INTERVIEW WITH NEW EUROPEAN CHAMPION K, LAHNO
What are your impressions from the tournament’s organization?
I’m very satisfied with the organization of the tournament – it’s the first time in the history of the championships when the participants could live not only in the official hotel…
How were you preparing for the championship? Had you considered before the tournament that you were in a good shape and could compete for the victory?
Strange as it may seem, there was no special preparation. The latest training session with my trainer was held from 21st till 25th of December 2004. I was training myself after that: playing blitz in the Internet and analyzing my own games. Even more time I allocated for physical training – I was running every day mornings and evenings. I think it was very helpful! I had two objectives for this tournament: minimum – qualify for the world championship (in case I’m in bad shape), maximum – to get to the top three. I didn’t even think about the first place.
Could you tell a few words about your championship strategy and the course of the struggle?
I didn’t have any strategy, I played according to positional demands in all the games. I had a good start: 4.5 out of 5, afterwards things went wrong and I could feel it: I had 4 draws in a row, and there were no games in which I could hope for a better result…
Which tournament day regimen did you have?
I had the following day regimen: about 22.30 – 23.00 I went to bed, and I woke up at 9.00. Then there came a preparation for the game…
Which games were the most difficult ones?
The most difficult one I had in the 10th round. It was a psychologically difficult game – before that I could not win, but afterwards I had felt the taste of the victory and understood that everything is in my hands. I think that the most important game I had was the one against Victoria Cmilyte – with this victory I provided myself with the place in top three.
Why did you make a quick draw in the last round, and didn’t try to turn things to your favour? Were you exhausted or were you sure that your main rival wouldn’t win? How did you make up your mind for the tie-break?
I set teeth for a long struggle in the last round, but I realized that I can reach a decision basing on the position in the game Dembo – Kosintseva. However, everything happened in a different way. It was the first time I played a variation that I came across in the game, but my opponent was prepared for it – I could judge about that by the swiftness of her play. It is a quite principled variation, in which you can quickly get a bad position if you don’t know how exactly to play with White. Objectively, a final position in which I offered a draw was even, but it was simpler to play for Black. I think, I was right…And during the tie-break I tried to forget about everything and just to play chess.
How do you think, in which aspect you turned out to be stronger than the other European chessplayers?
I was leading through almost the whole tournament, I had the best “performance” and “Buchholtz” – I think I simply played better…
Can you propose now, a few days after the win, what this title will change in your life?
Personally I didn’t change at all. I think I will get more attention and sponsor’s support might increase.
What plans do you have?
Only a rest is in my plans! As for the chess competitions, it’s possible that I will participate in the European team championship, but this is not for sure yet. And probably, I will take part in the Ukrainian men’s championship this summer.