Ruslan Ponomariov: “Children? The more the better”

The whole world knows the Ukrainian grandmaster Ruslan Ponomariov, but what kind of person is he beyond the chessboard?

– Have you been a good student?

– Chess came into my life from the young age that’s why I can tell you more about competition’s trips than about teachers and lessons. I only remember that I didn’t like chemistry at school. But despite often absences at school I finished it with a silver medal.

– Did you like to study?

– It depends on the subject. I would introduce narrow specialization in schools. Einstein, for example, was considered to be a very bad student but he was very strong at mathematics.

– What do you like to read?

– I like shot stories, because it is very hard for me to concentrate and to read long novels with a lot of plots. I do not know how Leo Tolstoy wrote "War and Peace." And who could read it. Sergey Bondarchuk celebrated his anniversary recently and I can say that I liked his famous version of "War and Peace". Many details are lost, of course, but it is still dramatic.

– How do you like to rest?

– I like travelling and it is not obligatory to be done in a civilized way. Beautiful nature, tents with sleeping bags, and friends with a guitar – it's so cool. I love Russian winter. I even think about celebrating New Year in Khanty-Mansiysk with the reindeers and Grandpa Frost. However the distance is problematic. It is necessary to develop tourism here and to think over places to visit. It is much harder to get to Ugra than to Austria from Kiev. I would also like horse riding throughout the steppes of Mongolia on the paths of Genghis Khan. And the most important thing is that there must be someone close next to you to share emotions with.

– Do you like to eat?

– Of course I do. During my trips I always try  to eat local cuisine. I really like whitefish here. We were also treated with venison pies. I've heard that deer blood mixed with vodka helps you in case you lack vitamins.

– What about Ukrainian borsch?

– It is also good with donuts, garlic and vodka. I think that the Ukrainian cuisine is not light and is more suitable for cold weather, when much energy is required.

– Do you like cooking?

– I relax while cooking. And it is always pleasant to cook for someone. But I cook once a week to enjoy it, because I don’t want to turn everything into routine.

– Do you think about having a family one day?

– Yes, of course

– How many children do you want to have?

– The more the better. But this decision must be taken with responsibility because there must be an opportunity to educate them and to pay attention to everyone. I love children and I am very happy to have a younger sister.

– Is it true that you and your sister were named after  the Pushkin's poem "Ruslan and Lyudmila?

– In fact my mother thought that if she has a son she will name him Ruslan and a daughter Ruslana. Finally I was born and my sister was named after my mother – Lyudmila. So everything turned out beautifully – Ruslan and Lyudmila.

– Are you a happy person?

– I think so. I have a favorite job. I am surrounded by wonderful people. My life is harmonious and full of sense. The most important is that I have something to strive to. Because it is not possible to be happy when you do not know what to do and have no one to share your impressions with.