Harika Dronavalli and Lela Javakhishvili came to the press-center to share their thoughts about today’s game.
– The game was very exciting, but you agreed to a draw when the position was still very complicated. Lela, could you tell us your opinion about the game?
– After the opening I had a big advantage, maybe even a winning one. Unfortunately I played 24.Qc4 instead of 24.Bg4, missing Black’s reply 24…h5. Then Harika blundered by 26…Bh6… In the end I was very short on time, but the position was already unclear when Harika offered a draw. Yes, I still had an extra pawn, but the game was very complicated. So first I blew my advantage and only then agreed to a draw.
– Did you take a draw because you were unhappy about the momentum shift?
– Yes, one can say that too. Well, I am not sure about the objective assessment, maybe there is nothing scary, but I really didn’t like my position. The queen can invade to f2… I had just two minutes for ten moves, and I didn’t want to take risks.
– Harika, could you tells us your view of the game?
– In the middlegame I made a few bad moves and exchanged wrong pieces, but later I even got some counterplay with h5 and g5, and my position in the end was better than in the middlegame. However I also didn’t want to take risks and offered a draw.
– Lela, please say a few words about your first matches.
– I started my first match with Anastasia Bodnaruk with a loss. The game was basically lost in the opening – it is written in my file that Black is fine after 15…Qf3, and when I realized my mistake, nothing could be changed already. Instead of a better position, Black was simply lost. I kept looking for a draw, but it was nowhere to be found. Perhaps only computer could see it, but not me. Well, at least we played a good game, and Nastya played very well. Strangely, we both never played this line before.
I managed to come back in the second game, although it was not a flawless performance. I blundered a pawn in the time trouble, and the position became less clear (before that blunder I had a large advantage). However, the endgame turned in my favor, and on the next day I played very calmly and even enjoyed it.
The second match was against Katya Lahno. I got nothing in the first game, but it didn’t worry me much, as I didn’t want any complications after the tie-break. I offered a draw, and she accepted. In the second game she just blundered 21…Bf6 in an approximately equal position. Black got a big advantage, and it was difficult to defend for White. I transposed to a rook ending because I thought I could win easily, but I missed 38.Kh1. Still the ending with three pawns against four is difficult to defend, and in the end I was victorious.
– Do you feel comfortable in Khanty-Mansiysk? Considering that the temperature today is -20, and tomorrow it will be even more freezing – -30…
Harika: This is the second time I play in Khanty-Mansiysk, and I like it here and feel comfortable. My friends prepared me well for this trip, I have many warm clothes, and don’t go outside much.
Lela: I didn’t buy any warm clothes, because in Georgia it never gets this cold, thank God! I don’t even have a hat, but it seems I have to invest in it. One should go outside every day to take a walk and breathe some fresh air… Of course, when you inside, it doesn’t matter whether it is -20 or -30 – the heating system works well enough.
Official website: http://chess2012.ugrasport.com