Interview with Yury Dokhoyan

Trainer of the Russia 1 women Chess Olympiad team

Russia chess

After the victory in the third round the players of the Russia-1 women’s team Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Valentina Gunina and their coach Yuri Dokhoyan were invited to give the press-conference to the journalists of the Olympiad Press Center and the next day they defeated Georgian team in the next round.

– Yury, are you satisfied with your team’s performance at the start of the tournament?

Yury Dokhoyan: Today’s game against national team of Slovakia was good; we had a lasting pressure on three boards at the same time right from the beginning. Tatiana and Nadezhda were playing rather confidently, Sasha Kosteniuk won a good game and Valentina, taking into account the result of the team, decided to make a draw to secure the overall victory in the 3rd round. In the 2nd round we committed a mistake, but in general I am satisfied with their play. In any case the games against major opponents are ahead.

– Who are the main opponents in the fight for the gold medals?

Yury Dokhoyan: They are placed strictly according to the Rating: Ukraine, China and Georgia.
They are strong teams that have won high-level tournaments many times.

– Everyone is expecting only one result from Russia-1 team – the 1st place. Tatiana, playing on the 1st board, do you feel the responsibility for the final result?

Tatiana Kosintseva: Of course, I do, that’s why I will try to do my best in each round. However, it has nothing to do with the fact that I am playing on the 1st board here because I had to be the 1st board before and I have some experience in managing my emotions.

– Russian women’s national team is also remarkable for the fact that the Women’s World Champion is playing at the 3rd board. Is it a strategic decision?

Yury Dokhoyan: The board composition of the team is made according to the sport principle and to the Rating. I was ready to make an exception for the Women’s World Champion. She had the right to play on the 1st board and I suggested that to her. She chose the 3rd one, explaining it by the lack of practice. She decided that it would be better for the team, and eventually, her arguments convinced me. But in general, I believe that the World Champion in general is the one who can lead the team and represent it at the high level. He is there for that purpose.

– Now you are the coach of the sisters and you used to be the second of Garry Kasparov. With whom is it more interesting to work?

Yury Dokhoyan: They often ask me this questions. Till 2005 when Garry Kimovich gave up chess, I was his principal coach. Then our paths were separated – I started helping Tatiana and Nadezhda, what subsequently made me the Women’s national team’s coach. Now Tatiana and Nadezhda perform at the level of a strong Grandmaster and training them became very interesting. Moreover we are speaking of training the national team’s players.

– Nadezhda, have you ever argued with your sister for the board?

Nadezhda Kosintseva: I haven’t had any serious reasons to push my sister in a lower position. There was a moment when my rating was slightly higher than Tanya’s, but there were not any team competitions and I didn’t have chance to use this advantage. I just was not lucky (laughing).

– You are like Klichko-brothers, you never fight seriously against each other. An exception was made only in two games of the Blitz Chess Championship that ended before the Olympiad…

Т.К.: Indeed, in classical chess our games are resulted without any serous fight. I do not think that I have to explain the reason for that. Sisters are not supposed to argue. As for the Blitz tournament, we have agreed with Nadya right away that we will play seriously. Here is a paradox: we scored the same anyway. I want to underline that I like the idea of such tournaments itself, because women chess players do not have enough opportunities to play in the competitions on such elite level like Wejk-an-Zee, Bilbao and Linares. We have only FIDE Grand Prix and I am very happy about the fact that now we have the competitions of such scale where we can try ourselves out. I hope that it will remain traditional in the future.

– What are your relations out of chess?

Т.К.: .Very good. It happens that we quarrel but we always try to come to a diplomatic decision of the conflict.

N.К.: Yes,we prefer to sort things out in a blitz. We play very tense matches at home, it happens that games last for hours and no one is ready to give up till the end. We do not find compromises in this case.

– Tatiana, was this year successful for you?

Т.К.: It is too early to speak about the results; the year is not finished yet. There are so many tournaments ahead of us and so far I am happy to have played in “Grand Prix” series where I performed very well and gained experience.

– Nadezhda, do you feel tired?

N.К.: No, I don’t. The thing is that from tournament to another the game becomes more tense. Olympiad is a very serious tournament and moreover it is taking place in our own country. It is possible that teams who are not favorites show the best results. That is why one has to be always in a very good shape and I hope that we will continue playing better and cope with stress.

– Girls, could you tell us about your holidays?

N.К.: Before the Olympiad we had a chance to go to Anapa to have some rest, enjoy the sea and get suntanned. We need it very much, moreover before that we played a very long series of tournaments. We got very tired and this trip let us regain strength before the Olympiad.

V.G.: I also went to the seaside to Tunis. I am in the 5th year of the university and soon I will be getting a diploma, therefore I will hardly have time to rest in the nearest future.

– Valentina, I see a toy on your knees .Who is this?

Valentina lifts up her teddy toy and answers modestly, “This is my talisman.”

– Does it have a name?

This is Tigger from “Winnie the Pooh” cartoon.

– And do the sisters have their talisman?

N.К.: Unfortunately not. We are good friends with Valya’s Tiger.

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