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8 August 2017

Marina Nechaeva: Dreev, Regimen and a Good Neighbor Form a Recipe of Success!

The Women’s Higher League winner answers Dmitry Kryakvin’s questions

- Marina, my congratulations on your victory! A convincing comeback for the 2016 Higher League final drama, isn’t it?

- I would prefer not to recall the events of that year; it was an extremely painful experience in all its aspects. I want to commit it to oblivion entirely (Marina Nechaeva lost to Daria Charochkina in a tiebreak that was not part of the tournament regulations but came into existence as a result of a chief arbiter and a tournament director’s joint decision - ed.). This year it was only natural that I wanted to make up for it by getting into the Superfinal. It was important for me. The tournament has had me on the edge of my nerves... My neighbor witnessed it all, but managed to last it out. It might look as though it were a fairly smooth ride, but it has cost me a lot of nerves instead!

- Sounds like the choice of a neighbor in a tournament like this is nearly decisive, isn’t it?

- Yes. Indeed it is, and when Vika (Korchagina - ed.) said that she has no bad habits and was looking for a good neighbor to share a room with, I realized it was a right choice to make! Choosing a neighbor is not to be underestimated


Viktoria Korchagina – the best neighbor

 - Please tell us about the tournament fight and the games you believe crucial.

- It is perhaps the first game that proved crucial for me because I managed to end up worse and even down a pawn as White (in round one versus Aleksandra Dimitrova – ed.) However, I succeeded in outsmarting my opponent in the endgame to come out victorious, which was definitely a good start to it. Other key games were played towards the finish. Following the rest day, I managed to defeat Alisa Galliamova as Black, which I consider one of my crucial achievements.

Then I just wanted a plain sailing to the coveted goal, but it has panned out even better than that for me. I want to say big thanks to my coach Aleksey Dreev. It is for a couple of years that we have stopped our training sessions, but everything I play is based on his foundation, openings and tips. The last four games saw positions that we had had in our home analysis! Thus, Aleksey Dreev is a great part of this achievement of mine!

- How did you spend your rest day?

- We had a rewarding experience, visiting the Path of Health. The largest of its ring, of course, as we are not looking for easy ways and skip the shortcuts!

- Did you walk into bears?

 - We did not, but we walked into the stray tourists instead. Then we were off to the aerial tram and the Olympic village. All in all, the rest day was spent to advantage.

- Marina, how many times have you been part of the Higher League, Rosa Khutor included?

- Well, I can be mistaken, but this is either my eleventh or twelfth Higher League participation. This said, I have managed to qualify into the Superfinal on two occasions only. My percentage of success is below 20, and I was aware how hard it was going to be. The Higher League has always been quite a challenge for me, an insurmountable obstacle. As  Alisa Galliamova’s result goes to show, who is an undoubtedly outstanding chess player recently finishing third in the European Individual Championship, even she failed to pass this screening.

This is an extremely tight competition, which has about fifteen players capable of making it into the top three. Yet another fifteen can easily beat you or take a half point at the most inopportune moment. In general, qualifying from the Higher League is a very difficult task. It is not without reason that the tournament is known among chess players as "death sentence".

It is not yet time to feel happy.

Marina Nechaeva is set to start yet another game of the “death sentence” tournament

- All strongest players were there to play save for Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, right?

- Frankly speaking, I am very much surprised by Ekaterina Kovalevskaya’s absence from this event. Perhaps, she decided dispense with any further nerve-racking since health is above all.

- How does this Higher League stand out against the earlier ones in terms of organization?

-  I have come to like every bit of it from day one.It is a great place to take walks, a good venue to play. I have nothing to speak lightly of as it is one of the best Higher Leagues in my life. The only issue is costs, but maybe it was worth it.

- Marina, so far I understand, you have come to represent Moscow Oblast again, right?

- Indeed, my exclusive tour of Stavropol is over, I have returned home to my native Moscow Oblast, and I am extremely happy about it.

Battling the future bronze medal winner Polina Shuvalova

- Has Sergey Nesterov congratulated you yet?

