International RSSU Chess Cup

Moscow Open 2020

Russian Chess Cup 2020 Stage

January 23 – February 3


Iulija Osmak: I want to go to the Tretyakov gallery

January 28, 2020
Iulija Osmak: I want to go to the Tretyakov gallery

The Grandmaster from Ukraine Iulija Osmak began with three victories at the National Cup stage among women Moscow Open. We asked the leader several questions.

- Iulija, let’s start with a traditional question. How many times did you take part in our festival?
- It is my fourth year at Moscow Open. All four times I played in the tournament among women (National Cup stage among women – editor’s note). The results were not bad – I was always in top ten. In 2018 I shared 4-5th place with Polina Shuvalova, we coincided in all coefficients, but according to the fourth additional indicator I got the fifth prize.

- How is this tournament going for you?
- I think everything is going great so far – I have three points out of three. I had some difficulties in the second round. I got a great position in the opening, but then the opponent surprised me with an interesting piece sacrifice, and I had to react quickly in order to create an advantage. But I made a mistake, and the position became equal but in time-trouble and having an absolutely draw position I was able to mislead my opponent and win.  

- Can you single out any main opponents?
- Of course, I will have to compete with all the main rating favourites - Nastya Bodnaruk, Oksana Gritsayeva, but there are also many unknown chess players that can surprise. I see a lot of talented children in Russia that make uneasy opponents even now.

- What successful event of yours can you single out?
- When I was a child, I became a world champion under 12 and several times I was in top three at the European championships. In 2017 I won the Ukrainian championship among women, took the 11th prize at the European Championship among women. As a member of the Ukrainian national team I became a silver prize winner of the World Chess Olympiad in 2018.

- We saw your performance at the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship in Moscow. How do you find playing in short disciplines?
- Yes, I took part in the championship showing an average result. I was able to beat several strong opponents but even low-rated opponents made me feel sad sometimes. In general, my rating is higher in classic chess, as is probably the case of many girls, but If you look at the world rating list, my rapid chess position is higher (laughing). And I scored one of the best individual results in blitz – I took the sixth place in the European Championship among women. 

- Are you a professional chess player or do you do anything else?
- I consider myself to be a professional chess player but having said that I enjoy doing something else. I find it hard to dedicate to just one thing. I studied biology at the University (National University of Kiev named after T.Shevchenko, editor’s note), and now I am doing a Master’s degree at the School of Applied Physics. This year the Master’s programme admission coincided with the Turkish League, and I was afraid that I would have to choose....But the university gave in, and I passed all the exams in the morning upon my return from Turkey.  

- Have you got any other hobbies apart from chess and applied physics?
- I love reading and I also take karate classes. By the way, my sister does karate professionally, she was a European champion, multiple champion of Ukraine. She has a dark-brown belt.

-  When are you planning to play in the nearest future?
- Almost straight after this tournament I will go to Norway to the Open championship, then to the tournaments in Vietnam and Canary islands, Reykjavik Open... In general, I have many plans! 

- Have you decided what to do in Moscow these days?
- Every year when I come to Moscow I want to go to the Tretyakov Gallery and stroll a bit around the city. But game preparation and the games themselves require a lot of time. I hope I will be able to do it this year. 

- Thank you for the conversation.

Interviewed by Eldar Mukhametov and Alina Bivol