Anna Ushenina: This was an interesting and complicated struggle
Anna Ushenina won her game against the reigning Russian champion Natalija Pogonina and shared her thoughts about this encounter with the journalists at the press-center.
– The game was very hard and complicated. Natasha’s 7…Bxc3 in the opening was very interesting. In our previous encounters she captured on d4, and her new move led to a very interesting game. I won a pawn, but the position was about even, because my king was centralized and she constantly attacked it. Natasha could make a draw after 35.Qc8+ Nf8 36.Qc4 by 36…Nd7, and I would have to take a draw.
– What is your lifetime score against Pogonina? How did these games develop usually?
– We mostly made draws. I won our game at the Olympiad, when she played 7…cxd4, and it was also an interesting and complicated struggle.
– How did you do in the first two matches here?
– In the first round I faced a player from Peru. I didn’t have any serious problems and advanced without going to the tie-breaks. My second opponent was Anna Muzychuk. We made two draws in classical games, and I managed to win on the tie-break, because Anna played without confidence (or at least it looked so to me) and made a couple of blunders.
– Ukraine is one of the leading chess countries in the world with many outstanding players. Do you receive any support from chess authorities?
– The chess federation recently elected a new president, and the results of his work are already seen. He invests a lot of his time and money into our sport, and I think we are making progress.
– The Ukrainians often compete with Russians at various events. Does it bring any extra tension to your relations?
– There are many strong players in Russia, and they are always tough to play with.
– Do you like to be in Khanty-Mansiysk?
– I like it, but I’d prefer a bit warmer weather.