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Articles

Chess.com Player Profile: Natalia Pogonina

User Rating: / 6
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 June 2012

http://www.pogonina.com/images/trueimg/pictures/18/538A2F51D20D-18.jpg 

 

Name: Natalia Pogonina                                                       
Title:   FIDE Woman Grandmaster, Grandmaster of Russia
Date of birth: March 9th, 1985

Fide rating:  2447, highest - 2501                                                                                   

Country: Russia
 
 

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favorite movie?        

Forrest Gump.
 
What kind of food and drink do you prefer?

Drinks kvass and fruit drinks. Since I am a Russian, I will have to mention that I hardly ever drink alcohol. Not more than a glass of red wine during a celebration.
No special preferences when it comes to food. Meat with mushrooms maybe? And I cant imagine a day without sweets.


What is your favorite book?

All the books by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, especially Citadel.



What music are you currently grooving to?

Bad Balance thats one of the oldest and most respected Russian rap groups. They started back in the late 80s and are still alive and kicking. Btw, their leader, Vlad Valov, loves chess! He challenged me to a game, so I will play him when we meet next time.
Here is their latest video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws8-g23w_Jw 
 

Tell me a chess secret?

Avoid passively reading about opening ideas, middlegame plans, typical endgames. Always practice, play them out! You can only learn by doing.
 

 

What is your best chess memory?

Chess has presented me with many pleasant moments of different natures. I cant single out one.

 

 

Which do you think is worse, failing or never trying?

After failing one can often learn something and try again, or find a better application of his energy. And never trying doesnt lead to anything positive.
 

What chess player have you ever wanted to be and why?

I have never wanted to be like some other chess player. The two icons I would like to mention though are Bobby Fischer for his contribution to chess and helping make the game a professional occupation, and Judit Polgar for serving as an inspiration for all female players.


What do you do to get better at chess? How do you train?

Now that I have a small kid my time for studying is very limited. The best opportunities to work are during tournaments and special trainings sessions (held about twice per year for a week or two). I try to solve tactics on a daily basis (for example, using
Chess.coms Tactics Trainer) and make sure I have all of my games analyzed after the end of a tournament. My Chess.com columns are helpful in this respect too, because when I feel lazy they sometimes force me into taking a look at one of my games and including it in the next article.

Also, lately I have been paying more attention to psychology and physical shape, because most of my current weaknesses are not directly chess-related.
 

 

How old were you when you began to play chess?

My grandfather taught me how to play the game at 5. I started attending a chess club and studying at about 8-9 when one of the local chess coaches noticed that I won the school checkers tournament and thought I could have a talent for chess too.

 

 

Do you have a family?

They say that one chess player in the family is more than enough. However, my husband, Peter Zhdanov, apart from being an IT project manager and debate expert, is a member of the Association of Chess Professionals, and very keen on chess. We are cooperating on many projects.

Our son Nikolai is 2.5 years old. You might remember him from the Pogonina vs. Chess.com match.
 

 


 

 

Is the Internet a big part of your life?

Huge! Im usually online on Skype; tweeting all the time. Before FaceBook allowed people to subscribe to other people's profiles, I had to create three pages in order to be able to confirm the friend requests (the limit is 5,000 per profile). 
I have a few blogs and a personal website, so I spend a lot of time responding to messages-- getting about two hundred of them per day. Therefore, if I am not replying promptly it usually means that I am either busy playing in a tournament, or simply flooded by e-mails. Sorry for the delay! 
Also, I love watching movies, listening to music, reading all sorts of news and articles on the Internet. To sum it all up, when I am not asleep, I am usually online.
 

 


What was your childhood like?

I grew up in Vladivostok and was an only child. My Mum is a teacher and my Dad is an engineer. In the 90s life in Russia was rather tough, so I obviously didnt have access to top level coaching or opportunities to travel to tournaments. Even when I started winning the Russian and European junior championships things didnt change much. 

At some point, when I was a teenager, I had to leave my parents and move to a different city - Saratov. It is now #3 in Russia in the chess sense after Moscow and St. Petersburg. There I received the assistance of a personal coach, eventually received some support from the university, and could travel more easily, because Saratov is closer to Europe than Vladivostok.  

