Nadezhda Kosintseva defeated Lilit Mkrtchian on the tie-break and advanced to the third round, where she is going to meet her sister Tatiana.

– Nadezhda, tell us about the tie-break games. What happened in rapid games and how you managed to win the match?

– Playing Black, I obtained a fairly comfortable position, but then suddenly got nervous – because it is tie-break, everybody gets panic attacks from time to time. A few pointless moves, and my position deteriorated. Then I blundered a pawn. I still had drawing chances, but, as usual, one mistake was followed by another… In the rook ending I forgot to play h5, allowing her to play 50.g4, and from that point it was purely a technical task. I haven’t played in tie-breaks for a while and almost forgot how emotional this is.

– How did you equalize the score?

– Playing the second game was easier, because I had nothing to lose. I employed a semi-sound variation, and now Lilit started to make mistakes due to nervousness. She found the way to transpose to an endgame, but it was slightly inferior for her. Then we both started playing very fast, and I think she overlooked 19…Nc3 20.Nb6. After that I got a dream position and converted my advantage.

– What was you strategy for the 10-minute games?

– Once again I tried to play very quickly, because one shouldn’t think with such time control – time trouble mistakes are usually very costly. I got a better position, especially after I blocked it by 28.с5, depriving Black of any queenside counterplay. I had extra five minutes, clear plan and many threats. Defending in such situation with one minute on the clock is extremely difficult.

– You moved back and force without taking and commitments. Was it also part of your strategy? Or it was your way of playing for a win? 

– I just hesitated all the time. First I wanted to play e4, so I started to rearrange my pieces and create threats, and then moved the e-pawn. If she didn’t blunder, I would also play g4 at some point…

– Tomorrow we will see the match between Kosintseva sisters. You always made quick draws with Tatiana, but this is a knock-out tournament and someone has to win. What do you think about the situation? How you will prepare for the match with your younger sister?

– I haven’t thought about it yet, because I live from match to match. Now I am in the next round, so I can start thinking about it… When your opponents knows as much as you, at least in the opening, it definitely complicates things. I know everything she prepared for this tournament, she knows about me, we have databases of each other… Should I examine her database looking for analytical errors? Ridiculous… I don’t know what to do. We’ll see.

– And what about the mental part? You go for dinner together every day, will you separate during the match?

– Absolutely not.

– Thank you. We are getting ready for your match.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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