Salome Melia: "There Are Coaches But You Should Hire Them Wisely"

Время публикации: 21.08.2013 22:42 | Последнее обновление: 21.08.2013 22:48
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Е.SUROV: Tbilisi, August. Salome Melia, who won silver medal at the European Championship, is now with me. Hello and congratulations Salome.  

S.MELIA: Good afternoon, thank you very much.

Е.SUROV: So, tell us how all that worked? What was the main reason of your success?

S.MELIA: I think when you are working enough, sooner or later you will achieve something. I am very happy that the work I've done paid off and I managed to win the medal which has been awaited in Georgia for already 12 years. Arakhamia finished third in 2001 and Maia [Chiburdanidze] shared 3-4 in 2001. Since then the European Championship was unlucky for the Georgian women. Instead we usually were successful in Grand Prix and team competitions [...] That's why I am really happy about it: this victory is important not only for me but for chess history of Georgia.  

Е.SUROV: It seems that officials paid attention to your success. You were invited to the Ministry of Sports... 

S.MELIA: Yes, we had a meeting as in Tbilisi, so in Batumi. I am originally from Batumi, so they also congratulated me in Adjara. Frankly speaking we are working with a lot of coaches and that pays off. In this case, the confidence I gained during preparations with the coach before and during the tournament was decisive. We had a month of preparations altogether. I had the readymade theory so I didn't spend a lot of energy on preparation before each game. This was definitely very important in my case: it's not easy to play when pregnant after all. Now everyone knows that I am waiting for another baby, so reserving some energy was very important for me. 

Е.SUROV: Of course I would like to ask the name of the coach who was helping you during the tournament...

S.MELIA: I guess there's no need in naming him now. We don't need it now. The main thing is that our preparation wasn't done in vain. Not that anyone asked me to hide it...

Е.SUROV: But you still won't name him, right?

S.MELIA: I think it's not necessary right now.

Е.SUROV: And what about your pregnancy - was it helpful or on the contrary it made it even harder to play?  

S.MELIA: In this very case everything depends on the stage and how one feels. If I have spent a lot of time on preparation during the tournament, pregnancy would undoubtedly disturb a lot. In my case, however, it didn't disturb me and she [the child] also felt peaceful. Let's see what will be her first word when she will be born. I wait for her in December.

Е.SUROV: As I know you are planning to participate in the European Championship which should take place in November.

S.MELIA: Yes, but I don't want to claim anything now. I am a member of the team, so I am training as everyone else. Time will show. 

[...]

Е.SUROV: So, as I understood you are living on two cities: Tbilisi and Batumi. Where do you spend more time?

S.MELIA: I would say in Tbilisi. It's already quite a while that I have moved to the capital because of chess. When you reach certain level you should live in Tbilisi as there are more possibilities there than in Batumi. 

Е.SUROV: Actually we are talking right after the training session with Mikhail Gurevich. A very interesting and unusual event. It seems to me that Georgian women haven't had such a session for a long time already.    

S.MELIA: Well, yes after USSR has collapsed no such sessions were held; they were quite usual in Soviet times. After Soviet Union has collapsed all the strong coaches stayed in Russia, so it wasn't an easy task for us to improve ourselves. Of course we have our own coaches, but... I think new people will bring some positive changes. Zurab Azmaiparashvili's academy is doing a lot for our team to have accurately planned preparations. This time we have spent ten days on preparations, it was interesting. Well, we already learnt some of the things presented before but still – practice makes perfect.  

Е.SUROV: So, Georgian women players have no problems with coaches, did I get it correctly? For instance you have not just one but two coaches, or maybe even more?

S.MELIA: That's not so easy. If I am having my own coach, I should pay him from my own pocket. So, there are coaches but there's also a big difference - either you pay for your preparations or the federation does it for you. I did it by my own before the competition, Adjara has also supported me - they sent me there, they helped with the coaches as well. Trainings with really great coaches are expensive, so it's not always possible.It's really important that federation does it wisely - there are coaches but you should hire them wisely. We'll see, the academy does a good thing now and I hope that all those talks on money shortage will stop.

