Anna Muzychuk Interview

 

 

 

Anna Olegivna Muzychuk (born February 28, 1990, Lviv) is a Slovenian chess player of Ukrainian origin. She earned the title of Woman FIDE Master
in 2001, Woman International Master in 2002, Woman Grandmaster in 2004, International Master in 2007 and Grandmaster in 2012.
In 2004 she became a member of the Slovenian chess federation, where she is the strongest female chess player. She had been the second highest
rated female player in the world in September 2012.As of February 2013 on Fide World Ranking she is ranked number 4 in the world in Womens Chess
with a std. rating of 2582, rapid.rating of 2566 and a blitz rating of 2639.

Muzychuk has played on first board for the Slovenian team since 2004. In the 36th Chess Olympiad, she defeated, among others, the former Women’s
World Chess Champion, GM Antoaneta Stefanova. In the 37th Chess Olympiad for the Slovenian women’s team, seeded 17th, she finished tenth.

In 2010 she played in the Corus chess tournament Group B, finishing 10th with a score of 5½/13 and a performance of 2583.

 

EXTREMEoverCAST:
At the age of 22 Ranked # 1 in National, # 2 in Continent and # 4 in World ranking.
you have a great potential to become the champion in a few years.
What does it feel like to be ranked so close to number 1 in the world?

Anna:

Of course it is a very good feeling to know that you are so successful in your profession.

EXTREMEoverCAST:

Considering that a good part of your rating comes from male players…
How does it feel like to have to enter the lions den for rating and come out victorious?

Anna:

In my opinion the part of my rating that I get from male players is not that big. I play female tournament much more often. But of course there are also tournaments where I face only men players. This is basically not for rating but for getting experience.

EXTREMEoverCAST:

In some tournaments you are the only woman playing. Do you see this as an advantage as far
as a psychological effect on the male players that might be too worried to be the first to lose to the only woman in the competition?

Anna:

Yes, I have played in such tournaments where I was the only women player. I cannot say that it was an advantage or disadvantage and I don’t think that men in this situation are very worried about losing. We are already adults and professionals. It is not like in some children tournament when boys are really disappointed about losing to a girl. But ok, maybe I am not completely right. You should ask men about their feelings regarding this question.

EXTREMEoverCAST:

Is there extra pressure for you being a high rated woman playing in tournaments against men?

Anna:

I don’t have this pressure as when I am playing a round robin men tournament then it is usually very strong and in spite of me being a high rated women player, I am among the lower rated in that men event.

EXTREMEoverCAST:

What Active female players do you follow?

Anna:

I try to follow all the top women players as I have to play with them quite often in the women tournaments of the highest level.

 

 

Alekhine:

Hello ma’am, sending you the heartiest greetings on behalf of ChessRex… Truly, we spend here such a long time that it is no less than our second home….. Thanks a lot for sharing your precious time with our Rex family. I hope you would enjoy answering our questions.
When did you get to know that chess is your true talent and that you can go far in this field? Who encouraged you to play chess?

Anna:

I started to play chess very early. My parents told me about the game when I was just 2 years old. By the age of 3, I already knew all the chess rule and could play a normal chess game. I started to win the tournaments among children of my age very quickly. When I was 6, I became the European champion among girls U8, so I think at this time it was already seen that I have a talent for chess.

Alekhine:

Were your parents supportive for you from the very beginning of your chess carrier?

Anna:

Obviously yes. For quite a long time both of my parents were my only coaches. I must say that of course they are also the chess players. Moreover, they were both graduated from Lviv State University of Physical Culture, chess specialty, so they also know how to teach chess professionally.

Alekhine:

Did you hire a coach or you took it yourself? And if you took a coach, at which age?

Anna:

As I have mentioned, my parents were my coaches from the very beginning. Later on from time to time I worked with other coaches. I think I had my first other coach when I was 11.

Alekhine:

Which was the very first opening that you learned?

Anna:

It is very difficult to remember. I was too young at that time and I don’t think it was already some opening. Maybe just some first moves.

Alekhine:

If you would get an option to choose between a knight and a bishop, which one would you choose and why?

Anna:

Depends on the position.

Alekhine:

It is believed by many great players that bishops are helpful for endgames, but it is also true that ‘A KNIGHT CAN CHANGE THE GAME’, what are your beliefs about this?

Anna:

I still think that it depends on the position. You cannot say generally if the knight or the bishop is better. Both of the pieces are evaluated equally in chess but depending on the other chess factors (pawn structure, the set up of the other pieces etc..) one of them can be better.

