Sinisa Drazic: “There was no sensation”

The captain of the Serbian team Sinisa Drazic, the reserve player of the women’s team Jovana Eric, and the press-officer of the Serbian chess federation Snezana Stojanovic told us about the results of their national team at the Olympiad and shared their chess development plans.

Sinisa Drazic: Our women’s team showed some good results in Khanty-Maniysk. So far we lost only to China and Russia-1. I am proud that we managed to beat one of the main favorites – Georgia. This is our revenge for the loss in Dresden, so to speak. This country pays a lot of attention to raising young chess players. JustlookatMaiaChiburdanidzeexample!

– What were your goals at the Olympiad?

S. D.: Our team is young, but strong, and we wanted to finish among the top ten teams. One of our players, Jovana Eric, is not a professional, but she won a tournament in Belgrade this year.

– Your girls almost made a sensation against Russia-1, but Irina Chelushkina lost a decisive game in which she had a winning position...

S. D.: Don’t forget that Russia-1 was a huge favorite. Before that match I had a discussion with Andjelija Stojanovic. To be honest, I was fairly skeptical about her chances against Kosteniuk. However, she played a very good game, kept cool, and converted her advantage into a win. Unfortunately, Irina Chelushkina made several blunders in a winning position, and even lost.

– How do you develop chess in Serbia?

S. D.: We are trying to work with young talents. Recently chess was introduced into the school curriculum. Sadly, unstable political situation makes our work harder. However, soon we expect positive changes in sports legislation, and hope it will stimulate chess development. Another reason for us to show a good result here is that the amount of money allocated for chess directly depends on our performance.

– Jovana, what do you like to do except playing chess?

J. E.: I study at the high school, and like watching movies and listening to music.

– How do you feel yourself in Khanty-Mansiysk?

J. E.: This is my first visit to Russia, and I am very glad to visit this country. I am proud to represent Serbia, and happy for the results of our team.

S. S.: I have never been to Siberia before. I really like your city. The level of organization of the Olympiad is very high. This is the best Olympiad I have ever seen!