 

What is chess to you a game of combat or an art? 

Frankly speaking, I dont like the approach of viewing chess as an opportunity to break the other persons ego, crush him. To me it is more of a search for harmony, a struggle to create a masterpiece together and learn something new along the way.
 

 

How much time do you devote to chess?

I dont have a particular schedule, so its hard to say.
 

 

What is your inner being?

An ancient Dragon.
 

 

 

 
 

 


 

 

Who is your inspiration?

 

Who, not what? Strange question. I myself then.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your greatest fear? 

Death.
 

 

 

 

Describe a perfect day.

Every day is good in one way or the other. Its not like I want to re-live a certain scenario over and over again.
 

 

Is there any chess book that has had a deep and lasting influence on you?

Here is my
post on this.
 

If you could choose to live one day of any time in the history of mankind, which time would that be and why?

I would rather see a day in the distant future.


Do you have any favorite hobbies?

I love active sports and play soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Also, I am an avid fan of many types of sports. Besides that I like traveling, taking pictures, flamenco, skating, singing and writing poems. My current #1 passion is airplanes.
 
 

 

 

 


 

 

What is your most treasured possession?

I wont be original here my laptop with chess analysis.
 

 

Are you a superstitious person?

Not really. At least I dont have any mascots or rituals that dont make sense.
 

 

What are the most important lessons youve learned in chess? 
I am in the process of learning.
 

 

 

 

What does your future hold as a chess player?

I am not really a fortune teller, but I am hoping to improve as a player and help make the game more popular and enjoyable for other people!
 

 

How would you describe yourself to an alien from another planet?

I would ask Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to kindly introduce us to each other.
 

 

 

 

Do you have any thoughts on how chess.com can get even better?

 

 

Chess.com is easily the #1 chess website in the world: great articles, excellent Chess Tactics software, daily chess news, interesting forum threads, access to coaching, witty polls, etc.  And, most importantly, a very friendly and intelligent international community!


I would work on Study Plans, add even more Chess Mentor courses and improve the interface and the features of the Live Chess. A large part of the audience at any website is people who love watching GM games. And so far Chess.coms playing zone hasnt attracted enough top players. Of course, it is partly due to the conservatism of the grandmasters why leave the website where and your friends have been playing for a few years? Nonetheless, everything is possible.

 

Another idea post FIDE ratings of players and create a utility that plots multiple rating graphs on one screen. For example, wouldnt it be interesting to see how Carlsens, Aronians, Kramniks and Anands ratings were fluctuating as compared to each other over, lets say, the last five years?

 

Sometimes I am somewhat surprised by seeing, for example, Chess Tactics tweaked to show performances, or Chess 960 added. Of course, its just my personal opinion, but these innovations dont seem important to me, while a few other critical ones could have been made instead.


Do you prefer blitz, otb tournaments or correspondence style chess?

Over the board. Previously I used to play online, mostly using a secret anonymous accounts. Now I am not doing it much. As to correspondence my first experiences were the two matches against the World (win with White, draw with Black). I have never played in official correspondence tournaments though.

 

How seriously do you take the online games you play?

 

I understand that they dont matter much. However, I get really upset and crazy about losing a few games in blitz. Sometimes I go on tilt and keep playing until I regain my rating points, or squander even more.

 

What is your favorite time control in live?

The official FIDE classical chess time control. 1h 30m per game and 30s per move.

 
 
Would you be interested in playing a "death-match"?


I like this idea a lot. When it was first introduced, we have discussed it with David Pruess and have considered many options: a) I could challenge one of my 2700+ FIDE-rated friends b) play a more balanced match against an IM/regular GM c) arrange a duel between two females. So far this plan hasnt been implemented, but I am sure we will bring it to life in the future.

Btw, a question to the readers: which of the three abovementioned scenarios do you like best? ;-)


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 June 2012 )
 

Best Russian Female Athletes according to Championat.com

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 08 March 2012
Championat.com, a leading Russian sports website, has published a list dedicated to the International Women's Day. According to the article,10 nominations have been chosen, and 10 of the very best female Russian athletes were selected on the basis of sports achievements, social activity and, of course, beauty.