Е.SUROV: According to the widely spread opinion, which can be fair if taking into account all the results, Georgian women's team hasn't won anything for quite a while already. What is the problem, how do you think? 

S.MELIA: Do you mean the team competitions?

Е.SUROV: Yes, that's what I mean. Now Georgian team is not really considered as the main favourite at top team events.   

S.MELIA: Well... Maybe the team didn't show the optimal play at the last Olympiad but I don't think we are not considered as favourites. We will fight for the medal in Greece - with or without me, girls will fight anyways. We should work hard. We usually, so to say, sort out things after the tournaments - our play is assessed, we are being told of strong and weak sides of our play. They like to say: this is your problem, so you should work on it. Well, you should also help the player to overcome those problems. We shouldn't be just blaming each other - neither players, nor coaches - if there are no results. In my own case training with the coach helped me a lot. We had a concrete aim and we worked on it... There wasn't something like "here I give you an opening and do with it whatever you want." I should also mention that my family helped me greatly. I would be anxious if I didn't know that my daughter is alright, so I would like thank my coach, family and literally everyone who was helping me.   

Е.SUROV: Tell us a bit about your future plans. Now you will have the second child and it should get harder to play professionally.

S.MELIA: That's why I concentrated on doing my best before giving a birth to the second child and I am very happy that it worked out. What's next? Well, it's too early to talk about that, it also depends on the people who help me. My mom brings up my daughter Ketevan. I think to continue playing while I still have enough strength. I don't think I did in chess all I could. Not yet. I will try to play and achieve my maximum in the upcoming years and then time will show. It will be really hard if there will be the third child, but it's still possible to balance with two children.

Е.SUROV: By the way you are also waiting for your third grandmaster norm, aren't you?

S.MELIA: That's true.

Е.SUROV: How do you think which you will have first - your third child or your third grandmaster norm?

S.MELIA: No-no, I should first gain the 3rd GM norm and then I might think of the third child. I think I will be back to active chess in January. I won't stop preparations before that too. Now I will rarely play in the tournaments but I won't stop preparations. For instance, I played a lot before getting married, sometimes I didn't even have time just to sit at home and prepare properly. Now I have time to think over my weaknesses and work on them. 

Е.SUROV: Tbilisi, August. Salome Melia, who won silver medal at the European Championship, is now with me. Hello and congratulations Salome.  

S.MELIA: Good afternoon, thank you very much.

Е.SUROV: So, tell us how all that worked? What was the main reason of your success?

S.MELIA: I think when you are working enough, sooner or later you will achieve something. I am very happy that the work I've done paid off and I managed to win the medal which has been awaited in Georgia for already 12 years. Arakhamia finished third in 2001 and Maia [Chiburdanidze] shared 3-4 in 2001. Since then the European Championship was unlucky for the Georgian women. Instead we usually were successful in Grand Prix and team competitions [...] That's why I am really happy about it: this victory is important not only for me but for chess history of Georgia.  

Е.SUROV: It seems that officials paid attention to your success. You were invited to the Ministry of Sports... 

S.MELIA: Yes, we had a meeting as in Tbilisi, so in Batumi. I am originally from Batumi, so they also congratulated me in Adjara. Frankly speaking we are working with a lot of coaches and that pays off. In this case, the confidence I gained during preparations with the coach before and during the tournament was decisive. We had a month of preparations altogether. I had the readymade theory so I didn't spend a lot of energy on preparation before each game. This was definitely very important in my case: it's not easy to play when pregnant after all. Now everyone knows that I am waiting for another baby, so reserving some energy was very important for me. 

Е.SUROV: Of course I would like to ask the name of the coach who was helping you during the tournament...

S.MELIA: I guess there's no need in naming him now. We don't need it now. The main thing is that our preparation wasn't done in vain. Not that anyone asked me to hide it...

Е.SUROV: But you still won't name him, right?

S.MELIA: I think it's not necessary right now.

Е.SUROV: And what about your pregnancy - was it helpful or on the contrary it made it even harder to play?  

S.MELIA: In this very case everything depends on the stage and how one feels. If I have spent a lot of time on preparation during the tournament, pregnancy would undoubtedly disturb a lot. In my case, however, it didn't disturb me and she [the child] also felt peaceful. Let's see what will be her first word when she will be born. I wait for her in December.

