Interview with Yelena Dembo

“I should try to take revenge!”

Anastasia Karlovich– How did you prepare for the championship and what did you expect?

Yelena Dembo
– To be honest after the World Championship in 2006 in Ekaterinburg I did not expect anything because I lost in the first round there and went home. Thus, if you consider that my opponent was stronger than four years ago (in the first round Yelena Dembo played against Munguntuul Batkhuyag – AK), I was expecting a very serious struggle. It is clear that I hoped to win but I wasn’t sure in my victory. Preparation for the tournament was quite normal – I was watching what my opponents play, what do they like and not like, how to build a game and so on.

A.K– How can you describe your first match with Munguntuul Batkhuyag?

– Two games were drawn but both of them were quite interesting especially of course the first one. I’ve got a pretty big advantage but unfortunately didn’t manage to win. So I had to play tie-breaks but honestly I think I had better chances. I used to play rapid and blitz and I`m afraid my opponent doesn’t have such an extensive practice. In the first rapid game I got a worse position but made a draw. In the second one I had also worse position but sacrificed a pawn and created some complications on the board. Finally I managed to win in opponent’s time trouble.

A.K– How did you manage to win the second match against Tatiana Kosintseva?

– First of all I made myself a nice gift for my birthday (December 8 – AK). Something totally unreal happened in the first game! I was absolutely lost after the opening. I ruined a pretty good position. If she played 22.h5 then I could just give up. My move 21. … g6 was simply terrible as well as Qa5 and Ld8. The most interesting thing is that I didin`t see the opponent’s answer h5! My father, who was watching the game in Internet, didn’t see it too but my husband saw the right move immediately. Tanya probably also did not see it because it`s hard to imagine that she found it but didn’t make. Then she started to play some strange moves. I had a feeling that under the time trouble she could not see anything any more. I can not say I realized that I could win the game. I just was trying to play till the end. When she played Rd8 I just didn`t understand that move. Maybe Tatiana thought she would take on g6 and I would not have time to take on h4 … Perhaps it was some sort of eclipse. The position was already lost for white.
Before the second game I decided to play just normally without thinking about draw of course. I believe when you hope to make a draw it’s a usual way to lose a game. Therefore I was ready to fight and basically I got what I wanted – very sharp position with chances for both sides. I think my position was slightly better after the opening but I didn`t use my chance and got a very passive position. Then I sacrificed a pawn and thought that everything was fine but it was not the end at all. Since I had more time than my opponent my chances to yawn something were lower.

A.K– In the next round you will play with a Chinese Zhao Xue. How are your results with the chess players from China?

– To be honest my results with Chinese players are not very good. I was defeated by Hou Yifan twice. I also lost to Xu Yuhua and Zhao Xue during the Olympiad in 2006. So I should try to take revenge!

A.K– Do you have any predictions about who will win the championship?

– No, I don’t have any one right now – almost everybody can win. And I haven’t checked games yet to have an opinion who is in a good shape and who is not because I was playing without rest.

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