Here are some of the winners:

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Maria Sharapova, tennis player, highest-earning female athlete in the world

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Evgenia Kanaeva, 17-time World Champion in gymnastics, 12-time European Champion, Olympic Champion

Image
Natalia Pogonina - you probably know who she is already!

Full story


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 March 2012 )
 

Natalia Pogonina: Interview for Chess News

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 28 November 2011

Natalia Pogonina: "Di Caprio... Pancakes... Sabonis"

Original interview (in Russian): Chess-News.ru

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A. Maximov: Chess-News is on air, and right now we will have a chance to speak with Natalia Pogonina, the European Team Chess Champion and winner of the European Club Cup. Good evening, Natalia! If I am not mistaken, you are not just the only girl, but the only person in the whole world who holds two European titles simultaneously in 2011. Should we call you the Queen of Europe? How do you feel about it?

N. Pogonina: Good evening, Andrei! It was a pleasure to win such two tournaments. I love team play, so these victories were especially delightful.


A. Maximov: Can we say that playing for teams is more exciting for you as compared with regular events?

N. Pogonina: Not exactly. It's just that team tournaments have a special atmosphere. Sometimes you just all get in sync. This feeling of mutual support and of all being part of a single entity is very interesting to experience.


A. Maximov: Do you think such feelings are typical of all the chess players? Lately we have heard a "special" opinion presented by the officials of the Russian Fedeferation, namely, that some players of the men's team have an unprofessional attitude. You, as a team player, do you think it is possible? Or were our bosses exaggerating?


N. Pogonina: I can't speak on behalf of everyone. Maybe some of the players don't see anyhing special about playing for a team and treat it like any other tournament. It's hard for me to say what happened to our men's team. I don't think any of the players had an unprofessional approach. Guess the problem lies somewhere else.


A. Maximov: The officials are also blaming the coach. Of course, his role is important, but after all it's the chess players who are sitting over the board. How would you evaluate the impact on the team's success of a coach/players? Such questions often rise in soccer, where the role of a coach still remains a mystery. Everyone realizes it is important, but it's unclear to what extent.


N. Pogonina: This is a tough question. The answer is probably different for women's and men's chess. In women's chess the role of a coach is very important. Girls are usually more emotional, and they must feel that the coach believes in their potential. In the men's team the role of a coach is less dominant, but still vital. He should be able to ensure a good atmosphere in the team, decide on the roster for each round, help with opening preparation. When a few strong grandmasters form a team, it is important to make sure they are playing "one for all, and all for one", and that is the task of a coach. Therefore, his impact on the overall success is considerable. 

A. Maximov: I would also like to ask what you think about the changes regarding the coach of the women's team. According to your words, the team has lost a critical component of success.

N. Pogonina: When I found out that Yuri Dokhoian won't be our coach anymore, I was very disappointed. He has done a lot for our team, and the period of transition won't be easy. It is not yet clear how everything will turn out. It's nice that he will be replaced by Alexei Korotylev, because he knows how to go for victory. I am trying to think positive and hope that all the changes will benefit our team. At least, the men's team should gain a lot from this measure.

A. Maximov: But if we consider both the men's and the women's team, this step looks dubious. Who knows if Yuri will be as successful with the men's team as he was with the women's, and who knows if Alexei will lead the women's team to victory? Is it all-in play by the Russian Chess Federation? Have women's team interests been sacrificed for an ethereal gain by the men's team?


N. Pogonina
: Yes, it is a risky step. Everyone is aware that the men's team gets more attention than the women's. So, the main intention is to help them. If men start winning championships again, and women fail, the overall result will be considered an improvement. Unfortunately for us, women. Some time after the announcement about the upcoming changes I can look at the situation somewhat differently. For example, I liked that in an interview for russiachess.org Dokhoian said he would try to ensure a more intense cooperation between the women's and men's teams. If this happens, the outcome would benefit both teams. This way Yuri Rafaelovich won't abandon us and will try to help us in the future. Alexei Korotylev will have an easier time adapting to the role of a captain this way.

