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Conversation with Lucas Van Foreest from Groningen (Netherlands) after winning two World champion titles in Salobrena.

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Lucas, the only GM at the championship, is my former pupil with whom I had started to work when he was young (1900 rating) and brought him to a GM level. Now Lucas works and grows by himself.

  • Welcome, Lucas, to the studio of the press-center. Once more congratulations on winning two titles at the World championships in Salobrena. You were the only GM here and I didn’t expect anything else from you. How do you feel now?
  • I feel quite relieved, happy. I played such tournaments for the 1st time in my life. I came here to win. I am happy that it has happened. I worked hard for this!
  • I can tell that this year already so far is a very successful year for you. You also became the Dutch champion in July ahead of your brother Jorden. What is coming next? 
  • It was a great championship, win there opened some doors for me. Since I became a Dutch champion, I have got a right to play for the Dutch team at the European team championship in Batumi this October. I will be in the team with Anish Giri, Erwin L’Ami, Jorden van Foreest, Erik van Doel (the author of this interview gave up his place in the Dutch team that Lucas gets his place in the team). It will be a great opportunity for me to be among such great players.
  • Which other tournaments are you planning for this year?
  • May be, only the Groningen open in December because I am very busy with the school.
  • Tell me something more about your studies.
  • I study in Groningen where we both live. I have one more year of school. I am going to a special school run by NOC*NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee), that’s why I can combine sports with the studies in the school.
  • Also your brother, Jorden, has finished the same school. How do you look at your future? Are you planning to become a chess professional or to study in the university? Or follow example of your friend Benjamin Bok who moved to the US to study in the university there?
  • I am not so sure what to do right now. From the financial aspect of life it is better to move to the US. But from the study perspective I should study in the Netherlands. There are different options…
  • Still you have some time to take a decision. Let’s see how it goes…
  • I will see how my rating goes up etc…
  • What are your hobbies in life besides chess?
  • Working out! That’s it!
  • Physical exercises are very important. Lot of chess players underestimate it. Because when you play such tough tournaments, you need lot of energy. And you have to be in a good physical form. Before I was always advising to you and Jorden to pay special attention to the physical form, do exercises on a regular basis.
  • Yes. And I really enjoy it since it helps me to feel better and helps in chess because it gives more energy.
  • Who is your favorite chess player?
  • I have to choose Bobby Fischer. Although the greatest player of all times is Magnus Carlsen.
  • How would you describe your chess style?
  • It depends… When playing rapid and blitz I try to play as solid as I can. And I try to squeeze my opponents.
  • Exactly my style!
  • Yes. I really enjoy positions with minimal advantage. But because long games are so long and boring for me, I tend to choose more aggressive style. With aggressive play in the openings.
  • Thank you very much for the interview. And I hope that the wins here are not the last ones in the series of your successes. I believe that you have even more potential than your brother Jorden. Although he is 2 years older, you have good chances to overcome him in chess.
  • Yes. I have some time to continue improving…

Sergey Tiviakov. Salobrena, for FEDA (Spanish Chess Federation). 13 September 2019.