Zhansaya Abdumalik: This is my first World Championship and I am happy with my games

An interview with Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan after her victory over Jolanta Zawadzka from Poland in the second game of Round 3 of the Women’s World Championship:

– Zhansaya, what was going on in the second game?

– Actually, in the opening I didn’t prepare the line with 4…d6 move in this variation of the Ruy Lopez so I played 5. d4 but it happened to be a wrong move so I lost a pawn. But then I got some advantage and just tried to play my best because it was the main game for me. If I lost or drew I would just stop playing here. That’s why I tried to push.

– Where do you think you started to outplay your opponent?

– I think after I played 17. Rd1. I didn’t know how to get some chances to attack my opponent for the lost pawn. So I just made normal moves. I think she was a little bit nervous because the position wasn’t really all right for her because her kind got stuck on e8 she couldn’t make a castle for a long time which led to problems. But after that she played 20…Qf6, which is a wrong move. I think 20…Nd7 and 21…Rf8 would be better. I just played 21. Qb3, and the pawn on e6 became a little bit weak so I was happy after 20…Qf6.

– How did you manage to prepare yourself psychologically for this game after the loss?

– Actually, I didn’t really get prepared. I thought: OK, I have the white colour so I just have to show what I can. I just played my best.

– What are your impressions on your playing here?

– I am playing fine. In some games, it could be better but this is my first Women’s World Championship and I am happy with my games. Hopefully, tomorrow I will win. I will try.