Pia Cramling was eliminated in the semifinal of the FIDE Women’s World Championship, but is still happy with her overall performance and the choice of the venue.
With emotions still running high minutes after finishing the tie-break, Pia started talking about the games even before we had a chance to start the recorder.
Pia Cramling: You know, in the first game I made some mistake, and the position immediately became equal. Maybe when she played 9…b6, I should not take on d5, this was my mistake.
Goran Urosevic: Maybe e4 was very ambitious?
Pia Cramling: Perhaps, I don’t know. But it’s possible to play 9.e4. Just 9…b6 I have not seen before. So she surprised me and I made mistake.
Then in the second game somehow I didn’t have harmony with my pieces. But at one moment, I thought it was completely fine for me. At one point I played 40…b5, but I don’t think I should play that. She went 40.Re1. This position was playable for me. But I played 40…b5… The problem was the time. It was difficult position plus I had much less time. I don’t know how I survived, because it was completely lost. But then she had this time trouble as well and made some mistakes too.
Then it was I guess a draw ending! I was so tired and did not have a control. It was a tricky position as well. When you keep the rooks… And I blundered the g5-pawn, which of course I am not allowed to blunder. If I could have managed to keep that pawn, it would have been another story.
Goran Urosevic: During the championship you eliminated some very strong players: Gunina, Muzychuk, and you went to the semifinals. What is your overall evaluation of your performance here?
Pia Cramling: You know, I am very happy. I did all my best now. Last time I went to the semifinals too and lost in the first game. I am very happy before each next match, happy that I can continue playing.
I am really happy that I got a chance to play against Gunina, Anna Muzychuk. Now I qualified to play FIDE Grand Prix. This makes me very happy. It was my dream.
Goran Urosevic: This is great. Congratulations. At one of the press conferences you said that in order to become the world champion you still have to eliminate some of your weaknesses. Can you say about your weaknesses, basing on these games?
Pia Cramling: I simply did not have energy. I did not play the right moves in critical moments. Today I was simply tired. I can see that… when I played match against Anna, for instance, I was in a better shape. And all this tension… And Natalia plays very strong. She plays solid chess and doesn’t make big mistakes. To have had a chance I really had to be in better shape.
Goran Urosevic: How do you feel after two weeks in Sochi?
Pia Cramling: I am very tired. I am just very happy to go home now. I would like to mention that it has been a very well organized championship. I would love if it would be held every year.
But I understand that it is very difficult to find sponsors. The format is also nice, of course if you are not knocked out in the first round. In other words, the format is good for the media.
Goran Urosevic: Thank you so much, Pia, and good luck in future games.
Photos by V. Barsky, E. Kublashvili and N.Karlovich