Ivan Morovic. Photo credit: El Mostrador
Ivan Morovic Chile’s no 1 chess player
Name: Morovic Fernandez, Ivan
Federation: Chile
Highest rating: 2613
Born: 1963
Sex: Male
Ivan Morovic, born in Viña del Mar, Chile in 1963 is the highest ranking Chilean chess player. He was the first to be awarded the title Grandmaster (1984) in Chile and remains one of only very few Chilean Grandmasters today. He was Panamerican Champion by the age of 16 and went on to enjoy a glittering career. Ivan is also supporting the development of chess for children in Chile with his chess academy in Vina del Mar that was founded by him and it is aimed for children aged 9 to 16. Children can benefit from free support and it is founded on the belief that help creativity, logic, memory and decision making amongst other skills. Ivan also hosts a TV programme called “Jaque al Rey” (Check) every Wednesday nights at 23.00 Chilean time on UCTV. Ivan has stated that chess strategy can be applied to any human activity and so this is the philosophy behind the show. He invites a guest to play a chess match whilst conducting an interview and debate on contemporary issues. Guests are usually politicians, for example he has interviewed the now President of Chile Sebastián Piñera. Check out Ivan’s website.
folder Profile | <achart Rating Progress | pie chart Game Statistics | Full Opponents List
white knightGames With White black knightGames With Black black knightwhite knightGames Total
white knightWhite Win: 10 black knightBlack Win: 8 black knightwhite knightTotal Win: 18
white knightWhite Draw: 13 black knightBlack Draw: 15 black knightwhite knightTotal Draw: 28
white knightWhite Lost: 4 black knightBlack Lost: 4 black knightwhite knightTotal Lost: 8


Chileno – When did you start to play chess and how much time do you devote to practice and development?

Ivan – Comencé alrededor de los 9 años, y se podría decir que hasta los 17 era bastante fanático, incluso podía estudiar hasta 10 horas diarias!

Ivan – I started at around 9 years old, and one could say that by the time I was 17 I was quite a fanatic, I could even study for up to 10 hours a day!

Chileno – You have accomplished much in your life. What would you say are your greatest achievements and do you have any further ambitions in chess?

Ivan – Bueno, mis logros más importantes han sido por ejemplo derrotar al subcampeón del mundo Victor Korchnoi 3,5 – 2,5 en un match jugado en Chile 1991, haber empatado 3-3 ante Boris Spassky (1988) y el triunfo del torneo más importante del año 1993 en Las Palmas cat.16 (primero, sobre Anand, Topalov, Jusupow, Adams, Khalifman entre otros). Ambiciones…,sí! De otra forma es imposible seguir aprendiendo. Hay que tener ganas! Sin tener alguna meta en concreto, pienso que todo es posible!

Ivan – Well, my most important achievements have been for example defeating the world championship runner-up Victor Korchnoi (3.5 – 2.5) in a match played in Chile 1991, having drawn 3-3 against Boris Spassky (1988) and the most important tournament victory in 1993 in Las Palmas category 16 [average player rating between 2626 and 2650] (first place, against Anand, Topalov, Jusupow, Adams, Khalifman and others). Ambitions … yes! Otherwise it is impossible to continue learning. One has to have ambition! Without having any specific goal, I think that anything is possible!

Chileno – How important is studying chess theory to your game?

Ivan – Teoria y práctica! Pienso que ese es uno de los “secretos”, tal vez 50 y 50%. Además cuando se habla de “teoría”; la teoría es la práctica de los grandes maestros, y por supuesto de los clásicos (Morphy, Steinitz, Capablanca etc etc).

Ivan – Theory and practice! I think that’s one of the “secrets”, maybe 50/50%. Also when we speak of “theory” theory is the practice of the great masters, and of course the classics (Morphy, Steinitz, Capablanca etc etc).

Chileno – Do you use computers as part of your studies?

Ivan – Como muchos GMS, uso las bases de datos y la computadora como una forma de entrenamiento (ayuda en posiciones de cálculo básicamente), jugar propiamente tal no …, digamos que para entrenar ciertas posiciones si.

Ivan – Like many Grandmasters, I use databases and the computer as a form of training (essentially help for calculated positions), actual playing, no …, let’s say it’s for training of certain positions.

Chileno – The English grandmaster Nigel Short has complained that computers may destroy chess and that “cheating with computers is the gravest threat to chess today”, do you agree with that statement?