A. Maximov: If Dokhoian is so irreplaceable, maybe it makes sense to create a centralized coaching team? I.e. make Dokhoian the chief coach, and, for example, Riazantsev and Korotylev - heads of the men's and women's teams? This is typical for business, and could be appreciated by Levitov (Chairman of the Russian Chess Federation - Pogonina.com). What do you think?

N. Pogonina: As far as I remember, that is exactly the way the Russian Chess Federation is operating, and the chief coach is Bareev.

A. Maximov: In my opinion, he is even more strongly biased towards men's chess. For example, did Evgeny Ilgizovich congratulate you on winning the European Team Championship? Did other officials do it? If have an unconfirmed information that everything was, to put it mildly, modest.

N. Pogonina: Bareev congratulated us at the tournament in Greece. Otherwise we didn't get any official congratulations. Our victory was shadowed by the men team's failure.


A. Maximov: Does it insult you? Or do you understand why it's like that?

N. Pogonina: I'm feeling uncomfortable. Yes, we won the European Championship thrice in a row, but does that make the result less important? It's a prestigeous title and a tough challenge. Our federation shouldn't be religiously focused only on the male players, or the number of female players will quickly start decreasing. For example, I don't understand why the First League has been abandoned recently. It is an important tournament, where a lot of chess players were competing, especially the younger ones. The regional events are not as balanced in terms of strength, so many girls now won't have the chance to face strong opponents. This was a good tournament. 

A. Maximov: Of course, it won't relieve your sorrows, but I would like to say that the team of Chess-News is always rooting for you to the same extent as for the men's team, and are genuinely happy about your victories. Maybe that is due to the fact that we are all men, or maybe we just love chess and equally treasure the victories of both our national teams.


N. Pogonina: Thank you! In fact, our team has many fans, so the most important congratulations come from them.

A. Maximov: The lack of attention towards women's chess is troublesome in terms of the rivalry between the Russian and the Chinese women's teams. Maybe that's the Russian nature: we don't keep what we have, and start crying about it only after it's lost (Russian proverb - Pogonina.com)? How do you evaluate the chances in this competition? Don't you find the rate at which the Chinese team is progressing fearsome?

N. Pogonina: The Chinese are improving, and it's quite obvious. But we are not wasting our time either. New strong players are emerging, and I don't think we are inferior to the Chinese in any way. The more interesting will be the confrontation. Or maybe I'm just too much of an optimist.


A. Maximov: Natasha, how far do your ambitions as a chess player go? Simply to enjoy playing and make some money along the way, or...?

N. Pogonina: My goal is to keep improving, becoming stronger as a player. There is no ceiling, final goal.

A. Maximov: Is Hou Yifan a unique phenomenon?

N. Pogonina: Hou Yifan is a gifted and strong chess player. I think she has a bright future. However, I don't see her as, let's put it this way, the second Judit Polgar. Judit has a spectacular level, and I believe she still hasn't realized her potential to the fullest. Hou's level can be matched, there will be female chess players of this calibre. The question I am interested in is whether a woman will be able to reach Polgar's level.

A. Maximov: You have a small child, and that's a joy for any woman. But how do you think it will affect your chess career?

N. Pogonina: This is double-edged. On the one hand, now I have less time. On the other hand, communicating with him gives me a lot of positive energy. I think the latter is more important. Becoming a mother opens up hidden powers within a woman.

A. Maximov: OK, we will be waiting for you to reach 2600 in the nearest future. Now, back to the positive things. I was present at the European Club Cup in Rogaska Slatina. That's a great venue. Would you like to travel there and enjoy the place for a week or two, this time while not playing chess?

N. Pogonina: Yes, it's a beautiful place. I often find myself thinking that a certain venue is so great that I would enjoy it more if I didn't have to play in a tournament. Sometimes there is simply not enough time to take a look around and appreciate the surrounding beauty. Tournaments do take a lot of time. Thus I like rest days.

