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Natalia Pogonina on Women's World Team Chess Championship & The Candidates

User Rating: / 5
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 March 2013
Team Russia won bronze at Women's World Team Chess Championship-2013

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Good afternoon, Natalia! You have just returned from the Women's World Team Chess Championship which took place in Astana, Kazakhstan. Did the organizers do their job well? Any complaints from the participants?


The championship was held at a very high level. The organizers were hospitable and friendly. The placement of boards was untypical though. Normally they are lined up in a row, and this time all the four boards were scattered over the playing hall. This is not convenient because it's hard to follow the events on the other boards during time trouble and decide whether you should play for a win or not.


What about the hotels and food in Kazakstan?


Spacious rooms, tasty food. It was cold though, but it is not a fault of the organizers :)


Can you recall certain critical matches or games which have affected Team Russia's performance?


A few matches can be named, but the main one was against USA. After this painful loss it became clear that we won't win the gold medals.


What are the factors of success behind the Ukrainian team, the new champion?


It's hard for me to tell because I wasn't part of the team. You should ask them :) They had the strongest possible line-up, including the Women's World Champion Anna Ushenina on board 2. They were all in a good form, while our team and the Chinese have been playing without two first boards.


Which of your own games would you highlight and why?


Most memorable is the loss to Tan Zhongyi. The match overall ended in a tie instead of a victory.


And what about positive impressions?


Among them I can't choose a single game.


Was someone's performance unexpected? Not only the Russian players, but anyone's.


Really surprising? I guess not. All the results were relatively foreseeable.


Yesterday the Candidates Tournament has started, and we will soon find out who will challenge Viswanathan Anand for the chess crown. The first round ended in four draws and didn't really affect the chances of the players. Who are you rooting for at this event?


First of all, my heart is with the Russian grandmasters. I won't be original if I say that Carlsen has very high winning chances. During one of the nights in Astana I had a dream about reading Grischuk's interview after his victory in the Candidates. What could it mean? :)


Interesting! :) I guess many Russian chess fans would have been happy with such a result. How would you evaluate the chances of Boris Gelfand? As you know, one of his seconds is a grandmaster from Saratov Evgeny Tomashevsky.
Natalia Pogonina and Evgeny Tomashevsky on their way home from the Chess Olympiad-2012


I think that in this tournament all the players have certain chances, but I wouldn't like to comment on the odds of each of them in particular. I believe that it will be much harder for Gelfand to qualify for the WCC match vs. Anand once again. Everything is possible though.


This year SSEU will be hosting FIDE-rated rapid and blitz tournaments. Are you planning to participate in one of them?


I have just found out about it from you :) Can't say anything definite. My schedule is rather tight, and I don't spend much time in Saratov.


Final question: what events are you going to play in this year?


I haven't finalized my calendar yet, so I will name only the upcoming tournaments. In April I will be playing in the Russian Team Chess Championship. In May - Russian Rapid Chess Championship.


Thanks a lot for the interview and your detailed answers, Natalia!

Interviewer: IM Nikolai Shukh,

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Comments (1)
1. Written by Seth on 01:19 22 2013 .
Aww. :sigh  
Your fans love you! We know it will go better next time. :)

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