Zhao Xue: “We live in the fast world”

Chinese chess player who became 24th Grandmaster in China in 2008. She was a member of the national team of China at the Chess Olympiads from 2002 to 2012 and played great role in the team successes. On an individual level, Xue reached the semi-finals in the World Women Championship (2010) and won the 2013 SportAccord Mind Games Basque. In 2011 Xue won the Women Grand Prix from Nalchik with a gargantuan score: 9.5/11.

-          Right now after the game I’m very nervous and excited. Blitz tournament is quite complicated for me to play as I have not enough experience. I loved fast chess very much when I was young but both rapid and blitz are still very interesting for me. There were times when I played blitz much better than now, so I think this competitions are better for younger players. It’s a kind of funny game for me – we can play so many interesting positions. For example, in one game I’ve “blundered” my king although I had totally winning position.

-          What about rapid chess and Grand Prix? Is it difficult to switch between different types of chess so quickly?

-          I played normal in rapid last week. It is easier than blitz as there is more time to think. It is more about quality, but of course, classic chess is my favorite! Unfortunately I had very bad result, maybe the worst result ever. “Fast switching” is absolutely okay for me as I’m a professional chess player. I have been playing chess for 20 years and this is my job, so it doesn’t make a problem to play classic, rapid and blitz one after the other!

-          Is it important to have rapid and blitz world championships every year?

-          These tournaments are very good for professional chess players, especially for women players. They are more entertaining on the one hand, and still have good prize money on the other. I think situation in women chess is still not very good in the world, so we need these tournaments to earn money and make chess more and more popular! We live in the fast world – blitz and rapid chess becomes more interesting.

-          How do you prefer to relax after the games?

-          Here I talk with my friends and sleep mostly, sometimes I watch movies. But in Beijing when I’m not playing chess I like to go swimming and yoga. Swimming and yoga are very good for the women to lose the weight and be healthy. That’s for sure!