Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interview with IM/WGM Anna Muzychuk

Article translated from Spanish to English received from Club Ateneo Cacereno de Ajedrez via email, November 10, 2009. Dear Club Ateneo Cacereno, thank you so much for sending me this interview. The personality of IM/WGM Anna Muzychuk shines through despite the somewhat stilted translation of her word into English. The essence is what counts! The translation contains many photographs of A. Muzychuk which are not reproduced here. Please visit the link above to view them. Today we interview Anna Muzychuk (IM and WGM 2532 FIDE). She is a young woman player with 19 years old and she is nº 1 in her country, Eslovenia, and nº 6 of world. In July 2009 reached 2542 FIDE and travels road surface towards the 2600. With this impressive career and with the idea of promoting the feminine chess, we continue with this series of interviews to big talents of the feminine international chess. Anna rapidly acceded to possibility of an interview, and she agreed to do it immediately. That is the reason why the first thing we want to do is thank her for her disposal for this interview. 1.- Such a player like you has had the chance to see partners and female friends starting out in chess who gave it up with the passing of time. That is something we are accustomed to seeing in the Chess Schools of our region. Girls start out in chess but then they give up the game whereas boys carry on playing. Why do you think this happens? In my opinion this happens because chess is a kind of sport and generally there are much more less of girls in compare with boys who go in for sport (I don’t speak about some specific sports such as rhythmic gymnastics). Chess is also a logical game and boys take up the activities connected with logics much more often then girls. 2.- We, the modest clubs, have few resources to work, how could we promote women’s chess without falling onto the issue of “positive discrimination”? The first steps of promoting women chess have been made in the last years (e.g. the first time Women Grand Prix was organized this year, a number of women boards at the official tournaments like Olympiad and European Team Championship was increased etc.) but of course this is far from what should be done to make chess being popular. Many new ideas of promoting women chess were suggested by World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk in her open letter to FIDE. They are: to organize more strong women events, to create Women’s World Blitz and Rapid Championships, to increase women prizes not only at the tournaments of the highest level but also at the open tournaments. I think that the club system should be improved. This can help promoting women chess in the countries. Every country is wished to held a separate Women’s Club Tournament and that every country is represented by at least one team at the European Club Cup for women. Also every professional woman chess player has to promote chess in general and especially women’s chess. 3.- We have all heard about the Polgar sisters, even those who don’t practise chess. Judit and Susan have broken records and Judit is the first and only woman ever able to exceed 2700 ELO (whereas Sofía, the third sister, seems not to practise chess at all). Do you think you could ever get 2700 ELO? What is your next goal as a chess player? I will try to do my best to get over 2700 and my nearest goal is to complete men GM norm (I already have 2, so I need 1 more). 4.- Chess and cleverness are not incompatible. It has always been thought that the woman is much more intelligent than the man (I’m sure I will be reproached for this :-)) and that women have a very high work capacity. Joining this with beauty breaks the chess’ platitudes, [Ed. stereotypes] and it is obvious that it benefits our sport. It is said, with few exceptions, such as Judit’s, that women play chess worse than men, do you think this is actually true? If so, what could be the reason? Actually this question has become very popular nowadays. I think there are the following reasons why men plays better than women. As I have mentioned above the number of boys playing chess is much higher then girls. The second is that women practice chess much less time then men do (even Susan Polgar has written this on her webpage). Other reason is that there are very few women who are professional and who can earn money only by playing chess. 5.- Which is the most entertaining anecdote that you remember playing the chess? One of the funny things occurred when I was playing Russian league. It has happened that during the last years I played the same tournaments with Antoaneta Stefanova very often, also many times in the same team. So, last year we played in one Russian team, she was on the first board and me on the second. As it is well known already, Antoaneta always comes to play the game with a bottle of coke. That day was not an exception in this case but when there was left some seconds before the game Eti decided to open the bottle and suddenly the coke poured on her board and also on mine. At the time the arbiters informed the players of starting the game we were trying to change the chessboards, chess sets and the tablecloth. 6.- What would advise a girl who wants to manage to play as you? A different advice to studying and to working hardly. The girl should love to play chess, wish to be successful and reach the highest results, also practice chess every day. 7.- In your opinion, which do you think has been your best game? Or one of the best (it will appear at the end of the article). I guess one of the nice games I have recently played against GM David Howell at the Inventi Chess Tournament 2009. 8.- If you could ask a compromising question to a female chess player, what would you ask her? Just to set the record straight, we will ask this very same question to another great female chess player. I would like to ask the other top female chess players about the influence of chess in their life and if they would like to repeat their professional chess career again. 9.- Just one more thing to finish with. We know you like Spain, and Cáceres is a candidate for the “European Capital of Culture” title; if we achieve this title, will you come visit us? If you invite me I will try to do my best to come and visit Spain. Thanks for your time. You are welcome!

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