Natalia Pogonina: "I Do Yoga and Other Special Exercises"

Время публикации: 10.04.2015 16:29 | Последнее обновление: 10.04.2015 17:13

In an interview in the Sport Express newspaper, Natalia Pogonina admitted that she was extremely tired, going into the final of the Women's World Championship in Sochi. "In the course of the championship, many of my games lasted over 60 moves, and, together with the tie-breaks, I played 20 games in all. There was hardly any time to rest. In the second game of the final, for the only time in the championship, my head just switched off completely. Of course, before this there were moments when I made mistakes, but this time, I just could not think at all. Even so, I had winning chances - in the first game, and in the third, when I caught my opponent in my preparation. Even in the fourth game, I managed to create a real battle with Black, but I did not exploit my chances."

She also explained how she maintains her form between tournaments: "I do yoga, plus special exercises, and I walk. It would be best if I started running, to help strengthen my health. At this tournament, I lost a lot of weight, and just ran of steam in the end…"

"The fact that our first round opponent would be Guo Qi was something we only found out at the start of March", said Pogonina's long-time trainer, Pavel Lobach. "Whilst Natalya was playing her training match, I thought about what openings to play against the Chinese girl. We decided to arrive at Krasnaya Polyana a few days before the championship, so as to acclimatise better, and we stayed with friends. Probably this also helped: at the start, Natalya beat not only Guo Qi, but then another strong Chinese opponent, the second highest rated Zhao Xue, In both cases, she managed to win without tie-breaks. 

"There was no thought about the final, - replied Natalya, when asked about the size of her suitcase. " I just took a few blouses and at the last moment, I left at home the dress I had wanted to wear to the opening ceremony. My mother said 'Why take so much stuff?' In general, I prefer to travel light to tournaments." 

Pogonina said that in recent times, she has devoted a lot of time to psychology. "In Sochi, I was hardly nervous at all." 

"Natasha's mother played an important role, – added Lobach. She is a great specialist in this area, and recently, we wrote a book "Chess and Psychology".


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