FONTAINE: Dear ladies and gentlemen, I’m glad to invite you to our press-conference with the members of Ukrainian Women team: Kateryna Lahno, Yanovska Inna and Zhukova Nataliya. First of all we congratulate the team with the third place in the Olympiad. What are your impressions after the today match?
LAHNO: Well, of course we are very happy, because at the start before the start of the tournament we were the 4th-rated team. We already know that we came third, but we still have the tiny chance to get the second place (because the round is not over yet), but I wouldn’t even dream of it, because the current result is very decent.
YANOVSKA: I didn’t participate in all the rounds, e.g. I haven’t played in today’s match. Of course, I was supporting our girls, I believe that the result is very good for Ukraine, especially taking into consideration that we were the 4th- rated team in the Olympiad and we managed to improve our result. Actually I believe that any medal is a great success for the team and for the country itself.
LAHNO: On behalf of our team I would like to add that we are very thankful to Inna, because she’s just gave birth to beautiful twins (three month ago), so it was very difficult to participate in the Olympiad, but still she managed to leave her newborns for some time and join us. She didn’t played a lot, but she gained important points for the team and we appreciate her participation a lot.
FONTAINE: What about the strategy? Did you decide to play on the boards and to just wait for the results of other teams or did you prepared any special strategy?
LAHNO: As we already have unpleasant experience in performing in the last rounds, we just wanted to forget about everything and just play it well. I think that we really deserved to be on the podium, notwithstanding whether it will be the 3rd or the 2nd place.
YANOVSKA: I really believe that during the whole tournament we showed our best results, especially while playing with our main opponents, and the rest day before the last match served us good thing, we managed to concentrate afterwards and we indeed deserved the place on the podium.
ZHUKOVA: First of all, I would like to say that we are really happy to be on the third place. Today we used our classical secure strategy: pushing forward with white and equalizing the position with black – so we fulfilled our task, taking into account our previous experience.
FONTAINE: During the last European Championship you performed in the last round not very successfully – what made the difference for you here during the last match in the course of the Olympiad?
LAHNO: The main difference is in the pairings: during previous tournament we played last match with very strong opponent – China, and it turned out to be very tough for us. And in this Olympiad we met with China in the third match, if I’m not mistaken. So we played with the majority of our main and the strongest opponents before the last round. Today we played with Germany, indeed it’s a strong team, but not as Chinese one.
YANOVSKA: I would like to add that we managed to change the course of unsuccessful tournaments for us, as we had three of them in a row: - the Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad , European Championship and World’s Championship as well. So I hope that we managed to break this trend of bad performance in the last rounds.
KARLOVICH: First of all I would like to congratulate you with the successful performance and the third place in the Olympiad. What was the most difficult moment for you in the Olympiad, which match was the toughest match for you? And my second question is about the change of the coach Mykhail Brodsky: how did it influence your team and your achievements, in your opinion?
ZHUKOVA: I guess, it’s obvious that the most difficult moment for us was the match with Russian team, when Kateryna heroically saved the match, by equalizing the score of the round. Perhaps not only chess factors have worked there, but physical efforts as well. If she didn’t make a draw, we could have lost our chances to win medals.
YANOVSKA: As to my opinion, another very important factor which helped us to show our best results – is that we haven’t lost any match in the course of the whole Olympiad. The fact that we drew some matches gave us extra moral support and stimuli to perform well afterwards.
LAHNO: As to the change of the coach, the first tournament with a new coach is very difficult, but our team is very satisfied by his work, as he didn’t put a lot of pressure on us and supported us all the time, as it should be – he really did his best. We are thankful to him for our result as well.
YANOVSKA: I would like to add, that we indeed are satisfied with the work of our coach. He helped me with lots of matches, he felt that I’m the weak point in the team and he didn’t use me in all the matches – he gave me some rest.
ZHUKOVA: I think that it’s our coach has a good tournament experience, though it’s his first Olympiad, but there were also European and World Championships , after which he indicated the mistakes and managed to correct them, so he did everything nice and smoothly.
FONTAINE: Thank you for participating in our press-conference.