What is your earliest memory of playing chess?
I remember playing my father in our first game in about 1971.
What is your most memorable game?
Beating Mikhail Gurefish [sic] in the last round of the Manila Interzonal.
What was your worst defeat?
I don’t know. I prefer to forget losses.
Which living player do you most admire?
I can’t afford to admire any living players.
How do you relax?
By having a good meal in the company of friends.
What/who is your favourite band/music/composer?
What is your favourite record?
Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony.
What do you consider to be your greatest weakness as a chess player?
A shoddy opening repertoire.
What is your greatest strength?
A love of winning.
What is your most unappealing habit?
My wife didn’t let me answer this one.
Which book would you take to a desert island?
Duels of the Mind. No, no, only joking!
How would you characterize your chess-playing style?
Aggressive, but I don’t believe this to be a common perception of my style.
What is your favourite television programme?
The Channel 4 News.
Against which player do you have the worst results?
Which meal do you most like to eat and could you cook it yourself?
Venison and no.
What do you consider to be your most important contribution to opening theory?
Resurrecting the Four Knights Game.
What was your most embarrassing moment at the chessboard?
Overlooking a mate in one against Maia Chiburdanidze in Banja Luka 1985.
Do you own a chess computer and can you envisage ever losing to a machine in a competitive game?
No, and certainly.
Which chess writer do you most enjoy reading?
Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam.
What single thing in your opinion would improve the chess scene in Britain?
Having an English World Champion. Failing that, a national league.
In which particular tournament do you most like to compete?
V.S.B. tournament in Amsterdam.
Have you ever been the victim of cheating at a chess tournament?
I have frequently been the victim of unethical behaviour.
Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced?
Who is the most courteous person you have played?
There are many correctly behaved chessplayers – Timman, Andersson, Yusupov, etc.
Are there any other sports/activities at which you excel?
Sub-aqua Sumo wrestling.
first published in Kingpin 19 (Spring 1992)