Svetlana Gerasimova: “Andrey is a real gentleman!”

The captain of IPCA women’s team congratulates her friend and colleague Andrey Obodchuk on his 55th birthday. “His is unique!” – repeats Svetlana again and again and tells amazing stories about the “newly born”.

– We met with Andrey in 1995 at a chess tournament. He is a true gentleman, and has excellent manners. He graduated from the philological faculty, speaks English and German fluently, and helps us with translation at the tournaments abroad. He studies chess a lot, despite his movement problems. His main occupation is teaching chess at the Khanty-Mansiysk chess center, and in addition he works with disabled children using video communication.

– What kind of person is he?

– Andrey is a modest man with mild intelligent humor; he uses Russian proverbs in dialogs veru skillfully. He is a wise and calm man with a very special point of view on life. He suffered a lot, and God rewarded him with Yelena, his wife, who is always with Andrey. She is a wonderful woman and a real friend. It is a pleasure to look at their friendly family.

– How long has Andrey played chess?

– He discovered chess rules at the age of 4 when he was at the hospital. He believes that chess opened for him a new world, and loves this game wholeheartedly. Andrey often says: “Chess has everything that can happen in life”.

– Which teams of disabled people participate at the Olympiad?

– There is a team of blind people, our team are locomotor patients and also there are deaf-mute people. Disabled people participate at the Olympiads since 2002. Here we play against any opponents. Without playing with them one cannot go above Candidate Master.

– The overwhelming majority of disabled players at the Olympiads represent Russia. What is the reason for it?

– Chess is more than just a game in Russia. This is special culture and philosophy.

– What are his main achievements in chess?

– He is an International Master, one of the few disabled people in Russia, who managed to get such a serious title. Andrey eightfold Russian champion and threefold World champion among disabled chess players. His dream was to become a grandmaster, and at some point he was rated above 2400. However, the age started counting, and he decided to do chess writing and teaching in order to pass his experience to the next generation.

– What present did you prepare for his birthday?

– I discussed it with his wife and decided to buy him a warm coat. Our host will cook local fish – sterlet and muksun. Andrey is a good singer and likes romances. If he performs a couple of such songs, the evening will be wonderful.

– What is your birthday wish for him?

– First of all, I wish him health and many-many years of fruitful work. I wish him to enjoy every day and never be sad.