25 September 2015

Natalia Buksa: Hope Khanty-Mansiysk Becomes a Springboard for Me

The World Junior Champion answered Vladimir Barsky's questions.

"The tournament organization was excellent. I was pleasantly surprised with Khanty-Mansiysk. When I travelled here, I thought: "This is no Sochi or Cote d'Azur!" Yet, it turned out to be a very beautiful city, there's a wonderful park here. I was glad to see the local sights here on my day off. As was said at the opening ceremony, Khanty-Mansiysk has become a springboard for many successful chess players, and I hope I will be one of them.

"It was a very tense tournament for me; I think hardly anyone could predict before the start that I would even make it to the top ten. After winning this championship, I can say that it's not any specific preparation for a game that decides in sports, but your work as a whole and your attitude to the game. A strong will is important, and the desire to win. In every game! If you fully devote yourself to chess, you can obtain great results. This first place was somewhat of a surprise even for me. But, of course, a pleasant surprise!"

"I've heard that very recently you had a long break in your performance?"

"I had a break because I entered a university; and there were other circumstances. Indeed, in 2013 and 2014 I played two or three tournaments with classical control at the most. For such a level it's very little.

"This winter, Men's and Women's Ukrainian Championship Finals were held in Lviv for the first time. After I was there and felt the unique vibes of the finals, I was seized with the desire to do chess, and I have been training hard since January and intend to continue this work in the future."  

"Did you happen to play in such long tournaments earlier?"

"I didn't have this experience. Now I can say that the tournament does have some specific features. It's necessary to estimate how much strength and energy one has, distribute them correctly and maintain them till the end of the tournament. I am glad that there were 13 rounds and not 9, because after round 9 I was only the second (laughs).

"The U-20 World Championship is considered to be the most important one, the next step is adult chess. I will try to tie my life with a professional chess career and I hope I will succeed."

"How did you prepare for the championship, who was helping you during the event?"

"I came here with my mom, that's my main psychological support, many thanks to her! Of course, my coach Vladimir Grabinsky helped me and supported me, particularly after my loss to Abdumalik. She had 7 points out of 7, and it seemed it would be difficult to compete with her. Besides, I suddenly got a lot of letters from Ukraine, which said: we follow your games, we root for you, we support you, we are proud of you, the entire country is supporting you!  When you sit at the board and feel such support, this is something fantastic!"

Natalia Komarova and Natalia Buksa

"Please tell us a little about yourself: how did you start playing chess, what were your achievements?"

"I've been doing chess since childhood, but, frankly speaking, I had breaks all the time. For example, this was because I went to school in the second shift: the classes started at 3 p.m. and finished at 7 p.m. Furthermore, I had no coach and didn't have the possibility to go to tournaments. Now I mostly study chess on my own: Vladimir advises me what books to read, supports me, provides psychological support at tournaments, helps me build my opening repertoire, but the focus is on the homework.

"I can say that I was really surprised when I saw Artur Jussupow here at the tournament, because I had read his book shortly before that, but had never seen him before ― it was very nice to see him! My childhood achievements were unstable: I took the first and second places in Ukrainian girls' championships, but I never went to Europe or the rest of the world due to a lack of possibilities, except for once in my childhood, when I went to a U-10 tournament."

"Did you start training with Grabinsky a long time ago?"

"I trained with him in 2011-2012, before he moved to the Arab Emirates. When he left, I had my own issues and circumstances, due to which I couldn't do chess, and then I entered a university. I was able to get a place at the law department subsidized by the government, but chess suffered a little because of that.

Most regrettably, currently there is no chess club in Lviv. There is a fight for the premises, but so far there is no room for the chess school to hold classes."