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Monday, April 11, 2011

Judith Polgar: Experience counts as a player, person

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

We found this interview with the highest rated woman chess player in the world Judith Polgar as given to Chess News. You can read the original in Russian here at Meanwhile, here is a nice English version for you to enjoy.

It starts off with a reference to Judith Polgar's recent bronze medal performance at the European Individual Chess Championship in the open section.

Q. How would you assess your performance? Rather, with what aims you went to France to attend this European championship?
Judith: I wanted to be selected for the World Cup of Chess coming up in Khanty-Mansiysk in August. At the same time I wanted to play well and I thought about let's see how it goes. It turned out very well. I played several games very well from the seventh to the tenth round. I won some nice endgames and was happy with my game.

Q. Your main goal was qualifying for the World Cup so that's why you went for a draw with Potkin in the last round without a fight?
Judith: Yes, in the last round it is always difficult to decide what to do or how to play. It also depends on your energy level by that time of the tournament. Before the last round I had won four games in a row so had not much energy left for the last round. I do not know exactly how to play to win in such conditions, to fight for 4-5 hours. In this case, I saw that Potkin was in very good shape. When someone wanted to win against him - for example, in the tenth round Jobava really wanted to win, but lost. So, I felt that maybe this Potkin can play to win. Maybe ten years ago I would play to win. But I realized that the tournament had gone well for me and there was no point to struggle and win with black as it would take long. And, I certainly didn't want to lose.

Q. You said that ten years ago, maybe, you would play to win the last game.
Judit : Maybe!

Q. Does this mean that over time - that's been ten years or even more - you have become wiser as a player or as an individual?
Judith: No, I think experience is very important in my life as well as other things. When I was young - 16-18-20 years - i did not bother much with how I would feel if something did not happen. And now I wonder wonder: What can I lose and that to win in the final round. Of course, if I won, it would be fantastic for me, and for the press, and so on. But I felt that, in line with how I played recently I felt that the previous four game wins were good enough and I didn't want to take risks in the last round. Just experience. Maybe it's good, but sometimes, of course, it can affect negatively.

Q. You have returned to chess despite children and family?
Judith: I think, because I love chess. I love chess and love to play. Of course, in 2007, 2008, and slightly in 2009, I started to play badly. Quality of the games was low, and the results were poor. After that, of course, hard to play a lot. But then the children have grown up a bit - Anna is now 4.5 years, Oliver 6.5. Anna goes to kindergarten, and Oliver in September will go to school. And somehow I got more work done in the last year and a half. Maybe not many tournaments.

Q. Are not satisfied that you are not invited to some of the elite men's tournaments?
Judith: In principle, this is life. I realised very quickly that this is so. When you have no big ratings, so it turns out. Such is life. Not to say that this is nice, but I forget and play where I can. Let's see, perhaps, there will be more tournaments. But I also think about how to deal with other matters - not just play in tournaments. Maybe I'll write a book, I'll do several things for school or kindergarten.

Q. One last question to you. All your life you're only playing in men's tournaments. And you do not want to try once - some big women's tournament like the World Championships?
Judith: In principle, I always liked the challenge. My parents raised me well. And somehow I'm not really thinking about how to play with women. When I appeared in many men's tournament, it was fine for me. It is clear that in the last 5-10 years, several women also worked very hard, have good coaches - like Kosteniuk, Kosintseva, Hou Yifan, Koneru ... So, there are already some very good players, which we can say that they are professionals.I do not know, maybe in a few years I will play. But just now no such intentions.

Q. But you do not exclude such a possibility, yes?
Judith: In real life I do not exclude it. I cannot say that I never will but then I can already see the good players who work hard.

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  • At April 12, 2011 at 3:06 AM , Anonymous Srinath, Colombo said...

    Cool interview. But guess women's chess today is as much strong as men's and if they combined the two then we would have even more stronger women's chess. Just saw a mention of you in chessintranslation. Keep up the chess work my Chess Queen. I also like the new tweet button.


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