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Press conference with the Indian women's team

Press conference India thumb

KARLOVICH: Dear ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome our new guests: the representatives of the National Women’s team of India: GM Harika Dronavalli, IM Eesha Sanjay Karavade and IM Tania Sachdev and their Captain GM Kunte Abhijit.

In the third round against Armenian team you managed to gain victory, notwithstanding the fact that the opponent’s team is quite strong. My first question is to the captain: how the tournament is going for the team so far and how was the preparation to the Istanbul Olympiad?

ABHIJIT: The match was extremely interesting for us, we had very good opening. Actually we expected a bigger margin, still we are satisfied with the result we have. After all, it’s only a third round, we have 8 rounds ahead. As to the preparations I’m quite satisfied with the work we had done.

KARLOVICH: Girls, did you have any training camp before the Olympiad?

DRONAVALLI: Actually, our secret is that we didn’t have any camp before the Olympiad, nonetheless we are very satisfied with our preparation. We will try our best to show our potential here during the Olympiad.

KARLOVICH: If I’m not mistaken, Tania Sachdev was the one, who won the game today and brought victory to her team, so can you tell us about this match and about your feelings during it?

SADCHEV: Well, today we had quite a tough team to deal with, so from the beginning we were going for win, because we needed it badly. I was playing against IM Lilit Galoyan, and it was something I was prepared to more or less. She made a mistake in the opening and I got a better position. It seems to me now, that I could have won much easily, but still the result is positive, because I won anyways.

KARLOVICH: Girls, how do you feel here in Istanbul and what are your impressions on the organization of Istanbul Olympiad?

DRONAVALLI: Since it’s my fifth Olympiad, I can make the comparison. Frankly speaking, it’s the best level of organization I have seen so far, so I’m looking forward to further rounds.

UROSEVIC: My question is to Eesha Karavade: your trainer said that today you had the advantage after the opening, but then you made a draw. Can you share some more details with us?

KARAVADE: Actually the game was quite exhausting – I didn’t expect the line that my opponent played. I tried to change the situation, after her piece sacrifice, actually I still doubt whether it was right or wrong. But at the end Lilit Mkrtchian messed the situation and I managed to make a draw.

Press conference India


KARLOVICH: My next question is to the captain: we don’t see Humpy Koneru at the Olympiad, but with her participation your chances could be more promising. What do you think about that?

ABHIJIT: Notwithstanding the fact that we don’t see Koneru in this team, I must say that our team is very strong anyway and we will fight till the end.

KARLOVICH: Logical question: what are your expectations from this Olympiad? What place do you want to gain?

ABHIJIT: Podium, of course (laughing).

UROSEVIC: My next question is to Harika Dronavalli: for last several years you’ve been playing for Armenian team Mika, with most of the players, who represent Armenia in Istanbul Olympiad. Today you played against the biggest star Elina Danielian, so how was this experience for you?

DRONAVALLI: I’ve been playing for three years for Armenian team in club championships, but to say the truth, I haven’t played much against Elina, because we played for the same team.

KARLOVICH: I guess, you all have been following the match Anand - Gelfand, so what are your impressions after the match?

ABHIJIT: Actually, everybody expected that it would be an easy a win for Anand, but the match turned out to be very tough. Eventually everyone was so happy that Anand won World Championship for the fifth time, we consider it to be the most prominent sports achievement for India. Thanks to Anand and his achievements chess is so popular in India.

KARLOVICH: Girls what were you thinking when Anand lost his 7th game?

SADCHEV: Well, since everybody expected Anand to win, his loss in 7th game was very distressing for us. But due to the strong preparation, he managed to win. Gelfand opening preparation was impressive as well. A lot of people said that the match wasn’t that exciting as a match of Anand-Kramnik. Actually many people told that but like Gelfand said, they were there to play chess, not to entertainment.

KARLOVICH: You just said that thanks to Anand, chess is very popular in India, what about Chess in Schools Program, is this program popular in India?

ABHIJIT: One of our governments - Gujarat government - implemented chess into school curriculum, now it’s a compulsory subject. In another government - Maharashta we are practicing chess in hundred schools, involving 5000 children. By the end of this year we are expecting to reach the quantity around 100 thousand children, who are eager to play chess and enjoy doing it.