- His congratulations were very warm indeed! Moscow Oblast met me with arms outstretched, I am native to this place because I grew up here. They welcomed me back without any problems whatsoever.

- Marina, what about your political life nowadays? Given the realities of modern chess, is it possible to work for the benefit of the Communist Party and show such outstanding results at the same time?

- I have not come to be so immersed in this issue yet. I think once everything is set on track I will be taking care of our pioneers by giving them chess lessons. I hope to begin in August or September, thus making my fair share of contribution into the party’s cause.

- What kind of pioneers are we talking about? Do we stand witness to the Soviet tradition’s resurrection?

-All in all, it is the thing as we know it from earlier times. It forms CPRF’s step one, as I see it. In spring I was on the Red Square in Moscow when children were accepted into pioneers. I am interested in all this, and the activity of the Communist Party seems interesting to me.

- By the way, elections are on the agenda…

-I will not go to the polls for sure as I am still in chess, but I want to gradually develop something through the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, something I am concerned about.

Grandmaster showed up for the decisive round in a red blouse

- Are there any minor secrets to be spilled from the Higher League winner other than choosing the right neighbor?

- Minor secrets are made up of consistent work on chess. Let it be a small share of each day’s time, but the main thing is consistency. In theory, I now need to increase the hours I spend on chess, because no amount of preparation goes wasted. Moreover, I used to have a very good coach - Aleksey Dreev. In fact, his luggage makes for a lot of my current play, and he would always find something to tell me. Day regimen is essential - I mean day and night routine of walks. Another thing is to invest a lot of effort in it without sparing your nerves!

- Marina, is it an option that the Moscow region chess federation takes care of resuming your classes with Dreev or otherwise finding a new high-level specialist for you? After all, they have a legendary Prof. Chess Club, which has gathered both children stars and masters of the coaching trade. All in all, what we see in the Moscow region now is an incredible chess boom.

- You know, this is far from clear to me. In principle, I believe that help belongs to U20 players. They should rather help out young people devoid of opportunities for classes and tournament praxis. My life would have it so that opportunities that I was missing were back on tap for me. I was able to spend a huge amount of money for best coaches and have my training process organized to my liking. This is why this is a challenging question for me. I remember how difficult it was for me before I turned twenty and how I was in a desperate need of a good coach…But that was not to be as I had neither money nor support from outside.

Therefore, taking someone else’s money and coaches - I do not think I am ready for this. Trying to demonstrate that I am such a promising player based on this Higher League’s result only... I will turn thirty in a year. No, I will not do it. Let them help young talents, they really need it! (as it became known afterwards, Sergey Nesterov offered Marina Nechaeva assistance in comprehensive preparation for the Superfinal - Ed.)

- Are you still a member of the RCF Women's Commission? What is the situation there?

- They were disbanding the women's commission at the moment when a new and very active chairman was being elected... This is a very ugly deed! I have been a member of this commission since 2008 and still am one. There was a period when I used to invest a lot of energy and even a lot of own money into the commission’s development. I will not expand on this further, but the fact that it was disbanded in such a fashion was a slap in my face that I really took to heart.

Then I joined the Communist Party, and now I am more concerned about political activities than about a women's commission. Although I remain its member, I am no longer involved in its business affairs, this is why I did not want to be elected as head of the commission. I am very glad that Masha Manakova, being such an active chess player, an intelligent and very energetic girl as she is, has become its chairman. As I said, I no longer take part in its work.

- What are grandmaster Marina Nechaeva’s nearest plans and aspirations?

- All through the week, even longer, all these nine days I have been dreaming of staying here on the seaside for three and a half days. Tomorrow I will be swimming and basking in the sun, and I feel happy looking forward to it. Then I will be off for the Turkish league through Moscow, and then I will have six days of rest before the followup stage of the Russian Women's Cup in Naberezhnye Chelny. That is, the immediate plans are very clear.

The 2017 Russian Higher League’s prize takers

- I wish you good luck in the upcoming tournaments!

- Thank you!

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