Yesterday ChessVibes had an interview with chess legend Vlastimil Hort, the Czechoslovakia-born player now living in Germany and former world champion candidate. He’s here in Dortmund to play a match against the no less legendary Heikki Westerinen from Finland, the first ever winner of the Dortmund tournament, in 1973. Hort won Dortmund a few years later and their short match, as from today played on the same stage as the 2700 guys, is to celebrate the 35th edition of the tournament. Enjoy the interview!
Mr Vlastimil Hort, in Dortmund. You’re visiting the Sparkassen Chess Meeting. Are you also doing commentary here?
No no, I was here already many many years ago, twenty years, and I won once. What I do here or what I will do is, also… I’m here anyway, as a spectator, because it’s very near to my living site, to Cologne. Why I’m here… I play against, it’s some kind of nostalgia match, I play with Heikki Westerinen, a match, four games, very serious, no, it’s really serious, also for ELO, or it doesn’t matter, we are not dependant on ELO with Heikki, but still we play.
It’s very funny, I’m born 1944 and we played our first game exactly 44 years ago, and he’s also from 1944 so it means that we are somehow here and we should try to give some piece of nostalgia… It’s nice to be in Dortmund actually. It’s some kind of chess Mecca. And so we are here on different terms. But the people they are used to it, the theater is really a beautiful site to enjoy chess, as an art, to meet friends, to think over, to improve your chess to, I don’t know, just to forget the world. You are ill and you come to chess and you forget everything…
Do you still play tournaments yourself?
Sometimes. I am senior but I don’t like to play senior business. I accept if somebody likes it but if I would go to play senior now, world championship, or even if I would become world champion, I know, it is not easy, surely not easy, I appreciate, but still, I don’t want to, I want to be a member of this chess society, full member of chess society. If I would play senior chess for me it would be like going, as the Germans say, ins Altersheim gehen. So I enjoy better to play young guys and just… enjoy chess.
Okay. At the moment there’s a tournament in Romania going on with a lot of your old friends perhaps, do you follow that tournament?
Yes, yes, of course. I saw Timman was last, but… anyway, maybe I will be there in some years, you never know. But I like that they do it. Chess is also historic. Not only internet, also history, books, and many many lives, Schicksall, fate, et cetera et cetera. I wish you everything the best. Do you still want to know something?
Here is the full interview.