N.MONIN: Dear friends, this is Chess-News, I'm Nikolai Monin and a famous GM and organizer Alexei Shirov is with me. We're sitting here in a cafe and I actually have only this question: what do you think of a city and the tournament? Well, how's it going for you?
A.SHRIOV: Well, actually you have already asked me three questions. Let's start with the tournament. Of course, it's not that pleasant to talk about it now, when even 24 hours didn't last after the shock, I mean yesterday's 8th round... One should definitely have a special talent for turning down a winning endgame into a lost one. Just to justify myself a bit - of course, I was short of time. However, I still think I had to see the way to winning even if I had only several seconds left, while I actually still had some 6-7 minutes on my clock. I f I have won yesterday I would tie for first before the last round, so I would have all chances to finish the tournament successfully. But it didn't happen and as a result, today's game had no any value for me. So, I lost 9 rating points, took some place in the table, to be true I don't even know which. This is an example of how one game turned a more or less good competition into a failed one. What can I say... The first thing that crosses my mind after such an outcome is if I should continue playing chess. My answer is that, probably, I should.
[...] This is what I thought: everything worked for this to be a successful tournament for me, because I live almost in the same conditions in Latvia: there's a large park next to my house and I'm walking there quite usually. Well, probably everything made me to feel at home here and I can even say I really liked here. However, after you fail the tournament, you don't really think on a well spent time. That's the sportsman's life.
[...] I think the organizers did a great job. I can only compliment them. To my mind, the fact that the tournament gathered more than 300 participants confirms that the conditions were good. This was a large-scale participation and democracy. When the GMs are playing against less known players it turns out that the level of their play is not that different as the outsiders may think. I think it's very important that this kind of tournaments show that and democratize chess. I don't know if I will come here again - it depends on a lot of factors. It's probably hard to plan something a year ahead. First I should play those tournaments taking place till the end of the year, then I should organize my own competition in Jurmala. Time will show what will be after.
N. MONIN: Good luck in your undertakings!