Ivan – En parte sí, ya que han habido algunos casos. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los jugadores, no pensamos en algo así. Más bien creo que se han dado casos en niveles de jugadores bastante bajos.

Ivan – In part yes, because there have been some cases. However, most players do not think so. I rather believe that there have been such cases in very low levels of players.

Chileno – How vital is it to have a very powerful memory in chess – How many moves ahead can you calculate on the chess board?

Ivan – Tener buena memoria es importante, pero no lo más importante, igualmente calcular jugadas es necesario pero tampoco es lo fundamental. Más importante que eso es la comprension del juego, el cálculo es secundario e importante en ciertos momentos de la partida (para rematar ….. encontrar la jugada defensiva o ganadora….etc etc).

Ivan – Having a good memory is important, but not the most important, equally to calculate moves is necessary but again is not essential. More important is the understanding of the game, the calculation is secondary and important at certain times of the game (to finish ….. or find a defensive or winning game …. etc etc).

Chileno – Would you say that chess is about combat perhaps fuelled by testosterone, or is it a strategic exercise?

Ivan – Es difícil dar una sola respuesta! Podrían ser varias. Si bien es un juego de estrategia y táctica pura, también es un juego de decisiones!

Ivan – It is difficult to give a single answer! Could be several. While it is a game of pure strategy and tactics, it is also a game of decisions!

Chileno – Fischer, and others in Chess have sometimes been associated with insanity. Do you think there is a danger of becoming obsessed with chess and it damaging your health?

Ivan – Sí, pero como podría ocurrir al obsesionarse con cualquier otra cosa o actividad profesional! En general pienso que la práctica del ajedrez mejora capacidades intelectuales hasta avanzada edad.

Ivan – Yes, but this could happen with something else or any other professional activity! In general I think the practice of chess improves intellectual skills into advanced age.

Chileno – What is the chess scene like in Chile today? How does it compare to other countries and do you think it has changed over time?

Ivan – Con muy poco apoyo del Estado. Existe cierta ignorancia en los actores políticos en relación a los beneficios que otorga la practica del deporte ciencia, sobretodo en los niños (mejora hasta en un 27 % la inteligencia).

Ivan – With little government support. There is some ignorance in political actors in relation to the benefits provided by the practice of sports science, especially among children (improvement of intelligence by up to 27%).

Chileno – As with the rest of the world, there are many more men than women playing at top levels in Chile. Why do you think this is?

Ivan – Existen varias razones, tal vez a cierta edad (adolescencia) los hombres somos más independientes (viajamos solos por ejemplo), por otro lado existe una exigencia no sólo mental del ajedrez sino también física, y en ese sentido las mujeres están en desventaja, el ajedrez de alta competencia requiere energía física!

Ivan – There are several reasons, perhaps at a certain age (adolescence) men are more independent (they travel alone for example), on the other hand there is a demand not only mental but also physical in chess, and in that sense, women are disadvantaged, the highly competitive chess requires physical energy!

Chileno – What are the virtues of playing chess?

Ivan – Varias, mejora la concentración, memoria, aprendes a conocer a tu rival… y a tí mismo! Entre varias otras! (ayuda a evaluar situaciones y a formular planes!)

Ivan – Several, it improves concentration, memory, you learn to know your opponent … and yourself! Among many others! (helps to assess situations and formulate plans!)

Chileno – There is feeling amongst some Chilean chess players that there isn’t enough financial support compared to other countries, what do you think?

Ivan – Como te decía anteriormente, el apoyo es casi nulo! Y pasa por las autoridades no solo deportivas (lamentablemente deportes como el futbol son los que “venden” al menos en Chile….y posiblemente en sudámérica).

Ivan – As I said earlier, the support is virtually nothing! And it doesn’t just need support from sporting autorities (unfortunately sports like football are those that “sell” at least in Chile …. and possibly in South America).

Chileno – What do you think the future holds for chess in Chile? What are the three most important developments that need to happen to make improvements?

Ivan –

1.  Introducir el ajedrez en los colegios y escuelas.
2.  Apoyo a los talentos y figuras del ajedrez Chileno.
3.  Más apoyo para torneos en diversas categorías.

Ivan –

1. Introduce chess in schools and colleges.
2. Support for talented Chilean chess players and figures.
3. More support for tournaments in various categories.

Chileno – Thank you very much for your time Ivan!

Check out further thoughts on chess in Chile from two other ranked players Erwin Schneider and Joao Avalos.

Follow Ivan on twitter and join him on facebook.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here