Sergey Karjakin: “The first team is a little bit stronger”

The clash of two Russian teams was a key match of the round 7. Three games were drawn rather quickly – Nepomniachtchi-Kramnnik, Grischuk-Alekseev, and Vitiugov-Svidler. The outcome of the match was decided in a duel between Karjakin and Tomashevsky. The representative of the first team took the upper hand. He already scored 5,5 points in 6 games.Our correspondent Kirill Zangalis interviewed the hero of the match.

– Your game decided the match. Did you feel nervous?

– No, I was calm. Just did my job. We played the Ruy Lopez, and I didn’t get any significant advantage out of the opening. There was a lot of maneuvering, and the game was fairly balanced, but I didn’t want to take a draw, because the position was full of life. And at some point I found an interesting attacking possibility...

– This was probably the turning point of the game. Do you agree that Tomashevsky started looking uncomfortable after that?

– Yes, your observation seems to be correct. He started blundering, and I used it well.

– At the end when Tomashevsky was about to resign, you suddenly sunk into thought for a long time.

– The game was too important, so I tried to calculate everything flawlessly. I didn’t want to spoil the effort. I developed a mating attack, but the material was even, and if Black defended, I’d have serious problems.

– The first team won – is this a fair result?

– I think so. You have to admit that our team is a little bit stronger.

– Did you follow your teammates’ games?

– Of course! I noticed that Grischuk and Svidler had better positions. Peter played very aggressively was close to a win, but Vitiugov managed to hold.

– Have they congratulated you on this victory already?

– Yes. We took two very important points.

– Your former team, Ukraine, is leading after 7 rounds. Do you feel any regrets about changing the citizenship?

– Not at all. I have excellent relations with the Ukrainian players, but I’ll forget about friendship tomorrow – this match may determine the Olympiad winner. It will be a great fight! And I hope Russia wins.

– Are you sure that you’ll play in the match?

– It will be decided before the match at the team meeting. But I am in an excellent form, I feel great and really want to play.

– How do you like working with the best Russian grandmasters?

– Everything is just fine. We support each other, and everybody is ready to share their ideas. I feel the integrity of the team. Working in such atmosphere is a great pleasure.

– What can you say about the organization of the Olympiad?

– Everything is superb. I was in Khanty-Mansiysk before, and the main problem was frosty weather. There is no such a problem now, so I cannot complain about anything.