Kolkata: He is as talented and surely more colourful than Shane Warne or George Best. Trust Grandmaster Vladislav Tkachiev for being in the news for all the wrong reasons in his career. Experts feel that the French Grandmaster, with an Elo rating of 2669, could not live up to his potential because of his lack of discipline in life.
The 35-year-old has no regrets, though. “Yes, I do believe that I could have achieved more in chess, but I can’t help it,” he said matter-offactly on Monday. “I am like a high-flying gypsy,” he said. It’s not that he has not tried to lead a normal life, but by his own admission, he could not help it. “I could not. I love to party with wine and women. That’s my life,” he said.
Asked if he feels this has affected his game, he said, “Sometimes it does, but not always. At times late-night parties actually recharged me for next day’s battle on the board.”
Born in Moscow, Vladislav learned the game from his brother when they were in Kazakhstan. He latter moved to Cannes, France and took the French nationality.
Known for his out-of-the-box thinking, Vladislav created quite a flutter when he and his brother Evgeny, created a website to start a “World Chess Beauty Contest”. “We got a good response with the site registering up to 1200 hits on some days. The contest even attracted 400 entries from all over the world. We had set up a panel of judges to pick the most beautiful and intelligent women in the game. However, we had to close down the site because we could not rope in a sponsor,” he lamented.
Vladislav maintains that he did not do it to earn some cheap publicity. His intention was to popularize chess. “I find it sad that there is so little following for chess which is one of the oldest games of the world. Today, people do not even recognize Vladimir Kramnik on the roads of Moscow,” he said.
The failed beauty contest, however, has not put off Vladislav. “I am planning to organize a rapid tournament involving leading women and men’s players of the world on the beaches of Salou, Spain. I have had some fruitful talks with a television channel which has promised to telecast these games,” he informed.
The party animal that he is, Vladislav has had the fortune of rubbing shoulders with many Hollywood stars. “Once I got a chance to socialize with Britney (Spears), Madonna and Sharon (Stone) at the Cannes film festival,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
In his estimation, chess has produced only three geniuses — Alexander Alekhine, Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. “Others are only greats,” he added. (TNN)