Alexander Grischuk: “I was happy when Svidler drew his game”


– Congratulations with your win! You had a very complicated position...
– Yes, it was a nervous game. The position was unclear for most of the time. I had a slight advantage, but it was unclear how to convert it.

– But you found the winning plan..
– Yes, it was a clear-cut plan. In the knight ending the opponent had a weak h-pawn, and I only needed to find the way to attack it.

– Why you started to repeat moves? I even thought you want to make a draw...
– No-no, I just wanted to gain time. At that moment I had about 5 minutes, and I gained 60 seconds with each move.

– But the opponent resigned very quickly!
– I did not expect it. Of course his position is hopeless, but this is the Olympiad – he had to look for every chance! Anyway, I am grateful that he did not waste my time. The cost of his game was very high...

– Your teammates congratulated you after the game as if you won the gold...
– That's because it was a very important game. If we didn't win the match, we'd almost lose any chances to win the gold. Now we are sitting on the second place and can still catch Ukraine, if they don't win in the last round. However, they have an excellent team – all four boards are working together. Today they crushed a very strong French team.

– Why you worried for Svidler so much? He didn't seem nervous at all...
– To be honest, I was happy when Peter shook hands with the Chinese grandmaster. His position looked dangerous to me, and if he lost, our chances would become extremely slim. But it ended well...

– What can you say about your game?
– I am happy about it. Somehow I almost always finished last in our matches. Usually my team was ahead, so I only could spoil everything. Today I had a rare chance to decide the match in our favor. It is a great feeling when your individual success determined the match outcome.

– Vladimir Kramnik can not win for quite a while on the first board...
– He plays against very strong players. We'll try to do your best in the last round.

– Do you feel you can still win the gold?
– It is a sport and everything is possible. We'll have some rest tomorrow, and you'll know the outcome on Sunday evening.

– Did you congratulate the Russian women team already?
– No, did they win? Bravo! I didn't doubt it, to be honest – their victory is fully deserved.