still likes to touch all the pieces.
SL: Does Garry have the knights straight?
CJ: No, he has them to the left. They're both pointing left.
SL: But he adjusts because it's a habit.
CJ: It's his habit, he touches everything. He can't turn them any more because they're all where he wants them. But he adjusts them anyway.
SL: The warmup.
CJ: Yes, yes, the warmup, that's right.
SL: They're all my pieces. If I haven't touched them, yes? I cannot move them during the game, they are not my pieces.
JL: How much noise gets through?
GM: Yeah, do you hear anything?
CJ: Today there wasn't any noise at all. I mean, yesterday, it depends on what kind of, what type of noise there is outside. Like, for instance, I mentioned that when there are little children around they have a very shrill voice and if they run around in the corridor there and they scream and yell then I'll hear that so there's a guard outside the bathroom just to make sure there's no children making noise. The only thing we hear is applause. And applause is a tone that doesn't disturb anyone. Because when the big audience out there applauds Maurice or Danny or whoever is doing the analysis out in front, I do hear that, but that's not a disturbing noise.
GM: You can't hear boos?
CJ: No. No, no, no. And you know it's always very interesting because I look at the audience out there in the King Room and I see all of them talking and they're moving their hands around and we never hear any of that. So it's, I was very skeptical about that box from the beginning. You know, I thought it would be too small and it would be claustrophobic but it's very, very comfortable. The air conditioning and the ventilation is excellent. And probably part of it is that the air conditioner gets this white noise along with it. So it's a very comfortable, very comfortable.
JS: Have the players had any complaints?
CJ: No, they haven't had any complaints. You know, not of that. I mean one time on Tuesday the sign fell down, right. So Garry shot me a look like (laughing) he was going to kill me. But the sign was hanging and I thought let it fall down and leave it alone rather than get up and try to put it back up or something like that.
GM: Are they eating or drinking in between moves? Do you know?
CJ: Not very much. You know the games haven't really gone that long. We haven't had a game yet that went past the first time control. Perhaps if it does then they might eat or drink more. Gary has his thermos of tea so he always has a cup of tea and ...
GM: He has it in the back?
CJ: He has it in his dressing room and he always seems to eat a couple of thin mints or something like a couple of little chocolates. Other than that, I haven't seen him eat anything. Vishy hardly ever goes out of his dressing room but when the match is over then he goes back there and he has orange juice and he has something to drink and he has a few chocolates and things like that but they have never asked for sandwiches at all. People had asked me in the beginning, "Do you supply sandwiches and things like that?" I said, "They don't come here to eat dinner, they come to play chess, you know." And the most they want is for water, you know, because I asked their managers for both teams what I should put in the dressing room and it was, like, nuts, some little finger foods, things like that. Garry wanted an apple and a banana so I put an apple and a banana in his dressing room every day, but he's never eaten either one yet.
GM: Oh, I see. OK. Ha, Ha.
CJ: And mostly it's just chocolate with nuts, you know, like chocolate covered almonds or you know one of those little candies with nuts inside that they can just grab and pop in their mouths, chew on while they're thinking.
GM: So are you enjoying this match more than the other ones you've arbited before?
CJ: Oh, I mean, well, I'm enjoying it very much. I'm enjoying it more than the World Championship I did before. Well, probably because I'm the only arbiter, you know, that gives me a lot more responsibility; it makes it more interesting.
GM: Usually two...
CJ: Usually three! There's a chief and two deputies. So now I'm the only one which gives me a lot more responsibility and I know it's a very relaxed, I mean the whole atmosphere here is great; I love the site. I love the fact that there's this much press activity and that there's a lot of people around, you know, that are very interested in what's going on and with the spectators, the non-chess spectators coming around to me, the whole atmosphere is very nice; I like what they've done. I like what the PCA has done with trying to popularize chess and trying to bring it into a more public venue, you know rather than putting it in a theater where only the chess public would go.
CJ: Which is what they're more used to obviously they're used to sitting in theaters so I was not sure they'd be very comfortable in this completely different playing attitude.
GM: Do you think there's any effect on the way the games have been played?
CJ: I don't know. I don't think so.
GM: Well, we've asked the players the same type of question.
CJ: Yeah. What did they say?
GM: Oh, they said no that they're so concentrated on the board.
CJ: I don't think so because they sit in there and once they sit at the board you know the only thing that disturbs them is distractions and if there are no distractions I don't ... The light is good. The ventilation is good. The public doesn't bother them so I haven't noticed that that makes it any different. I mean, I think they just had a lot of draws because they were afraid of each other. Garry didn't want to take risks that he could avoid and Vishy was trying to feel his way around there too.
GM: Did ... I mean you're obviously closer than anyone. Did Vishy look shocked today after he realized he was caught?
CJ: No, he didn't. Somebody else asked me that, you know, that, if he was shocked and I said no, no, he didn't.
GM: He appeared calm.
CJ: Yes, yes, he appeared very calm. I mean Garry had gone out. When Garry came back in again Vishy just extended his hand. They analyzed for a while in the room. Actually, Vishy was quieter when he lost to Garry the last game. Garry was just analyzing a little bit. Vishy didn't really seem to want to respond that much. I mean, you know, he's not going to get up and leave but he really wasn't into analyzing. Today they were analyzing a little bit, discussing some of the moves with Garry. But, you know, he didn't seem shocked.
GM: Right. OK, that's great.
This page last modified on
28 April 2018.
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