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“The female version of Karpov”. Expert on the triumphant victory of the Russian chess player in the World Cup

Date: September 30, 2023 Time: 01:09:37

Russian chess player Alexandra Goryachkina won the World Cup held in Baku. In the final, the Russian defeated Bulgaria’s representative Nurgul Salimova in a tiebreaker. In an exclusive interview with Sovetsky Sport, Vice President of the Russian Chess Federation Sergey Smagin analyzed Alexandra’s last game, compared her performance to Nepomniachtchi’s games for the chess crown and said who Goryachkina is more like in terms of game style.

– How would you rate Goryachkina’s victory in the last game? How heavy did it come out? Could Alexandra have ended this confrontation sooner?– Games are rarely heroic, but Goryachkina’s game was very tense. Sasha, having lost the great advantage that she had, did not give up and continued to look for opportunities. And I found them. Still, her class is far superior to her rival, although Salimova also had an excellent tournament, but Sasha is a better chess player. At such decisive moments, when the movement must be done not with the head, but with the hand, Sasha did everything right. The opponent lost the thread of the game, began to make mistakes, while Goryachkina, on the contrary, caught the wind and very confidently led the game to victory. It’s great that before the last game he managed to draw with a lot of difficulty. She’s great. We congratulate her and wish her more success in the fight for the title of world champion.


– Can we now say that Alexandra is one of our best chess players in Russian history?– Alexandra can be called one of the best Russian chess players. We still won the Sasha Kosteniuk World Cup, and in my opinion twice. Today, in terms of progress, results and position in the ratings, Goryachkina is the strongest female chess player in Russia. This allows us to look to the future with optimism when the team competitions start. It seems to me that now Goryachkina needs to celebrate the victory well, and then start systematic preparations for the Candidates Tournament, because the previous cycles did not work out for her, most likely for psychological reasons. Sasha needs to work. Although she has a good sporting character for chess, however, there are many problems that do not allow her to fully realize herself in the fight for the title of world champion, and this is probably the highest priority for her now.


Can you draw any analogy between Nepomniachtchi’s game for the chess crown and Goryachkina’s in this year’s World Cup final, because in both cases the fight went on until the last moment?– Now in sports there is always a fight until the last moment. The question is whether this last moment will come too late. Another point is what is at stake. Nepomniachtchi had a little more at stake: the title of world champion, and he also came pretty close to it. Unfortunately, it did not work out, but Goryachkina did. Well, what’s the analogy here? One is lucky, the other is not. There are no purely chess reasons that could explain what happened in Nepomniachtchi and what happened in Goryachkina. Happens. The sport of the highest achievements, everything is based on the nuances, and luck is an important point.


– With which of the world chess players of the past or present can you compare Alexandra’s game, who is she most similar to?– Sasha does not have a combinatory style, he is not Mikhail Tal. Rather, she is a chess player with a calm positional plan, who has a well-placed opening, who slowly builds up her advantage, develops it with pleasure, very subtly feels all the dynamics of the position. Probably, in style, Goryachkin is closer to Karpov – such a feminine version of him. She also gravitates towards clear positions, she can lead the game for quite a long time without getting tired.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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