Interview with the World Champion

Thursday, June 6, 2013: Fabio Finocchiaro

The 25th World Champion GM Fabio Finocchiaro gratiously agreed to an interview. Photograph and chess analysis provided by Fabio.

1- Dear Mr. Finocchiaro, thanks for the opportunity to interview you for the ICCF. I would like to congratulate you for a wonderful performance and obtaining the title of World Correspondence Chess Champion.
Please tell us little bit about yourself.

Here is a brief profile of my chess career. I started playing chess at age 14 and soon became the strongest player of my town.
When I was 18, I had to leave chess because of personal reasons and family concerns. Subsequently in 1968 I got acquainted with a correspondence chess player and became very fond of this discipline.
I obtained the italian championship title. Then dedicated myself to international tournaments, reaching eventually the ICCF GM title in ASIGC 2000 tournament.
In the World Championship final # 15 I finished in 6th place one point behind Van Oosterom.
Later on, I won two Candidates tournaments. (21st and 26th World Championship cycles)

2- Would you please tell us how a World Champion prepares to play an important tournament?

I study the games of my opponents.

3- When you study your opponents’ games, do you use a database for opening reference, which one? Any commercially available databases?. What chess engines do you use for opening analysis? Do you use the program Aquarium or IDeA for opening analysis?

I use Chessbase 11, Megadatabase 2012 and Corr database 2012

4- What were the most challenging games?

My games with Ninov, Brooks, Akesson, Mielke and Hall.

5- Would you please share a position in those challenging games and some of your analysis?

[Event "WCCC Final 25"]
[Site "ICCF"]
[Date "2009.12.10"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Finocchiaro, Fabio"]
[Black "Ninov"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[Annotator "Finocchiaro, Fabio"]
[PlyCount "121"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. cxd5 exd5 8.
Bd3 Bf5 9. Bxf5 Nxf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Rb1 cxd4 12. cxd4 b6 13. Ne2 Nc6 14. Nf4
Nce7 15. a4 O-O 16. Qb5 Qd6 17. Bd2 Qd8 18. O-O g5 19. Nh5 Nd6 20. Qb3 f5 21.
Bb4 Nc4 22. h4 h6 23. hxg5 hxg5 24. e4 $1 fxe4 25. Qh3 Rf7 26. Qe6 Qc8 27. Qh6
Qc6 28. Qxg5+

Qg6 ({If} 28... Ng6 29. f4 Kh7 (29... exf3 30. Rb3 Rc8 31. Rbxf3)
30. f5 Nh8 31. f6 Rg8 32. Ng7 Rgxg7 33. Qh5+ Kg8 34. fxg7) 29. Bxe7 Qxg5 30.
Bxg5 Rf5 31. Nf6+ Kg7 32. Bh4 Rh8 33. g3 Rxh4 34. Ne8+ Kf8 35. gxh4 Kxe8 36.
Rfc1 Rh5 37. Kg2 Rxh4 38. Rb5 Rh5

39. a5 ({If} 39. Rxc4 $2 a6) 39... Nxa5 40.
Rc7 Nc4 41. Rxa7 Rf5 42. Kg1

Kd8 ({Now if} 42... e3 43. fxe3 Nxe3 44. Rxb6) 43.
Rb3 Rg5+ 44. Rg3 Nd2 45. Rxg5 Nf3+ 46. Kf1 Nxg5 47. Ke2 Nf3 48. Ke3 Ne1 49. Rg7
Ke8 50. Kd2 Nf3+ 51. Kc3 b5 52. Rh7 b4+ 53. Kxb4 Nxd4 54. Kc5 Nc2 55. Kxd5 e3
56. fxe3 Nxe3+ 57. Ke6 Kf8 58. Rc7 Ng4 59. Rf7+ Kg8 60. Rf4 Nh6 61. Kf6

(61.Kf6 Nf7 62. Rd4 Kf8 63. Rd7 {wins}) 1-0

PGN game download

6- Did the withdrawal of Mr. Toro influence your strategy in the tournament?

The withdrawal of Toro was a drawback for me because I was white in this game.

7- Postal nodes were available in this event, did you use a node and if you did, would you use one again in the future?

I began the games with node and postcard but after 3 months and due to the protest of some players, I continued with node and email.

8- Who protested about your use of postal nodes? This was considered in the tournament rules, I wonder why you felt you wanted to switch to node and email if the rules allowed node and post. Did the protest of some players affect your performance in the event or distracted you in any way?

The Tournament Director after 3 months of play advised me to play by email, due to the protest of some player. I accepted.

9- Why do you want to play webserver only now? Do you think that using nodes was not a good idea or complicated things for you? What would you say to future final players that are considering the use of nodes?

After this experience, I prefer webserver. The game with postal node is longer than the webserver and I think that the webserver is the best way to play.

10- Do you have any suggestions about the tournament format for future finals?

Now I prefer that games are played with the webserver.

11- Will you participate in a future Final?

I wish to take part in the final 28 and 29 of the World Championship.

Thank you Mr. Finocchiaro, I wish you the best in your future events. We appreciate your time answering the questions and your perspective about future WC Finals.

For our readers, if you want to listen to the audio of a radio interview done in Radio Rai Program, Zona Cesarini by Maurizio Ruggeri you may follow this link
The audio in italian was uploaded by Chesslogger.com onto SoundCloud.

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