during the Baltic Queen chess tournament
Interview by Kirill Levkin
Irina Turova (Arkhangelsk, Russia) – woman grandmaster, man international master, ELO 2387
Irina is the only participant who plays for our city team from the very beginning (2002). She became Russian champion under 20 at the age of only 13. Woman champion of Russia 2003, Irina celebrates her birthday on the opening day of the Baltic Queen tournament.
- Irina, the opening day of the “Baltic Queen” tournament coincided with your birthday. How did you celebrate?
- Mostly travelling. My husband and me planned several tournaments beforehand, and it happened that on this very day I had to go to St. Petersburg. So the greetings were by phone – from Moscow, Austria, my home city Arkhangelsk and other places. And here and St. Petersburg I was given compliments upon arrival, but I was late for the opening ceremony.
- It’s a warm weather here these days. Isn’t it hot for you, born in a northern city?
- Nope, not at all! I was in Greece, the temperature was 45°C. And we were playing chess.
- You often visit St. Petersburg, and you play for our federation team. Are you bound with our city beside this?
- I graduated from St.P. University of Economics and Finance, I’m an economist by specialty. I like the city very much, I can find my bearings quite easily. We were even thinking of moving to St. Petersburg, but at the moment it’s not possible because of housing problems.
- How much is the “Baltic Queen” tournament important for you, what are your goals?
- Of course, the tournament matters a lot. And though we play in one team with other girls, there’s also rivalry between us. I’ve played versus all the participants – but it’s been quite a long time since that. It’s interesting to find out, who is in good shape now. I’m very glad that the tournament is held now, when my son is with his grandparents, and we (my husband Maxim is also a grandmaster) can travel around and enjoy chess.
- How old is your son?
- He turns 3 in October, he’s little.
- Do you teach him to play chess?
- No (laughs). He’s much more interested in cars now.
- Does you mood for the game depend on a dress chosen, colors, adornments?
- Of course it does. I want the clothing to be both convenient and nice. But it’s not always easy, and when you have to play for hours or even more, even small inconveniences can damage the quality of play. I don’t have any talisman clothes. Chess players often have “lucky pens” rather than anything else. By I’ve got so many, I had wins and losses with any of them, so I just use the one I first find in my bag.
- Every player has his own manner: you like, it’s easy to notice, to walk around while your opponent is thinking, watching other games.
- I need a fresh look. After I come back to my board I can see the position from another angle, and new solutions come. Looking how the other participants play during a round, I never think seriously about the positions, just keep an eye on what goes on, maybe something useful for my future preparation. And in general, I can say that only women are able to sit at a board for 4 hours keeping concentration all the time. Men would never do so! Almost after every move they get up, drink coffee, look around. Women can sit and concentrate on a game for hours. I don’t have such a habit, my eyesight used to be poor and I just couldn’t strain my eyes for a long time. I’ve undergone an operation and now I can see well, but I happy I didn’t get into the habit of sitting at a board all the time – it’s necessary for me to look aside!
- What are your plans on your spare time in St. Petersburg?
- I just want to walk down the city’s streets. I was here in summer several times, but only during exams at the University. Actually I haven’t seen the “summer” St. Petersburg. I hope to take walks, and also plan to go to Peterhof.
More about the Baltic Queen Chess tournament at the official site.