Ukrainian grandmaster Anna Ushenina defeated Ju Wenjun on tie-break and became the second player to advance to the World Chess Championship final. After the last game she visited the press-center and answered the journalists’ questions.

– Congratulations, Anna! Tell us a few words about the tie-break games.

– Thank you. It was a very nervous match. I got an advantage in the first game. My opponent got into a very difficult position, spent a lot of time and finally sacrificed a piece, but the sacrifice was unsound, and Black lost quickly. In the second game we played the Slav defense and got an approximately even position, but I made a mistake that gave Ju a large advantage. Her position was very close to winning, and it was a miracle that I managed to survive.

– You played quite aggressively as Black and even sacrificed a pawn. Didn’t you want to make a quick draw?

– Of course I wouldn’t mind a quick draw! However, the pawn sacrifice was necessary, otherwise Black’s position would steadily get worse.

– In the second game White missed many ways to win. What was the main reason in your opinion?

– I guess she thought the position was won anyhow, so didn’t try to calculate much. However, her king got stuck in the corner and was unable to get out of it.

– Have you played with Antoaneta Stefanova before?

– Yes, of course. I don’t remember our score, but there were some wins for both of us and a few draws. I think it will be an interesting final.

– How is this tournament covered in Ukraine?

– Unfortunately I do not follow the news headlines at home, but I know that many people support me and follow the tournament. I am receiving many emails with words of support.

– Tomorrow is a rest day, what are you planning to do?

– Rest.

– Anna, now you will surely stay until December, so this becomes a three-week tournament for you. Have you played such a lengthy tournaments before?

– No, this happens for the first time in my career. Of course it is very difficult and everybody is very tired, but it can’t be helped.

– Silvio Danailov plans to come to Khanty-Mansiysk to support Stefanova. Do you know if anyone from Ukraine will come to support you?

– I have no information about it.

– Who helps you during the championship?

– I arrived on my own, but grandmaster Anton Korobov from Kharkov assists me sometimes.

– Thank you and good luck!

– Thanks.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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