Lubomir Ftacnik: “I could have become a physicist indeed”

The famous Grandmaster from Slovakia Lubomir Ftacnik didn’t look his 53 years old age that is proved by his manners and appearance. The chess player makes an impression of an active, educated and self-critical person at the same time.

– I agree, I look good! – Ftacnik laughs, – Everything is very simple – I lead a very healthy lifestyle, I neither smoke nor drink. I go info sports very actively, especially I love jogging. And I am also on a diet.

I will never give up my favorite sport

– Do you like answering journalists’ questions?

– You are always welcome. I perfectly understand that we should meet the needs of people who like reading about our game. And I am a rather curious person.

– In this case, I suggest that you recall school years. What can you tell us about it?

– I have always been a good student, both at school and at the university. I finished school with excellent marks only and graduated from the university with honors. But this is not the most important thing in your life. I try to discover something new every day. I have been always persistent in studying issues that really attract me.

– I do not doubt that you can recall your favorite subject at school?

– It was physics of course. If it were not for chess, it would have become a physicist. Once I had to choose between two most favorite things in my life. The choice was finally made that was also influenced by the specifics of time. Then it was easier to play chess than to do physics. Also, I’m still fascinated by philosophy.

– You are still devoted to the choice that you made a long time ago, aren’t you?

– Absolutely. Many of my friends gave up chess and started business. I won’t hide form you that I also have my own business, but I do remember my old love. I know exactly that I will never give up my favorite sport.

I hate contemporary cinema

– As far as I know, you have a twin brother. Do you have the same interests?

– It might be strange, but not at all. I have always thought that twins are very similar in appearance and character. However, to everyone’s surprise, we are completely different people.

– Many players spend their free time watching the latest movies? Are you among them?

– I have no desire to talk about contemporary cinema. The movies that are coming out now are simply not worth watching. I am not even able to name you a single modern actor that I like. With time passing by I prefer books more to cinema.

– Do you like reading?

– Certainly. I’ve always liked reading something unusual. I love the Anglo-Saxon literature, for example.

– What do you think about the fact that the Chief Arbiter of the Olympiad is a woman?

– I do not know Sava personally, but in general I like that the situation with arbiters is changing. It’s been a long time since I am in chess – 15 Olympiads are behind me. All the arbiters were too strict and demanding previously. I am not saying that it doesn’t concern Sava, but I really like her attitude to the players. She always gives a hand when it is necessary to solve the players’ problems and does not “close her eyes”, as the others do.

– What do you think about saying "The end justifies the means"?

– I do not quite agree with it. You must be persistent, I don’t argue, but the price of the victory sometimes can be too high...

– You lead very vivid and interesting life. Is there any remarkable moment that you will never forget?

– I still remember the Olympiad of 1982 and my brilliant victory in the match against the USSR. Then I helped Czechoslovakia to win the silver medal. That was my triumph, the best game in my life, – recalls the player sadly.

– You must be a patriot?

– Yes, I am, but I cannot say that I’m obsessed with love for motherland. There are people who would kill for their homeland. As for me, I am tolerant in this respect.