Anastasiya Karlovich: Tell a little bit about the way the tournament goes? What is your current position in Grand Prix cycle? Elina Danielian: Well, I don’t have any chances for the first place in overall series of Grand Prix. But for me it’s also important to perform good here because it’s the last event of the current Grand Prix series and of course it gives positive emotions when you play in a nice way and try to fight for prizes. For me it is very important to show good style and play nice games. I can’t complain about my current situation. Maybe I was lucky a little bit but after first rounds passed I feel that I can calculate, I can fight, my mind works and that is the most important for me right now.
A.K. Did you have time to prepare specially for this tournament? E.D. There was no any special preparation at all. Before this tournament, just one week ago I was playing a very nice tournament in Italy. My friend Martha Fierro was one of the organizers there. I performed very well there, I won against GMs and I made draws with GMs Dreev and Delchev. It was really nice tournament for me because I’ve got all top-seeded players of the event. So that was my preparation. A.K. Some players don’t advice to play such a strong tournament just before another important one... E.D. I didn’t have serious tournaments since last year. The last one I participated in was European Club Cup. I don’t count the World Championship because it finished very quickly for me. That’s why I wanted to play something before Qatar and put myself in the fighting spirit. There was very nice and friendly atmosphere and it also helps to show good results.
A.K. If you compare your emotions after you lose or win the game which emotions are stronger? E.D. Of course when I win the game my emotions are positive and when I lose it they are negative. In my case both are very strong but I can control myself.
A.K. Are you glad to be a chess player? Would you like to try to be somebody else? E.D. I`m more than 25 years in chess and of course I’m satisfied to be a chess player, chess is my life and part of me and I can not imagine myself without chess. But sometimes I get bored of chess. It would be interesting for me to try some other things, it would be interesting if I could do it or not but I’m still thinking about it. But in general I just enjoy to play chess, I like the process, the fighting, the atmosphere. A.K. What can make you lose your balance in chess and in life? E.D. Nothing can make me lose balance in chess. At the same moment there are many things in life which can make me lose balance, I can’t count now how many. The most important thing is to know that everything is good with my family. When I’m sure that all my close people feel good I become quieter and play better.
A.K. Your husband is also a chess player, is it true? Does he understand you better? E.D. He is not an active chess player, he is just a very passionate amateur. It`s even more than a chess player probably. He takes care of everything connected to chess, he even analyzes my games. Of course from this side it helps me because he understands me, my feelings, my emotions, everything which concerns me when I play chess. But from the other side I`m worried about him because he gets nervous a lot when I’m playing.
A.K. Do you have friends among the chess players or mostly considering them as opponents? E.D. I have many friends among chess players and we are opponents only when we play. Beside the board there is normal life of course. Of course it’s difficult to play with your friends but we have no choice and we always play. A.K. Are you superstitious? E.D. I think many chess players are superstitious. I was very superstitious before and it bothered me very much. A.K. Can you give some examples? E.D. Well, I could use the same clothes or the same pen and such sort of things were happening. Once there was a funny situation: I was playing in a tournament, I played well, I was leading and I had my favourite pen. Suddenly the ink in my pen just finished. It was a disaster for me! And I think I lost the next day. I understood that I`m concentrating too much on those things. I understood it was not possible to live like that. If I want to reach good results I have to stop it. And now I don’t behave this way anymore.
A.K. What is the best advice you ever got? E.D. My father was always telling me: chess will care about you the way you will care about chess. When I was younger I didn’t understand it but later on I’ve got some experience and understood he was right.
A.K. There is an expression: life is too short to drink bad coffee... How would you continue this sentence? E.D. I like to say: life is too short to oversleep it! At the same moment I like to sleep very much...
A.K. Do you have dreams about chess? E.D.Of course I see dreams about chess, it’s impossible not to see them. By the way I don’t have chess dreams during the tournaments. But once I was solving the study in my dream. I spent a lot of time trying to solve studies and I could not find the solution in that one. I was very angry on myself…I went to sleep and found the solution in my dream!
A.K. What do you like to do besides chess? E.D. I must say I never feel bored when I`m alone. There are so many interesting things to do: I like to read books, solve crosswords, listen to music, watch movies. I like to spend time with my friends, too. I
like strategic and intellectual games very much. I like to put my mind
on pressure. It’s very easy for me to understand any kind of game and
it’s easy to learn it. But those games don’t attract me so much as
chess, it is difficult to compare anything with chess.