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Guliskhan Nakhbayeva: Kazakhstan Is Experiencing a Chess Boom

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva from Kazakhstan started with three victories and is one of the leaders of the Tournament B – Women’s Cup of Russia stage. Now everybody, who wanted to find out more about this chess player from Kazakhstan, will have such a chance.

Q: Guliskhan, congratulations on a great start! How can you describe your first three games?

A: Honestly, the start is the most important for me. Very often I couldn’t start good, and then I had to catch up at the finish. That’s why I’m glad, I started good here. Though in the first round I had some problems with the realization of my advantage: at some point the game was very close to a tie result, but thanks to the mistakes of my opponent I managed to win.

The struggle was very intense in the second and third games, but I counted better than my rivals.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva

Q: How many times have you been playing at the Moscow Open?

A: Now it’s my fourth time.

Q: What was the best result?

A: Once I was playing in the Men’s tournament and gained 5 points, I was playing for my personal ranking. And two other times I was playing in the Women’s open competitions. It was unsuccessful performance in one of them, and another time I was close to fulfill the women’s grandmaster standards, it was so long ago, in 2009 (laughing).

Q: How many players from Kazakhstan did come to Moscow this time?

A: I think, if to count parents and coaches, around 50 people.

Q: Your teammate in the National Team Dinara Saduakassova is also playing in the Student Grandmaster tournament. Both of you occupy the first lines of the start lists. People started talking of your National Team after the Olympiad in Istanbul. Am I correct, Kazakhstan is experiencing a chess boom, especially in the women’s chess?

A: Yes, it’s true. Now chess is developing much in our country. You can say, it’s a chess boom. I don’t know why, but women’s chess shows the best result. We occupy the 20th place in the world ranking list, our last best result is the 6th place at the World Olympiad. We managed to qualify to the World Team Championship.

In spring I myself will participate in the Women’s World Championship in Sochi.

Q: Does the government support you?

A: I think, we remain behind Russia from this point of view, but still if to compare what we had before and what we have now – it’s a big difference. For example, 10 years ago chess wasn’t supported at all. People didn’t have any motivation to develop chess, they couldn’t earn money in this kind of sport. It’s very complicated to train and participate in different tournaments if you don’t have any governmental and financial support. Now, thanks God, we have the support and financing. In principle, all of us have potential to grow.

Q: Why did this positive change happen?

A: Most probably, this is connected with the improvement of the result in the children’s and women’s chess. Men show high results at the Asian Games, at the Championship of Asia from time to time. Though I think, our men’s chess has a lack of basis, school. I wish, the men’s and women’s chess would develop equally.

Q: Is the chess discipline included into the school program?

A: Not everywhere, but in Karaganda region the agreement between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Akim of the region was signed. I hope, other regions will be involved soon.

For example, recently I was invited to one school in Southern-Kazakhstan region, where they train chess within the frames of physical culture lessons. It was very pleasant, you can see that you kind of sport is becoming valued in your country.

Q: Do you attend any university?

A: Last year I graduated from the MA course by the Foreign Philology specialty. Now I am in the process of getting the second higher education by the Physical Culture and Sport specialty.

Q: Do you want to become a coach in future?

A: I haven’t decided yet, I just play chess. We will see the results, and how the events will be developing.

Q: Guliskhan, thank you and good luck!

A: Thank you.

Interview by Eteri Kublashvili

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