As part of our continuing “This Girl Is On Fire” campaign, we conducted an interview with chess champion Natalia Pogonina after winning the Chess Olympiad.
Update (April 7, 2015): Natalia Pogonina lost to Mariya Muzychuk in the Women’s World Chess Championships in Sochi. Muzychuk will have to defend her title against the ex-World Champion, Hou Yifan of China, in October of 2015. The competition pitted 64 players from 28 countries against each other between March 16 – April 6.
In the final match of the Women’s World Chess Championships, 22-year-old Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine defeated 30-year-old Natalia Pogonina from Russia
Natalia Andreevna Pogonina (Russian: Наталья Андреевна Погонина) is a chess Woman Grandmaster from Russia and one of the best female chess players in the world. Since 2004 she has been a member of Team Russia and is the reigning Olympic Women’s Chess Champion.
Woman Grandmaster (WGM), three-times European champion (U16, twice U18), bronze prize winner at the World Championship (U18). Ranked as 3rd most successful female chess player in the world in 2009 by the Association of Chess Professionals. In 2011 Natalia became the only chess player in the world to simultaneously win the Eurocup and European Team Chess Championship and in 2013 – the only person to hold the individual and team Russian Champion titles. She was runner-up at Women’s World Team Chess Championship-2011 and earned the bronze medal in 2013.
How did you enjoy the Chess Olympiad and why didn’t you play every round?
Hi! I have enjoyed Tromso a lot, from the friendly people to beautiful sceneries and the chess fever which is now taking place in Norway. Observing chess being broadcast on national TV every day for hours, plenty of chess merchandize in the shops and chess boards being offered at any bar was definitely pleasant for me. However, the organization of the Chess Olympiad itself left a lot to be desired. I don’t want to go into details, but it is enough to point out that two chess players/participants died during the Olympiad’2014. This is very sad.
I guess you were referring to a particular day when I didn’t play, right? It’s up to the captains to decide which line-up to choose for a particular match. This time I participated in 7 out of 11 rounds, although I would have certainly liked to play more and was always eager to compete.
Obviously, it was amazing to win the Chess Olympiad for the third time in a row. We have a fantastic team, and I am happy that we managed to perform so well.
At the Chess Olympiad in Tromso. Norway has become a chess country thanks to World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen’s achievements.