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24/7 with Natalia Pogonina - Episode 1

User Rating: / 2
Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Monday, 11 May 2009

Standers-by see more than gamesters. Thats why the posts in blog will not be limited to Natalias and her grandmaster colleagues its time for an insider amateurs opinion!


Few people know what its like to be a top chess player. The mastodons of the game fly too high to communicate with the public, and limit their comments to that was a nice tournament, I gained 10 rating points and had a good time or what a terrible performance I lost 15 ratings points + the organizers havent paid me the appearance fee!.

Lets peek into the soul, no, shower, no, daily life of our charming sportswoman, and see what her workdays are like. Of course, you can ask Natalia yourself (via the Guestbook or by email - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ), but, remember, standers-by see more than gamesters. So if you send me your questions about Natalia, I will try to spread some light on the topics in the next episodes of the 24/7 with Natalia Pogonina show.

Ok, lets start with Episode 1:

Episode 1 chess studies

I always thought that if youre part of the world chess elite, then chess is literally your life, that you have no other interests. Maybe thats often the case, but then Natalia is definitely an exception. Sometimes when I read chess message boards, I get the impression that Fide 2000 players actually spend more time studying chess than WGM Pogonina. They keep analyzing various openings, studying typical positions, solving tactics. Books, a PC, the Internet, a chessboard. I guess that her talent comes from above since she is definitely not a chess workaholic.

Natalia prefers practice playing in tournaments, to dry theory. That is understandable since she plays over 100 games annually, and has been keeping that rate for more than 10 years. Remember how long and tiresome traveling to the chess events is, and youll guess why she is not very enthusiastic about sitting at the chessboard during comfortable evenings at home.

However, when recently asked by the inimitable Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk about how many hours a day she spends studying chess, Natalia recalled about 4 per free day. I can hardly believe that, since, trust me, its veeeeery hard to catch WGM Pogonina during a chess analysis. Reading chess news on the Internet, watching broadcasts or playing blitz that is for granted. Meanwhile the studies are left to someone else.

To be continued

Author: Peter Zhdanov, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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