A. Maximov: Was your victory at the European Club Cup celebrated in any special way in Russia?

N. Pogonina: I received a lot of congratulations in Saratov. Naturally, the club trophy is less prestigeous than the European Championship one, but I am proud of both the results.

A. Maximov: Did you get invitations to play for a men's team? I believe that the level of one of the strongest female players in the world, which you definitely have, should allow you to compete in strong men's teams. And in terms of improving the atmosphere and team spirit girls must be a valuable asset.

N. Pogonina: I had an invitation to the Bulgarian league. Wanted to come, but was too busy at that moment. When I was a kid, I used to play in the "White rook" events where boys and girls compete for the same team. That was interesting.

A. Maximov: Should you get an invitation now, would you agree?

N. Pogonina: Why not. That's a great experience.

A. Maximov: What do you think about the widely cited case of Navara and Moiseenko. Mens' opinions seem to differ.

N. Pogonina: O, that question again... I guess many people have been pondering it. I don't have a strict opinion. On the one hand, Navara acted as a gentleman from the perspective of not wanting to win "unfairly". He decided that he has twisted the course of the game by having touched the king. But then he had better offer a draw right away instead of playing for so long. On the other hand, this could be viewed as not trusting oneself and losing control over the course of the game, which doesn't look nice. Let's just forget about it; this issue is not worth going over and over again. 

A. Maximov: I can explain Navara's deed from the psychological point of view. If he had offered a draw in an unclear position, he wouldn't have returned the moral debt. The way it happened, he won, but sacrificed half a point back, thus returning the favor. Let's touch upon another far from pleasant subject. What can you say about the situation around the World Team Championship in Turkey? Do the conditions that make some federation issue threats that they won't be participating affect you, female players? Or are those private matters of the federations? Do you think it is normal that FIDE and the organizers make money this way by exploiting the players? Do chess grandmasters look like super-wealthy people who don't care how much to pay for the hotel? Or do they look like people who are easy to trick?


N. Pogonina: First of all, the schedule is not very convenient. The prestigeous Mind Sports Games end on the Moreover, the tournament is held during Christmas. This has provoked negative feedback from some of the teams. Additionally, the hotel prices were too high, but I think that has been fixed. Of course, when we are talking about national teams, the burden is carried by the federations, as they carry these expenses. But it doesn't justify boosting the prices. There is nothing good about trying to make money off chess players. Especially terrible is the situation around children's chess. When you see that a reguar room costs a certain amount of money, while a chess player has to pay way more for it, one feels uncomfortable. All the respectable sports federations have influential sponsors, while chess doesn't. Well, it's another subject that deserves a separate interview - what is going on in the chess world as of now.

A. Maximov: Now let me ask you a few blitz questions - that's a popular format these days.

N. Pogonina: Ok, go ahead!

A. Maximov: 2700 or becoming a Women's World Chess Champion?

N. Pogonina: 2700.

A. Maximov: ChessBase or ChessAssistant?

N. Pogonina: Both.

A. Maximov: Rybka or Houdini?

N. Pogonina: Houdini.

A. Maximov: Bezrukov or Di Caprio?

N. Pogonina: Di Caprio.

A. Maximov: Ice-cream or chocolate?

N. Pogonina: Chocolate.

A. Maximov: Carrot juice or red wine?

N. Pogonina: Neither.

A. Maximov: Pancakes or sushi?

N. Pogonina: Pancakes.

A. Maximov: Who is Arvidas Sabonis?

N. Pogonina: He is a well-known basketball player. I think, from Lithuania.


A. Maximov
: Chess-News or

N. Pogonina www.pogonina.com.


At this point I wanted to say farewell to Natalia, but a question followed that allowed us to stay "on air" for a little longer, and reveal another interesting trait in the character of this wonderful girl and chess player.


N. Pogonina: Why Sabonis?

A. Maximov: And why not?

N. Pogonina: I was doubtful about Lithuania and Latvia, and the question came as a surprise. Otherwise, I am a fan of sports!

A. Maximov: Really? Then one more questions: Phelps or Emelyanenko?


N. Pogonina: Alexander Popov! I don't like Phelps that much, and don't know a lot about Emelyanenko, except for the fact that he is a great fighter who is currently going through a hard time. For example, how is he as a person?

