Kovalenko after win over Fedoseev: In some games I rolled over my opponents like a tank
RIGA, July 18 (LETA) – Latvian chess grandmaster Igor Kovalenko rolled over some of his opponents like a tank to win the Mikhail Tal blitz chess memorial on Thursday, the winner told LETA after the tournament.
The winner of the blitz event named his victory over Russian chess player Vladimir Fedoseev his decisive feat in the tournament, while Fedoseev, who on Wednesday won the rapid chess competition, highlighted his win over Azerbaijan’s grandmaster Gadir Guseinov.
“Both tournaments had strong lineups with many grandmasters,” Aris Ozolins, President of the Latvian Chess Federation, said at a news conference which was held after the competition at the Radisson Blu Latvija hotel. “Kovalenko’s victory in the blitz is therefore all the more pleasing. Moreover, he celebrated a very convincing victory in tough competition, beating the runner-up by half-point.”
“It was a very good event, one of the strongest tournaments in the Baltic states in recent years, both in terms of organization and the lineup of participants. It is highly important for chess players to rehydrate, and the sponsors took care of this, providing mineral water and Coca-Cola. Also, the hall where we played was spacious and the air was fresh,” the blitz winner Kovalenko said, adding that he always strives for success in chess.
“I always want to get the first place. In that respect, I am more an optimist, even utopist. I want to win each game, but this time I could afford a tie in the end,” the Latvian chess player said. “I did well. Remembered my youth. I took the 5th place in the rapid chess event and fought for medals until the last round. There was a disappointment after the ninth round when I had gained a better position against David Navar but the game ended in a tie.”
On Thursday, Kovalenko won the blitz chess event very convincingly. “I suppose the game against Fedoseev in the 7th round was the decisive one,” the winner said. “I think he lost a won game against me. I breathed a sigh of relief as I achieved a tie, but later I fared even better and managed to win. At that point, opponents started fearing me. I, on the other hand, played effortlessly and in some games rolled over my opponents like a tank.”
The Latvian grandmaster’s future plans include a tournament organized by Riga Technical University and the World Cup in two months’ time at which Kovalenko will represent the Baltic states.
Fedoseev, the winner of Wednesday’s rapid chess tournament, finished second in the blitz. “I played very well. I had not played that well this year yet,” the Russian grandmaster commented his performance in Riga. “It was a wonderful tournament with many strong chess players. In many games everything was decided in the end-game where having stronger nerves was crucial.”
Fedoseev named the 9th round game against Azerbaijani grandmaster Gadir Guseinov his most important match at the tournament.
The last international tournament of the Tal Memorial, the Riga Holidays 2019, which will be played by children, is scheduled to begin July 19 at the National Library of Latvia.
The total prize fund of the tournaments is EUR 35 000, EUR 25 000 for the rapid chess tournament and 10 000 for the blitz tournament. Entry is free of charge for the spectators.