Mariya Muzychuk: Is this really my happy day?!
The young Ukrainian Mariya Muzychuk became the second finalist of the World Championship, defeating Harika Dronavalli 2.5-1.5. Despite visible tiredness she agreed to give an interview to the official site.
Anastasia Karlovich: Mariya, congratulations with getting to the final! Was it a hard day?
Mariya Muzychuk: All my tie-breaks were hard, and not only here. I never have easy tie-breaks! Today it started well, I won the first game as Black and thought it would be easier with White. However, my opponent surprised me with her opening, so I had to trade one of my bishops, spent a lot of time and miscalculated in an unclear position.
– Did you have an advantage at some point during that game?
– I am sure I did, and maybe it was a pretty big advantage, but it is hard to play perfectly when you don't have time.
After the game I was very disappointed because I expected to make at least a draw. That affected my play in the third game. I played rather poorly and in the end blundered 46.Qh8+. It was hopeless for me, but luckily in the end I managed to transpose to a drawn pawn ending.
– What was your first thought when you saw 83.Qe3?
– My first thought was: is this really my happy day?! I knew the resulting position, I knew it was a draw.
– You won the last game quite convincingly...
– I played White, and Harika surprised me in the opening again, but I don't think she made the right choice because White had the initiative, and it is all that matters under such time control. I got a stable advantage from the start and tried not to spoil it until the end.
– Your sister watched all your games closely today. What did she advise you during the breaks?
– The breaks were very short, about ten minutes, so we could not discuss much. I just asked her opinion about what should I play in the next game and stuff like that.
– But did you make the final choice?
– Yes, of course. I took her advice into account, but I know better which positions I like and which I do not, etc.
– Tomorrow is a rest day. What are you planning to do?
– I don't know yet. I am incredibly tired right now, did not recuperate after the tie-break. Perhaps tomorrow we'll walk and maybe go up to the mountains. I hope to have a good rest.