Anna Muzychuk: 20 Questions

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Anna Muzychuk was awarded the Grandmaster title in 2012 and is ranked 4th among the world’s best women players. Born in Lvov on 28 February 1990, she has represented Slovenia in team competitions since 2004. Her younger sister Mariya  is an International Master.


What is your earliest memory of playing chess?

When I was 5 years old and started to participate in my first tournaments. To my surprise I even remember many episodes from the games I played at that time.


What is your most memorable game?

The first that comes to my mind is the game against Sasikiran where I managed to win with the black pieces.


What was your worst defeat?

Well, there are some games which I lost just because of some stupid blunders, so this is what I would like to avoid.


Which living player do you most admire?

Magnus Carlsen.


How do you relax?

I like spending time with my friends and sister, listening to music, playing games, watching TV or simply walking around.


What/who is your favourite band/music/composer?

Karolina Kuek.


What makes you happy?

The moments when something I really want a lot happens.


What do you consider to be your greatest weakness as a chess player?

I would prefer to keep this secret.


What is your greatest strength?

My style is still changing but at the moment I think I play well in the endgames.


What is your most unappealing habit?

Being depressed from time to time.


What is your favourite word?

The name of my sister.


Which book would you take to a desert island?

I am not sure I will need a book on the desert island.


How would you characterise your chess-playing style?

I think now it is more positional.


Against which player do you have the worst results?

I am quite lucky not to have a big minus score against any player.


What do you consider to be your most important contribution to opening theory?

Maybe this will sound strange but it is the game Muzychuk-Harika from the 2001 World Youth Championship. I was just 11 years old and found a strong novelty over the board on the 23rd move. I was very proud that after that game some top GMs told me that it was a great improvement for White in this line.


What was your most embarrassing moment at the chess board?

My game with Korchnoi. It was a dead drawn position and I offered a draw at some moment but my opponent continued playing and later on lost on time. After the game Korchnoi claimed that he did not hear the draw offer. We suggested that the organizers count the game as a draw as in the final position there were no winning chances for either side, but because it was a team competition the captains agreed it should be scored as a win for me. I felt really sorry about this situation.

Who is the chess writer you most enjoy reading, and why?

Dvoretsky’s books. In my opinion he explains many things well and you can always find something interesting in his books whatever your level.


Which single thing would most improve the global chess scene?

I think the chess community could improve the status of chess in several areas: make chess an Olympic sport; stabilise the tournament calendar; establish one system for the world championship cycle; fix the time controls for classical, rapid and blitz events and the general rules connected with them.


If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I prefer to live in the present.


Who is the most irritating opponent you have faced?

I would like to have a good opinion of other people, especially if they are chess players.


Who is the most courteous person you have played?

Vlastimil Hort.


In which tournament do you most like to compete?

When I was a child I had one favourite tournament organized in my region and every year I looked forward to it. Now I don’t play in this tournament but generally I like participating in the top-level events.


What keeps you awake at night?



Are there any other sports/activities at which you excel?

Not really. I like many sports, both watching and playing, but I never had time to take any of them seriously. Still, I hope this will change.


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