Alekhine:
What was the very first rating that you achieved and in which tournament? What was your age at that time?

Anna:

I got my first rating when I was 11. If I am not mistaken it was 2197. As I remember it was needed to play 25 or 30 rated games to get the rating, so I could not get it only after 1 tournament. But I think the last of these tournaments was European Women Championship, after that I became a rated player.

Alekhine:
Whom do you consider your toughest opponent whom you have faced till now? What was the result of the match?

Anna:

I think I cannot name one special player. The usual situation is that the higher rated the player is the more problem you have to face over the board. For the moment I can say that is really difficult to play against the best men players, like who are over 2700.

Alekhine:

Sir Garry Kasparov once said, ” MEN ARE SUPERIOR THAN WOMEN IN EVERY STAGE”..What are your beliefs about this?

Anna:

From one point of view he is right, of course. For more than 20 years Mr.Kasparov was the best player in the planet and no woman was so close to his level. Also now looking at the rating lists we can see that men are dominating. The only difference is that this phrase cannot belong to all men and women. Let’s say that some woman and some man player has the same level of strength (the same rating), then why should the man be better?

Higginator:

Anna, if you had the opportunity would you Enter a World Championship “Fischer Random Chess 960” …(or like that Last one held …Chess960*) tournament ??

Anna:

I know about this kind of chess, though I have never played any tournaments of Chess 960. The World Chess 960 Championships were organized but now we don’t have them. If once they will be organized again, I think I would consider about taking part in it. Why not?

Higginator:

I’m trying to Play all the FRC960 Starting Positions from #000-959 OTB…its taken a few ChessYears already to complete 215 SP”s and against the same Player in 5min Sudden Death Games as we are Playing both the Lighter and Darker Piece’s so that’s 1920 Games in total to Play….Do you know any One that has Played all the Starting Position’s Over the Board ?? thanks Anna for your Time!

Anna:

I have never thought about that and never asked anyone but I don’t think that someone has tried to play all the positions. It looks like it really takes a lot of time and I am not sure that it will be so useful. I think it will be more reasonable to train chess skills and try to better as a chess player as after some moves of FRC960 you already get some position which by structure is similar to some opening in normal chess. So, the more you know in chess, the better chess player you are the better you will play FRC960. This is just my opinion, maybe I am not completely right. We will be able to check it if Fischer chess becomes more popular. But as we can see from the very popular Festival in Mainz which was including World 960 Championships among men and women, a great general open and also a computer tournament, the winners were the players who are very good in normal chess.

 

 

RAGINGBULL:

At what moment did you realize that chess would become your profession?

Anna:

The point is that every player has one important moment when actually he chooses between becoming a professional in chess or some other work. For me it was in the age of 18. I came to top 10 among women and at this moment I realized that I would be a chess professional.

RAGINGBULL:

What does a coach actually do?

Anna:

From the very beginning the coach has to make the child being interested in the game. Then if he likes it, they start with some elementary aspects of chess.

RAGINGBULL:

Carlson takes his father everywhere with him, who travels with you as your rock?

Anna:

When I was younger, I also used to traveling with my parents. But now mainly I am traveling alone.

RAGINGBULL:

What chess magazines could you recommend?

Anna:

For English speaking people I can recommend New In Chess. It is quite interesting reading the comments of the top rated chess players.

RAGINGBULL:

what great chess player have you met who is retired, but passed on some wisdom to you? and what was that wisdom?

Anna:

I am very glad that I have met and played against Victor Korchnoi and Nona Gaprindashvili. They are very impressive with their enormous energy and interest to chess.

RAGINGBULL:

I’m trying to teach my 6 year old nephew using various books, puzzles etc, any advice on how I could do this better?

Anna:

It is important for such young players to solve different puzzles as you do but try always to keep interest with this. At this period children like to play games. It will be nice if your nephew could attend some local club and play games with the kids of her age.

RAGINGBULL:

Please be kind enough to name your most glorious win, and your most frustrating defeat.

Anna:

It is easier with the first part. I think my really great game is still to come but from the last games I like my win over GM Sasikiran (Sasikiran-Muzychuk, 2012). About the defeat it is not so easy as almost every losing game makes me being quite sad.

Higgie:

Do you have any Youtube Video’s that we could Check out ?

Anna:

There are some vidoes of me in Youtube. I think you can just type my name there to get them.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=anna+muzychuk&oq=anna+muzychuk&gs_l=youtube.3..0.341.4901.0.5405.13.8.0.5.5.0.115.506.7j1.8.0…0.0…1ac.1.yJ48ulCEUTE

Higgie:

As Chess has evolved over the Years …..and within the Fischer Random Starting Positions The Initial Traditional Start Position is just One of many that make Chess960 so Exciting to Play ….were do you see Chess evolving for the coming ChessYears Anna ??

