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Interview with his Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore, Ambassador Adviser to the Minister of State of Monaco
Excellency, first of all, is chess a passion for you?

My real passion is bridge, but I have to tell you I have been always fascinated by chess, however I play chess once or twice a year. It’s a game that I like. It’s a game which makes you humble, where the best always wins, and in the best case we manage to draw. The handling of pieces can be learned in less than an hour and we are still able immediately to have fun. And what is important today with new technologies, young people, themselves may say they can learn chess in very little time.

His Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore

And with bridge it’s not possible? Moreover, you are a top player.

Bridge is much more complicated, and it’s true actually I am an international player. However to learn how to play bridge takes several years.

Concerning this Grand Prix, which emotion do you have, when you see high level champions taking part in the prestigious Casino of Monte-Carlo?

This Grand Prix has for me two features, on the one hand, the game of chess, where Monaco is able to host the first leg of the Grand Prix with the best players and on the other hand, the prestigious location combined with this competition at the highest level. I remember, in the past, there has been a women’s championship as well, but never in this context; it could be an opportunity to give ideas for the future. Moreover the Monte-Carlo Casino and the private rooms are adding to the image of the Principality of Monaco.

It’s fantastic to have women champions who are young and passionate, chess is still the most traditional game that can exist and which is still current.

Outside this Grand Prix in the Casino, around you or in the principality, are they talking about this tournament in Monaco?

To be honest, we talk about it a little bit, but the difficulty in Monaco is that every day we have several events. Often I talk about chess with the Russian community. You know this year is dedicated to Russia and among the Russians, especially you have chess. It’s cultural. To answer your question, a lot of people know that Monaco women’s team won 5 times the European Cup.

His Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore, Jean-Michel Pechine (Europe Echecs) and Juliette Rapaire

This prestigious Grand Prix, which is organised by the International Chess Federation is chaired by a Russian, and coincided with the year dedicated to Russia.

The year of Russia has been desired by our Prince, and when I spoke with Jean Michel Rapaire, more than a year already, it could be part of this event, as chess and Russia are intimately linked. In addition we had the opportunity to make a simultaneous with the Woman Grand Master Olga Alexandrova. She played against residents of Monaco. And the president of the Monegasque Federation defended well with a draw, which was not given to everyone.

There should be continuity on the chess organization and the Russian community?

Chess has always had a strong presence in Monaco. This competition can be a very good opportunity for the international federation to consider the possibility of organizing more competitions again and maybe a world championship.

Interview Jean-Michel Pechine ( Europe Echecs)
Translation from French to English, Juliette Rapaire

© FIDE Grand Prix 2015    |    |