A. Maximov: He has a great character. Loves chess and animals. He's a modest guy from Starii Oskol, if the term "modest" can be used to describe people of his occupation at all.

N. Pogonina: Interesting! Let's hope he will be victorious then.

A. Maximov: Natalia, thank you for the frank and interesting replies.

N. Pogonina: Thanks to you too. Good night!


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Last Updated ( Monday, 28 November 2011 )
 

Casino, Poker and Chess

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 15 July 2011

The article presented below was authored by Ethan Collin for Pogonina.com and provides an interesting outsider's look on chess and comparison between the game we all love, poker and casino:

If youre a casino or a poker player, theres a fair chance youve given chess a shot as well. If you havent, you should.

While the amount of money in the chess world does not compare to the amount of money in the casino and poker world, the challenges chess can offer can be a welcome diversion from poker. Heres what casino or poker players may like about chess.

Chess Has Strategy

One exciting element of playin casino or poker is the opportunity to outthink your opponent may it be in an online casino or real game. You want to get into his head and figure out what he is planning.

This is what chess is all about. Much of a chess game takes place internally, with a player imagining several possible responses and generating counter responses to each one. Poker and casino players, when deciding whether a bluff will work or a call will be worthwhile, do much the same thing.

Chess Is Competitive

Those who enjoy heads up poker or other casino games should be particularly excited about chess. When you play chess, you face a single opponent and the winner has no one to blame but himself.

In poker or casino, the better player may lose a decent portion of the time, especially in heads up play when two strong hands clashing can signal the end of the match. In chess, the better player will usually win.

Casino and Poker Players Like to Analyze

One of the most fun things about poker or casino games is analyzing play afterward. What would have happened if I bet there? I should have re-raised on the turn, etc.

A great deal of chess is analysis as well. Chess players replay entire games, exploring new lines of attack and rethinking strategies long after the game is over.

The prospect of winning millions of dollars on the professional tour does not exist yet in chess. Even playing casual games for money is difficult, as it soon becomes glaringly obvious who is the better chess player between two competitors.

However, as a new challenge to keep a poker or casino players mind flexible, chess presents a great option. Due to its extreme complexity, some of these players may become completely hooked on chess without even realizing it.


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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 July 2011 )
 

Natalia Pogonina's Blog Ranked Top-5 by Soviet Sport Magazine

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 24 December 2010
http://www.ruformator.ru/files_jpg/sovsport(19447).gif

Soviet Sport, a leading Russian sports magazine, has published a top-5 list of blogs authored by famous Russian athletes. Among the winners were Ekaterina Gamova (volleyball), Alexander Legkov (cross country skiing), Evgeny Dementiev (cross country skiing), Natalia Pogonina (chess), Ekaterina Bychkova (tennis).


Natalia Pogonina's Blog


Sport type: chess

Publication frequency: once a month
Self-written: yes

Replies to comments: yes
 

Grandmaster Natalia Pogonina (ELO rating 2501) is one of the most active Internet users among professional athletes. She is not only a frequenter of social networks, but also founder of the website pogonina.com and a blog with an intriguing title "Chess Kama Sutra". In this blog Natalia is actively responding to questions of the Internet public, compiles family ratings (by adding up points of male grandmasters and their wifes), and also publishes interviews with well-known colleagues, e.g. with ex-FIDE World Chess Champion Alexander Khalifman. Via the Internet Natalia has also played chess with her fans and won in 54 moves.
 

Quote: People often say I should try a career in modelling, although I have never dreamed of getting involved into such an activity. As to "Chess Kama Sutra", that is the title of the book we are working on. 


URL: www.sports.ru/tribuna/ blogs/pogonina/

P.S. Another recent award for Pogonina.com, as one of the best blogs in 2010 in the "Computer Chess" category.




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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 December 2010 )
 

Natalia Pogonina on myths surrounding women's chess

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 26 July 2010
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"Married women always castle to the right"

Grandmaster Natalia Pogonina addresses some of the myths about women's chess
Interviewer: Mikhail Khomitch, ProSport magazine

1. During the WC match Anand had a famous female grandmaster on his team, that's why he emerged victorious.


This might as well be true! There is so much secrecy about these matches...After all, Kasparov, Carlsen and Kramnik did help him.

