The Chinese Ju Wenjun quickly defeated Atousa Pourkashiyan from Iran in the first game, and shared her secret at the press-conference.

– This was a very easy game for me. White’s position after 19…Rf7 was more pleasant, but when we approached the time trouble, my opponent turned out completely unprepared for it. I was lucky to win very quickly.

– Have you played with Atousa before?

– Yes, we played a few games, and the score was +1 in her favor, so today I tied it.

– You playing schedule has been very tense recently. Do you have any time to relax?

– I participated in a tournament right before the World Championship, but it did not affect my game. I think practice is a perfect preparation to the forthcoming events. As a professional chess player I just follow my schedule and relax between tournaments as much as possible.

– You’ve been in Russia a few times – in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and here. Where did you like best? 

– Moscow and St. Petersburg are very beautiful. Khanty-Mansiysk is also a pleasant place, I enjoy being here.

– How did you like the opening ceremony yesterday? 

– The show was very action-packed with many interesting performances. I especially liked the magician, dancers and the singer.

– Your compatriot Hou Yifan participated in the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, playing against men. Have you ever played in such tournaments?

– Unfortunately, I never played against men in similarly strong events, but I would like to try it if the opportunity arises. One can gain a lot of experience playing with men.

– Many players have their good luck charms, like lucky pen or shirt. What about you? 

– Frankly speaking, I am not superstitious and have no lucky charms. The most important thing for me is to feel the support of my friends.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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