During the World Championship in Intellectual Games opening in the city of Kaliningrad in Russia, Belarusian expert Leanid Klimovich was named the Man of the Year. International Club Association presented him a Crystal Owl Prize.
Among all the famous CCCP-brands, including military force and Russian ballet, an elite TV quiz show “What? Where? and When?” where a lot of bright experts expressed themselves in the most intellectual manner, amazing everybody with their erudition, occupies a well-deserved place. Fashion for “intellectualism” fascinated a young student from Gomel as well; he prepared himself to be a teacher of Russian language and literature — Leanid Klimovich. In December 1981, he wrote a letter to the TV-show in order to take part in the qualification game for the TV-viewers. For some time he has been the youngest player in the show. Since 1990’s he has been in the permanent experts’ team of this elite club. The club, though, has gone through some important changes since that time.
— “What? Where? and When?” is not only a TV quiz show, but a kind of sport with its strict rules, national federations and a World cup, — explains the hero of public competitions to us.
— For a long time, in the TV show it was explained that it was a club where each player could earn money with his or her intellect alone.
Leanid Klimovich notices that an expert once is an expert forever, at least in his own case. Klimovich has not been teaching for long — his TV-career was taking too much time, but on the other hand, he was lucky to do professionally something that he really liked. As he confessed, it was the case when “my road found me.” When the expert was 30 years old, he was invited to the Gomel Regional Youth and Children Palace, where he started his original program of the “What? Where? And When?” club, which became a model for all the similar clubs in Belarus. His last project is the youth European Cup brought him the Crystal Owl prize…
— The prize is for my “achievements total,” says the expert jokingly. — This year, the youth European Cup took place for the third time, and all three events were highly praised by the participants, which is a rare occasion. As far is my active organizational engagement in Belarus is concerned, it had been on for more than a decade: our first children’s Cup took place in 1994 and this is where the whole movement started.
It seems that Leanid does not stop to have a rest at all. He is full of projects, ideas, always doing something or traveling somewhere…
— Indeed, I know no rest, — agrees Leanid. — Sometimes I read classical Russian literature, I fancy science fiction as well. However, my cup of tea is to read even detective stories with a pencil in my hand. I am constantly looking for question topics. We are discussing this all the time at home.
Wife Tamara who used to be a stranger to the club, today is one of the key organizers in Belarus together with her husband. Daughter Olga is one of the intellectual teams captain, in addition to that, she is also a younger team coach. It happened so that professional game for Klimovich is not only job and hobby, it is a family matter. In other words, his life.
— I am a fatalist in some way. I never go bald-headed. I can’t kneel or beg. If I see a wall, I am thinking about the way around, or I sit down and do my own thing.