Reports | May 08, 2010 0:38

Sutovsky the singer

"It's just a hobby, and of course, I consider myself a strong amateur, but just an amateur, in singing. :-) On a good day, I can please the public." Every now and then Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky pleases the public outside the chess board - as a singer.

Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky (32) is not just a very strong chess grandmaster. He's also a talented bass-baritone singer, as he's proved on a number of occasions already. For instance, he perfomed Figaro's "Non piu andrai" at the World Cup 2007 closing ceremony.

At the closing dinner of last week's President's Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan again Sutovsky took the microphone and gave a performance of the song "Azerbaijan" which was written and sung by the most famous Soviet-Azeri singer Muslim Magomaev:


On Facebook Sutovsky himself posted a link to the video, since 'they say it was not bad'. This convinced us that we should contact him and we asked Sutovsky about his singing.

"Two weeks before the tournament the organizers invited me to sing at the closing ceremony," Sutovsky told us. "And so I decided to study this song by Magomaev. So I sort of paid a tribute to the organizers, but I really like the way Magomaev was singing, so it had double meaning to me."

Sutovsky didn't rehearse before the closing ceremony in Baku. "We didn't have any rehearsal on any other sing, and the only notes available were 'Funiculi, Funicula'. As you can see,we were not exactly matching each other. :-) But OK, the public liked it - that's most important."

The public did like it, as afterrwards there was a big applause. "Actually, I didn't get such an ovation when I won the World Juniors, the European Championship or Aeroflot... And so I was asked to sind something more."

Although singing is just a hobby for Sutovsky, he does like to perform every now and then. "I used to study it years ago. Back then I took some private lessons. I just have to underline - it's just a hobby, and of course, I consider myself a strong amateur, but just an amateur, in singing. :-) On a good day, I can please the public."

We couldn't resist asking Sutovsky whom he thinks will win the World Championship match. His answer? "Well, I am more sure about my singing abilities. :-)"


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Alexander's picture

Excellent! Nevertheless, I'd like to hear him sing Hoy Nazan as well :)

theun's picture

great guy, great artist, as a chessplayer a spectacular daredevil
good luck!

chessfan's picture

Did I hear a low C?

Arne Moll's picture

Sutovsky definitely doesn't have to be ashamed of this performance. Very nice.

jussu's picture

This was way too good to be ruined by clapping after every few bars.

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