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Interview With Dronavalli Harika
front“It would have been great to have 2 Indian and 2 Chinese players in semifinals.”

Anastasia Karlovich- What did you expect from the World Championship?
Dronavalli Harika- To tell you the truth I didn’t expect anything because before the championship I had a very busy schedule. I had to play Olympiad then Asian games for India on the top board. For three months I was not at home, either I was playing in the tournaments or had training camps. So I didn’t have much time to work specially for the World Championship. I came here without any preparation, so I was just working 3-4 hours before the game and used to come and play. I was lucky not to play with the strongest opponents. It could be Alina Danielian but not Tatyana Shadrina, Pia Cramling instead of Maria Muzychuk or Aleksandra Kosteniuk instead of Ruan Lufei.

A.K- Did you have somebody who was helping you during the tournament?
D.H- I didn`t expect anything from this tournament, so there was no point to bring any second. But till the second round I had a friend with me – Meenakshi Subbaraman. She helped me a lot - I didn`t need to do any work. For example she was cooking for me here. We had a rice cooker because I don’t eat meat at all.

Round 5 Game 1
frontThe first games of semi-final matches were played today. The Chinese forces clutched today to determine one of the finalists.  The first game between Ruan Lufei and Zhao Xue was drawn.  The opening was Scotch that leaded to an equal position that soon ended up in a draw.
In another match second and third players in the World by rating Indian Humpy Koneru and Chinese Hou Yifan met in semi-finals as two years before in the world championship in Nalchik. Hou Yifan who had white pieces showed a very good technique in the endgame.

Tie-break round 4.
frontRuan Lufei became the fourth semi-finalist. It was determined today after she defeated Harika Dronavalli on the tie-break. Playing white in the first game, Indian player received comfortable position from the opening.

Koneru, Yifan and Zhao are the 3 Semi-Finalists
frontAfter the second game 3 participants of  semi-final matches were determined. Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru will meet at the board in semi-final as it happened in Nalchik in 2008. Both of them confidently drew their games today and thus won their matches against Katerina Lahno and Ju Uenjun accordingly. Almira Skripchenko was eliminated today by Zhao Xue. The French player simply blundered a piece in a good position. She was playing for 11 days without any pause and won three previous matches on tie-breaks. Her opponent Chinese Zhao Xue will meet with the winner of the match Harika – Ruan which will be determined on tie-breaks tomorrow. The classic part of Indian-Chinese encounter ended with two draws. Both participants proved to be good rapid players and it`s not easy to give prognoses.

Interview with Alexandra Kosteniuk
Kosteniuk“We are all human, no robots.”

Anastasia Karlovich- What happened in the last match?
Alexandra Kosteniuk- In the second game with classic control I had a great position, but I almost managed to lose it. And in the rapid, I played unsuccessfully with white, and with black I stayed good, even won. I saw the winning option, but decided to play more solid, and eventually lost.

Karlovich- What is the reason that at the decisive moment the nerves do not stand the pressure?
Kosteniuk- It is difficult to say at once. Everything must be analyzed in a relaxed atmosphere. I do not think that immediately after the defeat the reasons that I will find for that would be fair. It is necessary to take some time, to analyze the games to come to some more or less correct conclusion. So I will work on my mistakes.

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