Anna:

For me it is still very interesting to play normal chess. Of course, it has evolved and this will continue but the game is still very interesting with many “undiscovered” ideas.

Higgie:

Some Say “there’s no ” Luck ” in Chess…what do you think is there Luck* in Chess?? Thank you Anna and Good Chess*ing for the ChessFuture …. …… …..!!!!!

Anna:

I think that the term of “luck” can be different and have a lot of meanings. For example under “luck” we can understand winning a losing or bad position, getting a “comfortable” opponent, guessing correctly the line that your opponent will play, being invited to some tournament and so on…

 

 

AVIJIT DAS:
Magnus Carlsen once in an interview said “young players are often not good at defending a position, they cannot cope well when fate turns against them.”…. Madam, do you agree to this statement? What is your own opinion about young players?

Anna:

I think Magnus is right about this. When we are young we prefer to attack rather than defending, also the psychology is not so strong, so one very bad result in the tournament when you are young can ruin all your wishes to play chess.

AVIJIT DAS:

Would you consider Fried Liver Attack as one of the fantastic openings? Why?

Anna:

The Fried Liver Attack is very interesting. I played it as White when I was very young. Recently after 4.Ng5 Black does not play 4…d5, so it seems quite dangerous.

AVIJIT DAS:

Generally what do you prefer, attacking chess or defensive chess?

Anna:

Generally I am more as an attacking player.

AVIJIT DAS:
Madam, do you think women are strongly underrepresented in chess at the top levels? Please share your opinion with us..!!

Anna:

I think that yes. There are much more men players in all levels. This is probably one of the reasons why the top players are mainly men.

AVIJIT DAS:
Mam, I strongly believe women have the better teaching qualities than men , I have many reasons behind my belief, you might differ with me but I want to know what do you believe? Would you please share your thoughts on this, with us ?

Anna:

I cannot be so sure, cannot approve this and cannot decline. I think it is more about the person and his/her skills in teaching and communicating with the person you teach.

AVIJIT DAS:

Very recently GM Hikaru Nakamura said “Not much you can do in chess when your opponent decides to play like a boss”…Do you agree with that ?

Anna:

As I remember this phrase appeared after the game Nakamura-L’Ami. Did Hikaru means that Black played too solid in that game?

AVIJIT DAS:

If you have to choose three best Woman Grand Masters of current time who would you choose and why?

Anna:

I will not name the players as I am one of the top female players, so it might not be objective. Better to ask this question some of top men players.

AVIJIT DAS:

You are the 4rth highest rated female player in the world in January 2013 & all your fans here at ChessRex believe that some day you will become the Champion..Do you also believe this ?

Anna:

Surely, I do. Otherwise it would be strange.

AVIJIT DAS:

How do you see this interview from ChessRex ? I mean if you are to describe (or Criticize ) in few words how would you explain ?

Anna:

I can say that I like it. It is the first time that I answer  questions that not only come from one person but when different people can ask what they are interested about.

 

EXTREME:
What’s the difference between a men’s chess tournament and women’s tournament besides the fact that in one you are sometimes the only woman?

Anna:

I think that the difference is only in the level. When I play in a strong men tournament, the rating of my opponents is higher.

EXTREME:

What you have accomplished does not just happen by chance…. Can you give us a glimpse at the discipline, focus and hard work that it takes to play at the level you are in?

Anna:

Of course, this requires a lot of time and many years of trainings but it is not impossible.

EXTREME:

Have you ever played a younger player and said to your self I’d better watch out for this one in the future?

Anna:

Sometimes it happened. Sometimes not only with the player you played but if you just see that he/she is very young and played good in some tournament.

EXTREME:

What is it like being one of the youngest in the group of top 5 women chess players in the world?

Anna:

Actually when you start playing a women’s events you don’t think about age so much. Let’s say I don’t feel the difference when you are 20 or 30. Just if you are younger you know that you still have a lot of time in chess.

EXTREME:

What is it like being a Chess Star in Slovenia?

Anna:

I don’t feel like I am Chess Star in Slovenia. Maybe it is because I am still living in Ukraine. But I am proud to be one of the top female players.

EXTREME:

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Anna:

I would like to thank all people for their question and wish all the best to all of you!

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Muzychuk

http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=14111330

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Muzychuk/101608153213223

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