2. Carlsen brings a plastic bag to every game, while women players carry around Birkin bags and chihuahua dogs.

Carlsen indeed favors the plastic bag. Women's tastes differ: it may be Birkin, it may be Gucci. Carrying a dog with you is no good though - will distract one more than a vuvuzela.

3. When packing up for a tournament, female players take a evening dresses for each round.

Most chess players are well-groomed and always take some nice clothes with them, including an evening dress. Not for each day though, of course.

4. While the opponent is thinking, female players pull out a mirror and start fixing their make-up.

If something is wrong (e.g. with the hair-style), a female chess player may become nervous and blunder something. It's better to go out to the wash-room though to fix it.

5. Plain Janes play with double vigor against beauties.

Only if they have psychological complexes about it. Also, there are no unattractive girls in chess.

6. When FIDE ratings are calculated, women get additional points for being beautiful.

FIDE won't employ this rule, otherwise there will be no men on top of the ratings!

7. Judit Polgar is jealous of other women who try to play men.


No, not at all. It's well known that she supports female emancipation.

8. The Polgar sisters are in reality Polgar brothers.

Omg! No, they are great sisters. Chess would have been miserable without them.

9. Married women always castle to the right and single - to the left (in Russian "to go to the left" means "commit adultery" - Pogonina.com). 

All female players are so reckless they castle both right and left!

10. The chief judge of a recent beauty contest among female chess players was Kasparov.

It would be great to hold such a contest, especially with Kasparov in charge. Garry is an expert when it comes to women's beauty!

11. Women don't play blitz since they are afraid of breaking a nail.

On the contrary, women are quite proficient at blitz - a long nail may help make an extra move!

12. Women chess players have pink chess boards and pieces with embedded crystals.

Alas, no. But some of us own pink laptops!

13. Blonde girls have difficulties grasping the rules of the game.

Yes, that's a well-known fact. Thus, they have to make them up during the game!

14. Kosteniuk and Morozevich are aruging all the time who the sex-symbol of Russian chess is.

Well, they seem to be of different sex, no? Btw, in chess you don't often hear about gay grandmasters, our sport is very traditional!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 September 2010 )
 

Zeit writes about Chess Kama Sutra

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Thursday, 18 March 2010


One of the top German newspapers, Zeit, published a column on Chess Kama Sutra:

Die russische Großmeisterin Natalia Pogonina schreibt an einem Buch Das Kamasutra des Schachs. In einem Interview mit der Schachwebseite Chessbase.com sagte sie: Beide, Schach und Kamasutra, stammen aus Indien. Man kann Schachstellungen zu solchen aus dem Kamasutra in Beziehung setzen und sich durch Sexchess in der Liebe wie im Schach vervollkommnen. Ja, prima!

The whole article is available here.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 March 2010 )
 

NY Times - Natalia Pogonina Believes Chess Can Improve your Sex Life

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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Published: January 23, 2010

Can chess be erotic? Yes, according to the movie Joueuse, which was released last month in France and Germany.

 

In Joueuse, the French actress Sandrine Bonnaire plays Hélène, a maid whose marriage and life are passionless. One day, while cleaning a room, she sees a couple (Jennifer Beals and Dominic Gould) playing chess. As they play, they touch each other suggestively and exchange smoldering glances. Aroused, Hélène vows to learn the game and teach it to her husband to see if she can rekindle their romance. He shows no interest, and she decides to learn more about chess. She turns to a character played by Kevin Kline, whose house she cleans, and he becomes her teacher. She eventually surpasses him as a player.
 

Chess as a metaphor for sex may seem far-fetched, but it has been used before, as in a tension-laden scene between Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair.
 

What may seem even more far-fetched is the idea that there is a way to apply ideas about sex to improve chess skills, and vice versa. But Natalia Pogonina, who is No. 17 among women, and her husband are writing a book about just that. The book is titled Chess Kamasutra.
 

