Natalya Komarova: "Now we are expecting His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia"

The Governor of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Ugra Natalya Komarova made her first move 1.d2-d4 on the first board for the Russian team on the first day of the 39the World Chess Olympiad. Thereafter the Governor gave the press-conference to the journalists where they talked chess.  

- Natalya Vladimirovna, do you have a festive feeling?
-I start having it only now because before I was under a constant stress as well as all the organizers of this massive event. After having made the first move, I felt better and relieved.

- Why did you decide not to make the famous Ostap Bender’s move 1. E2-e4?
 - There are several reasons for this. First of all, this right belongs to the FIDE President, who, as far as I know, constructed the Chess City in the capital of Kalmykia and named it New-Vasyuki. The second reason is that I have already made this famous move in my symbolic game in Moscow. Seriously speaking, I had to take into consideration the player, indeed when making his move I felt myself responsible not only to play the game but to win it.
- It is common to think that it will be not easy for the Russian teams to win. What is your attitude to such prognosis?
 - I do not engage in forecasting since I am not a professional but I want our teams to win.

- They say that we might be expecting the visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. If Patriarch honors our city by his visit, will you invite him to attend the venue of the Olympiad? 
- As far as the visit of Patriarch, he will be visiting Khanty-Mansiysk from 24 to 26 September. I am confident that it will be interesting for him to witness the games.

- What other high officials are expected to visit Khanty-Mansiysk during this event?
- The experience that we have in hosting world level events indicates that high officials arrive when their team starts having chances to win. We will continue receiving such information in a timely manner. For the moment I can only say that we are ready to host guests of any level.
 Also we can say that the Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev was with us at the Opening Ceremony. He extended his wishes of good luck to the participants and drew their attention to the fact that the beautiful Ugorian nature and warm weather will make it possible for them to have a good rest here.

- Khanty-Mansiysk has become one of the key points on the world chess map. Can we hope that it is not the last international tournament in the capital of Ugra?
-Yes, you can. We have already come to an agreement with FIDE leadership that next year Khanty-Mansiysk will host the World Chess Cup for the fourth time.

- Khanty-Mansiysk is well-known to the entire world by its chess events as well as the Biathlon World Cup Finals. What event is more difficult to conduct?
- There is not a big difference. There are fewer participants in the Biathlon World Cup; however, there is a larger number of amateurs that come to witness this event. If this is the case, we concentrate our efforts mainly on providing perfect conditions not only for participants but also for their fans. Our main goal in preparations for the Olympiad was to do our utmost to meet the requirements and needs of sportsmen. We tried to provide them with proper conditions to work. I do hope that as a feedback to our efforts we will witness the creation of such masterpieces as Andersen-Kizeritsky game that was brilliantly performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympiad.