“Playing chess trains the brain”

Interview with Gernot Gauglitz, Managing Director of the wind farm developer UKA

“Playing chess trains the brain”

Dear Mr. Gauglitz, as representative and managing director of the Saxon wind farm developer UKA, you will personally play a special role in the Central Final Round of the German Chess League 2017/2018. Without the main sponsor UKA this major event would not have been possible this year. What was the initial impetus for you and your company to support this event?

Gernot Gauglitz: I learned from Rai Tischbierek and Rainer Polzin that the continuation of this great event would fail due to lack of money. I then inquired about the size of the event and agreed to close the gap.

I also think that the UKA contribution should not be overestimated. The main burden and therefore the main part of the honour belongs to the organisers of the event. If one were to evaluate the many hours of volunteer work with money, a completely different relationship would emerge. When I accompanied the Mitropa-Cup in Meißen as a sponsor and organizer a few years ago, I gained this insight and therefore the honour is due first and foremost to the volunteers and then to the sponsor.

Finally, this event is a very special event with so many grandmasters and world class players in one place and thus a first class advertisement for chess and an incentive for the youth, who may watch their idols at close range.

For professional and chess reasons they come around the world a lot. While I am formulating these questions for you, you are on business in America. Does chess play a role on your business trips? Do you have an insight into the chess scene of other countries and how would you describe the role of chess for example in America in comparison to German chess?

Gernot Gauglitz: I am professionally very strongly involved and therefore chess unfortunately plays a very minor role in my life at the moment, whereby I have not given up hope that this will change again later. For this reason I have no insight into the chess scene of other countries.

In one of his best-selling books “How Life imitates Chess” the former chess world champion Garri Kasparov transferred the decision-making in chess to real life, especially to entrepreneurial thinking. If you take a look back at your life so far, which was extremely varied both in chess and in business terms: Are there central points in your life in which you, as a professional person, have profited from the thinking of the International Chess Champion living in you, or can that not be separated at all?

Gernot Gauglitz: From my perspective, I can basically confirm Kasparov’s findings. Active chess training trains the brain and promotes various character traits, which are also very helpful in professional life. With regard to me personally I would say that it is very easy for me to grasp complex facts and to find solutions if something unforeseen happens.

So I can confirm that I owe a lot to chess and am still an admirer of the royal game. Therefore I am glad that I can share my economic success with the chess sport and try to help when it burns, but of course this is not always possible.

Finally to the final round: Last year you sat twice on the board for your Dresden club in the central Bundesliga final round 2017. Will you also actively intervene in the events this year, perhaps even in advance in the lightning tournament on Saturday to chase one or the other scalp from the world top and shoot?

Gernot Gauglitz: I don’t want to answer this question so that the opponents of the Dresden team don’t have it too easy to prepare for the final round.

The interview was conducted by Dr. Lars Hein