We will be reviewing the most interesting openings and middlegame positions and relating them to positions from Kama Sutra, Pogonina said in an interview last year with Chessbase.com.
 

Given her ideas, it is hard to know whether to read anything into Pogoninas style as a player. She likes classical openings, but is not afraid to mix it up, as she did against Joanna Dworakowska of Poland at last years European Individual Womens Championship. Pogonina ending up taking third, on tie-breakers.
 

Against Dworakowska, Pogonina chose the Ruy Lopez, a traditional system.
 

Pogoninas 11 ... ed4 was surprising, as Black surrenders the center. But Pogonina had played the move before. Dworakowskas reply, 12 Nd4, was a new idea, and Pogonina had to improvise. She adjusted, obtaining a queenside pawn majority.
 

Dworakowska blundered with 25 Bh4, but Pogonina failed to take advantage, as she could have after 25 ... Bf3 26 Be7 Bg2 27 Bd6 Qc6.
 

Pogonina pounced on her next chance, playing 28 ... a5 to create two connected passed pawns. Dworakowska could not play 29 ba5 because 29 ... Bc5 would win Whites queen.
 

Pogonina missed opportunities: She could have played 33 ... c3, as 34 Rb3 Qc4 wins a piece. And 35 ... Nf4 followed by 36 ... Ree5 would have been better than 35 ... Re5. But the result was never in doubt. Dworakowska resigned because she would have been down a rook, with no hope, after 43 Be7 Rc8.

A version of this article appeared in print on January 24, 2010, on page A18 of the New York edition.

Source: The New York Times

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 January 2010 )
 

Natalia Pogonina - Interview for the Cacereno Chess Club

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Saturday, 31 October 2009

Image

The Cacereno Chess Club began a series of interviews with top chess players to try to help stimulate women's chess. Natalia Pogonina was their #1 candidate for an interview.


Natalia Pogonina (WGM 2501 FIDE) is one of the most promising players on the international scene. Currently the world No. 14 and No. 3 in Russia.  Gold medal women's Olympic team in her country and won big tournaments such as 2 times European Champion sub18 and under 16, No. 1 in numerous international tournaments (2005 - Bykova Memorial, 2007 - Memorial Rudenko, 2009 - Moscow Open, etc. ). This year has surpassed the 2500 ELO barrier and is a serious candidate for the female world crown. She combines her brilliant career in chess with first steps as a model, and is also writing a book with her husband, Peter Zhdanov (they married on June 5), the revolutionary "Chess Kama Sutra"

1 . - A player like you has had the opportunity to see classmates and friends that started in chess but with the passage of time left chess.  It's something we see often in chess schools in our region, girls are initiated and then abandoned the game as the boys continue to play. Why do you think this happens?

Professional chess occupies a persons mind, and takes a lot of his time. So, many people just view chess as a pastime, or an educational technology which is used during the school years, and then left behind. As to girls many of them get distracted by other interests, lose motivation (since the earnings of women chess players are relatively small), start a family, etc.


2 .- The smaller clubs have few means to work, how we can promote women's chess without falling into the "positive discrimination"?

Let me quote myself, an article I have written for Chessbase:

Steps to take

Final question what should we do to make chess more popular among girls?
 

Run an educational campaign aimed at parents to help them learn that chess is a great game that develops the persons mind. Crush the stereotypes and provide enough information about the benefits of studying chess, and parents will be encouraging their daughters interest in chess!
 

Introducing chess in the school curriculum could also be a great step towards providing girls with opportunities of becoming good chess players.
 

Another key thing is sponsorship women chess is very attractive and exciting, so its worth investing into. If prizes in womens events increase to the same level as in mens, then girls (and their parents) will have a good financial motivation to consider chess seriously.
 

Finally, the girls themselves should know that they are equal to men in terms of chess talents, play in mens tournaments, study hard and believe in their powers. If most women start acting that way, then one day quantity will lead to quality, and the world chess elite will be enjoying more female players.

Its essential to remember that the sky is the limit and all the obstacles are in our heads


Press "Read more" to see the whole interview


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 01 November 2009 )
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