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Press conference with GM Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain

Press conference Paco Vallejo thumb

KARLOVICH: Dear ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to welcome our new guest: the first board of the Spanish team, GM Fransisco Vallejo Pons. Let me ask you, Paco, about your performance here so far and how is your team doing?

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: Hi everyone, my performance has been good so far comparing to my rating. I am gaining some rating points I think. I was playing quite well but I made few mistakes important mistakes, for instance in my game against Aronian where I was slightly worse but I should not lose. I also lost to Ivanchuk, but ok, it may happen to everyone.

KARLOVICH: Long time it was Shirov who played on the first board of the Spanish team. How do you feel playing now on the first board? Did you have any special training sessions before the Olympiad? Do you have any support from the federation?

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: Actually I already played on the first board during the last European Team Championship even Shirov was stil playing with us. Of course Shirov is a very good player, but for me it is all the same, no changes. We also got some new players in the team, they are also good players. I don’t feel any kind of pressure being on the first board.

As for the training sessions, we did not have any. We have very good spirit in the team, including women’s team and coaches. We are very good friends, but we all prepared individually.

As far as the care of the national federation is concerned, they do care about us, but they don’t have money, that’s the problem.

Press conference Paco Vallejo 1


KARLOVICH: Yes, what to do. What about your plans for the future? Are you going to play somewhere? I am not asking about your private future, only about chess life.

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: I have a very important tournament coming in two weeks. This is Grand Slam in Bilbao. There will be Aronian, Carlsen, Anand. It’s gonna be very strong field. I don’t know why they invited me. I am sure it will be very interesting tournament. It will be six players round robin, but I don’t know the two other players.

QUESTION FROM A JOURNALIST: You are having recently many new players in your team. Do you have any changes related to the new comers?

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: We are very friendly. Some people are coming, some are leaving. Still it is not a big deal. We are very happy. Our team is very friendly.

KARLOVICH: How do you relax after the games? Do you go somewhere with a team or you prefer to be on your own?

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: Well, I like the Olympiads in general because you meet a lot of friends. Most of the teams are in one hotel. There is a nice place in front of our hotel, so almost everyone meets there in the evening. So, we spend good time there.

Press conference Paco Vallejo


KARLOVICH: So, this is a nice atmosphere there. Maybe we should visit you one day, because we are staying in another hotel.

FRANCISCO VALLEJO: Yes, you should definitely come. There is billiard, bowling, café. There are lots of chess players, some of them are normal so you should join us one day.

KARLOVICH: We are happy to have you at our press conference and let me wish you good luck in all your games.