Interview with WGM Margarita Voiska

The beginning of the Bulgarian Individual championships is a good occasion for a quick interview with the freshly crowned European Senior Champion for women, WGM Margarita Voiska of Bulgaria:

Hello, Margarita, and congratulations for your title! How did the tournament go for you?

I learned that I can take part at the event around a month prior to the start. Right before the championship, I took part at the traditional Ladies tournament in Belgrade. Unfortunately, I had to play there while taking strong antibiotics (caught some unpleasant season virus) and did not feel quite comfortable. Thus, my performance was not satisfactory, started with +2, but ended with three straight losses; all of them caused my painful blunders.
In fact I started the championship in low spirits… I was worried that there will be fatigue as it was the second straight tournament but it appeared that it was not quite like that. The old chess saying: “The best medicine for chess player is a win!”- found another proof! With each round my mood was getting higher. My play was running smooth and I managed to realize (almost) all my ideas! And as a whole Plovdiv is my favourite Bulgarian city, not only chess- wise. Plus, the conditions at the Novotel were once again excellent.

Which was your most difficult game?

My most difficult, albeit short was the game against Nona Gaprindashvili. Perhaps because prior to the game Nona was the indisputable leader in our encounters. Right after the opening I offered a draw, which she found hard not to accept J. However, the tensest was my last but one game against Tamar Khmiadashvili of Georgia which appeared to be decisive for the overall ranking. I also came out of the opening with a solid advantage, but slowed down with the realization and achieved only a draw in a rook endgame, a pawn up. I guess I played over solidly as the draw was enough to secure the first place.

And your best effort?
This is probably my best game from the championship:
Miednikova,Swietlana (2142) - Voiska,Margarita (2289)
13th European Senior Ch (w) Plovdiv BUL (2), 12.03.2013
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Bc4 d6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.e5 dxe5 7.Nxe5 0–0 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.a4 a5 10.Bb3 Nb6 11.f4 Nbd5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Be3 Bf5 14.c3 Qb6 15.Rf2 Rad8 16.Bc2 Ne4 17.Bxe4 Bxe4 18.Nd3 Qc6 19.Nc5 Bf5 20.g4 Bc8 21.Qf3 b6 22.Nd3 f6 23.f5

23...e5 24.fxe6 Qxe6 25.h3 Rfe8 26.Bf4 Qc6 27.Re2 Rxe2 28.Qxe2 Ba6 29.Qf3 Qc4 30.Rd1 Re8 31.Nc1 Re4 32.b3 Qc6 33.Bg3 Bh6 34.Bf2 Bc8 35.Ne2 f5 36.gxf5 Bxf5 37.Ng3 Rf4 38.Qe2 Bxh3 39.c4 Bg4

White resigned. 0–1

You work as a trainer of some of the Bulgarian young talents. Does this work help your chess?

The trainers work helps as it keeps me informed about the chess life around the world. Still, it matters who I am working with. If the students are highly qualified, the coach should also stay in top-form in order to provide best services. But if one teaches beginners who have just learned the basics, then the coaching might harm the player’s strength.

What was your preparation for the tournament like? Did you get any additional support?

I prepare for the tournaments alone, except for the team championships with the Bulgarian national team- Olympiads and European Team Competitions. In those I use the advises of GM Boris Chatalbashev (in the last few years), especially regarding the opening preparation. We have similar opening repertoires and I profited a lot from our co-operation. Of lately I pay the most attention to the opening phase, and of course the tactical sharpness before a chess tournament. Now that I look at my last games I get the feeling that I will need to pay serious attention to my technique, especially when converting the advantage!

What are your tournament plans for the future? Will you represent Bulgaria at the World Senior Championship?

In the nearest future I will take part at the Bulgarian Individual Championship in Bankya where I hope I can show good play above all! In a slightly more distant perspective there are the sea tournaments in June at the Golden Sands and Albena resorts... and at the end of the year the World Senior Championship will take place in Croatia where I might also play. I have planned it, but we shall see… there is a slight conflict of interests as the Senior Championship coincides with the ETCC for women in Poland. Still, the future will show…

Thank you for the interview! I wish you good luck in your projects!
Pictures BCF and Emilia Georgieva.

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