Е.SUROV: As I know you are planning to participate in the European Championship which should take place in November.

S.MELIA: Yes, but I don't want to claim anything now. I am a member of the team, so I am training as everyone else. Time will show. 

[...]

Е.SUROV: So, as I understood you are living on two cities: Tbilisi and Batumi. Where do you spend more time?

S.MELIA: I would say in Tbilisi. It's already quite a while that I have moved to the capital because of chess. When you reach certain level you should live in Tbilisi as there are more possibilities there than in Batumi. 

Е.SUROV: Actually we are talking right after the training session with Mikhail Gurevich. A very interesting and unusual event. It seems to me that Georgian women haven't had such a session for a long time already.    

S.MELIA: Well, yes after USSR has collapsed no such sessions were held; they were quite usual in Soviet times. After Soviet Union has collapsed all the strong coaches stayed in Russia, so it wasn't an easy task for us to improve ourselves. Of course we have our own coaches, but... I think new people will bring some positive changes. Zurab Azmaiparashvili's academy is doing a lot for our team to have accurately planned preparations. This time we have spent ten days on preparations, it was interesting. Well, we already learnt some of the things presented before but still – practice makes perfect.  

Е.SUROV: So, Georgian women players have no problems with coaches, did I get it correctly? For instance you have not just one but two coaches, or maybe even more?

S.MELIA: That's not so easy. If I am having my own coach, I should pay him from my own pocket. So, there are coaches but there's also a big difference - either you pay for your preparations or the federation does it for you. I did it by my own before the competition, Adjara has also supported me - they sent me there, they helped with the coaches as well. Trainings with really great coaches are expensive, so it's not always possible.It's really important that federation does it wisely - there are coaches but you should hire them wisely. We'll see, the academy does a good thing now and I hope that all those talks on money shortage will stop.

Е.SUROV: According to the widely spread opinion, which can be fair if taking into account all the results, Georgian women's team hasn't won anything for quite a while already. What is the problem, how do you think? 

S.MELIA: Do you mean the team competitions?

Е.SUROV: Yes, that's what I mean. Now Georgian team is not really considered as the main favourite at top team events.   

S.MELIA: Well... Maybe the team didn't show the optimal play at the last Olympiad but I don't think we are not considered as favourites. We will fight for the medal in Greece - with or without me, girls will fight anyways. We should work hard. We usually, so to say, sort out things after the tournaments - our play is assessed, we are being told of strong and weak sides of our play. They like to say: this is your problem, so you should work on it. Well, you should also help the player to overcome those problems. We shouldn't be just blaming each other - neither players, nor coaches - if there are no results. In my own case training with the coach helped me a lot. We had a concrete aim and we worked on it... There wasn't something like "here I give you an opening and do with it whatever you want." I should also mention that my family helped me greatly. I would be anxious if I didn't know that my daughter is alright, so I would like thank my coach, family and literally everyone who was helping me.   

Е.SUROV: Tell us a bit about your future plans. Now you will have the second child and it should get harder to play professionally.

S.MELIA: That's why I concentrated on doing my best before giving a birth to the second child and I am very happy that it worked out. What's next? Well, it's too early to talk about that, it also depends on the people who help me. My mom brings up my daughter Ketevan. I think to continue playing while I still have enough strength. I don't think I did in chess all I could. Not yet. I will try to play and achieve my maximum in the upcoming years and then time will show. It will be really hard if there will be the third child, but it's still possible to balance with two children.

Е.SUROV: By the way you are also waiting for your third grandmaster norm, aren't you?

S.MELIA: That's true.

Е.SUROV: How do you think which you will have first - your third child or your third grandmaster norm?

S.MELIA: No-no, I should first gain the 3rd GM norm and then I might think of the third child. I think I will be back to active chess in January. I won't stop preparations before that too. Now I will rarely play in the tournaments but I won't stop preparations. For instance, I played a lot before getting married, sometimes I didn't even have time just to sit at home and prepare properly. Now I have time to think over my weaknesses and work on them. 


  


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