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Natalia Pogonina - Interview for the "e5!" magazine

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I have recently been interviewed Marcel Blanchard for the e5! magazine (Uruguay, in cooperation with the Russian 64 Chess Review magazine).

1-Could you tell us about your city?

I live in Sararov. Its a nice city with a population of about 1 million people, located on the brink of the Volga river, in the European part of Russia.

2-What do you like most about Russia?

Russia is a very large country, each part of it is wonderful, every city is beautiful in its own way. I like the diversity.

3-Have you considered moving to a different country? And what about Moscow?

Yes. When I was a child, I wanted to relocate to Spain. I like this country. Moscow also looks appealing to me.

4-I have read that youre also a model. Is this true?

In some sense yes, I did have a couple of professional photo shoots. I like it.

5-Have you thought about playing in a movie?

No, I dont want to be an actress :)

6-Have you ever been to Latin America?

No, I havent, but would be happy to visit it.

7-Do you know anything about Uruguay?

I havent heard a lot about it. But Im a sports fan, so I know that you have a good football team.

8-What foreign languages do you speak?

English and a little Spanish.


9-Are you planning to study a new language?

I want to improve my English, and learn to fluently speak and understand Spanish.

10-What books or movies have had an influence on you?

Many of them. Antoine Exuperys books. And I cant name any particular movies.

11-Women chess. Do you think there is something absurd, false about this expression?

I guess this term can be used. Women chess is more unpredictable. But the expression will probably disappear once women start playing on par with men.

12-Do you feel the difference between playing against women and men?

I like playing with both women and men, for me theres no difference.

13-Which chess player do you find to be the most attractive? I hope your husband is not going to get jealous! And what actor?

I wont name anybody, thats a bit personal :) As to actor Tom Hanks.

14-What do you like most about men: their physical or psychological qualities?

First of all, the soul. But I also like attractive men :) I value such qualities as kindness, confidence, sense of humor. 

15-Chess players are often considered to be egoistic, dull and weird people. According to Freud, all of them are trying to compensate for the lack of personal life. A harmonious person wouldnt play chess, especially professionally

People say a lot of things about chess players :) But each person is unique, you cant judge chess players in general. There are lots of interesting people in chess.

16- What do you feel when you lose a game of chess?

It used to upset me, but now I am more calm about it, treat losses like a lesson.

17- Do you keep thinking about the game after a loss? Does it disturb you?

No, I just draw conclusions and move on.

18- Do you read chess books and magazines?

Yes, I like the 64 Chess Review and New in chess magazines, also read a lot of chess books, especially in Russian.

19- What chess books and magazines can you recommend?

The aforementioned magazines. There are many good books, its hard to recommend something in particular.

20- What chess level is it possible to reach for a regular person who takes chess seriously?

Depends on the person, his character and ambitions.

21- How do you train? Books, chess engines, blitz, openings, middlegame, endgame, chess studies?

All the aforementioned are part of the training routine :) I study on my own & with a coach.

22- Do you find solving chess problems and studies useful for practical chess?

Solving studies helps a lot, the quality of ones game play increases.


23- Did you have a chance to mate with bishop and knight in a classical game?

Dont think so.

24- When was the last time you blundered?

Dont remember :)

25- Do you feel you have special genes, not like ordinary people do?

Each person is unique. So I dont divide people into ordinary and special.

26- Does studying endgames make sense? How do you do it?

Studying endgames is a must. I enjoy solving chess studies and problems & may recommend Panchenkos and Dvoretskys endgame manuals.


27-Your favorite color and color combination?

Blue. Various combinations are ok.

28-The perfect color for chess boards and pieces?

Classical: black and white and shades of brown, like at official tournaments.

29- Do you consume alcohol, which?

Rarely, mostly wine.

30- Smoking?

No, and I wouldnt recommend it to anyone :)

31- Do you like active sports?

Yes, for example, football. When playing, I prefer to be a full-back.

32- Favorite perfume?

I like a lot of brands.


33- Favorite songs, groups?

There are many, among groups Id mention A-ha.

34- What personal quality you like least in people?


35- And most?


36-Your best quality?


37-And worst?


38-What do you fear most?

Wont tell :)

39-Which country would you like to visit?


40-How many hours a day do you study chess?

2-4 hours and more, depends on the mood

41- How long are you planning to play chess?

Dont know, time will show.

42-Who is going to be the next world champion?

Probably, Kramnik again.

43-Which chess champion do you admire most (from Steinitz to Anand)?

Fischer, he was a great player and has done a lot for chess.

44- What do you think about Carlsen?

Hes a strong player, probably a future world champion.

Full article available here (in Spanish)

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Comments (2)
1. Written by on 15:10 15 2009 .
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2. Written by Natalia on 08:43 20 2009 .

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 September 2009 )
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