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Monica Sochko - an excellent chess player who is nice to talk to on different topics
August 31, 2008

-Monica, you said that... Well, how many times did you participate in the championships arranged on the knock-out system?

-3 times.

-3 times. And you didn't pass the first round all these three times?

- Yes, really it happened so.

-And this time  the situation is the same. You didn't pass the first round.

- You know, I still have a chance.  Tomorrow I'm going to play the tiebreak.

-Well, how do you feel about it?

- Well, I don't know really. I'm very nervous. In fact I was thinking of passing to the second round, but  not about the game I was playing. I have to switch my thoughts and attention on to the game and stop worrying about the future, what is going to happen next, weather I'm passing or not.  Still I hope I'll manage to pass to the second round. At any rate I have to learn to control my emotions. I hope  I'll be lucky.  Anyhow,  the tournament goes on and I'm going to play rapid chess. We'll see...

-Well, you are one of the participants  who supported the letter of the Georgian chess players addressing the FIDE to change the venue of the championship. Did you do it on your own initiative or was it  on somebody's request.

-Surely,  it was my own initiative. I just realized that the Georgian chess players wouldn't come under the present circumstances. You know, if  I were a Georgian I wouldn't' come either.  This  is all politics. And well, I'm not willing very much to talk about politics.  I do hope this conflict will be settled soon and there will be no more victims. In Poland people are aware of the complexity and  the danger of the situation even for  Poles. My supporting the letter was just an attempt to show my sympathy for the Georgian chess players. I'm very sorry about  the things to have  turned out the way they did.  Though I'm aware of the tension in this region, I hope people have enough wisdom to avoid aggravating the conflict.  What we have to do is to play chess and to play well.  Each  of us  have to attend to his own business.

- In case The Chess Federation of Poland forbade you to participate in the Championship because of some political reasons,  how would you react?

-Well, actually I would come... I knew that Georgia was quite near. And people at home told me not to go.... But what I find here is so different from what they told me ...The conditions of the tournament are perfect.  The hotel is excellent. And people are superb,  good-natured and very hospitable.  To tell the truth,  I doubted whether to come or not. But now that  I'm here I'm very happy that I have come.

- So do you mean to say that you were afraid of coming?

- Actually there were some fearful thoughts... You know, I have three  children...

-Poland was one of the countries which  supported  Georgia in the conflict. Imagine, the Polish  authorities  recommended  you not  to participate in  the Championship , what would you do.?

- A difficult question to answer... Fortunately,  nobody told  me  the thing like that , otherwise  I would have to  thoroughly think .

- Do you know any precedents of the kind in Poland?

- Actually I don't know any.

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