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Interview with WIM Kanarik Mouradian

Exclusive!!! Interview with the distinguished WIM Kanarik Mouradian!!!
By: Charles Kayle

A short biography:
- Born on August 21st, 19??
- 9 times!!! (And counting!!) Winner of the Lebanese Women Championship in the years: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
- 4 times!!! (And counting!!) Winner of the Arab Women Championship in the years: 1999 (gained the WIM title), 2003, 2004 and 2007.
- Runner up of the 2005 Arab Women Championship.
- Winner of the 2005 Lebanese Men Championship!!!
- Winner of the 2008 Lebanese Cup!!!
- Member of the Olympic Women team for the World Fide Olympiad held in: Yerevan 1996, Bled 2002 and Calvia 2004.
- Member of the Olympic Men team for the World Fide Olympiad held in Torino 2006.
- Runner up of the Asian zone 2004 and 2009, and second runner up of the Asian zone 2011
- Gold medal winner of the first board of the Lebanese team in the Arab Women teams Championship, Yemen2008, and overall best performance!!
- Overall best individual performance of the Arab Women teams Championship, Beirut 2009.

Charles Kayle: Welcome back Kanarik
Kanarik Mouradian: thank you
CK: You took part in the Women Asian Zone 3.1, held in Sharjah UAE. Can you tell us your impression?
KM: It was well organized and good accommodation, though a single room accommodation was preferable for a better preparation.
CK: How did you prepare for the event?
KM: Almost no preparation at all! Just one training preparation for Zhu Chen in case she participated, but she didn’t. So I participated in the championship without any chess preparation, without names of my opponents, without any trainer or chief of delegation. Nothing. Just I had my laptop and my mega data base. What irritated me was that all the other participants, except may be my roommate the Syrian player Afamia, were accompanied by their coaches and their chiefs of delegations, who released the players from a lot of duties. A lot of times I had to seek assistance from other chief s of delegates. And as a consequence, this put me in a critical situation for preparing for my opponents, where I faced difficulties in the opening preparation, and yielding to a fight in this stage of the games in each round.
Also, as I wasn’t in good shape, this caused me to have a time trouble in a lot of games, especially with players I used to beat them easily!! I had to play hard to earn the point. As on several occasions, I had to calculate, and recalculate, and recalculate, resulting in entering into a time trouble crisis.
CK: Did the time control, i.e. 40 moves in 90 minutes then 30 minutes to finish the game, affected your play?
KM: not really. I am used to this time control, even to slower ones, like in old Olympiads and events. But the most important factor was the lack of practice. Add to this, nearly all my opponents were taking part in events around the world!! I saw hundreds of games played by them during this year in the data base during my round-by-round preparation. They were well prepared for the championship.
CK: let’s move to the technical part. Your round 1 opponent was the Qatari WFM Salama El-Khelaifi. How did you prepare for your game against her?
KM: I checked her games in the data base, and after my 9th move,

She played the less accurate move 9..Ne5. Of course 9..Nb4 was much better, but I was already prepared to face it! After exchanges of pieces, I profited from my advantage, and won the game.
CK: In round 2, you had the black pieces against your opponent, the Emirati WFM Amna Nouman. How did you prepare?
KM: I didn’t find too much games played by my opponent in my data base. So I tried to change my opening, in order to avoid my opponent’s trainer preparation! I tried to attack her king, but played some imprecise moves which gave Amna the advantage.

Here, I played 19..Bxe5?!, dropping a lot of my attacking prospect. I had to play 19.gxf5 first, which could increase my advantage. After my weak move, my opponent had to play very precise moves in order to conserve her advantage, but she couldn’t do it. I took the initiative and won.

CK: Your 3rd game was critical, as you had to play the 2nd rated player of the event, the Iranian WIM Ghazal Hakimifard. How did you prepare for it?
KM: I didn’t prepare too deeply. Just for one variation. But by the 18th move, I started to have time trouble, and by the 40th move, I understood that my position was bad. I tried to attack her king, but she defended well. I couldn’t break her defense. Although I was happy with the strategy I applied to this game, as it reflected my style, I wasn’t in my form.
CK: Your opponent in the 4th round was the Emirati WFM Kholoud Essa Al-Zarouni. And you had to face her with the Black pieces.
KM: I changed my opening in order to avoid her trainer’s preparation. Everything went smoothly. I profited from some inaccuracies and got the advantage. Then I adjusted myself to the new situation and brought home the point.

CK: In round 5, you had to face, with the White pieces, a dangerous opponent: the Iraqi WIM Iman Al-Rufaye.
KM: Dangerous indeed. And may be this was the best game I played in the championship. I was in a fighting mood, and was creative. I may say it was a perfect game, at least from my side. It is worth to mention that Iman is one of the best Arab players.
CK: Now round 6 was very interesting for several points.
KM: I agree. I had to play my roommate! The Syrian Afamia Mir Mahmoud.

CK: What surprised me was that you played the Queen’s Indian Defense for the first time in your life!
KM: (laughing) yes. It was a surprise. First I checked her games in the data base, and discovered that she always plays the same variation, but not in a good way. So, I decided to play it, as it was reminiscent of the Karpov-Kasparov marathon match. Also, it was a good opportunity to take the lead in the tournament. As expected, she played the same opening moves, and the same middle game plan, with inaccurate moves, which gave me an easy life and won the game in a tactical style.

CK: Now we reach the 7th round, the most critical one of the event. You have to play with the White pieces, against the top ranked player, the Iranian WIM Shayesteh Ghader Pour. And both of you were leading with 5 points, out of 6, the tournament. How did you prepare?

KM: She surprised me with an opening that she never played before this encounter! I rarely play the Open Sicilian, as I usually prefer the Closed Sicilian, or the King’ Indian Attack. So, I decided to give the Open Sicilian a try. And I was surprised by her Najdorf!! , which forced me to play some difficult and imprecise moves. And here I wished I had a coach with me.

She took the initiative. But due to some imprecise moves from her part, I created some chances to fight back, and even with time trouble, I reached a position with equal chances, or even a small advantage using the engine evaluation.

CK: So, it is time to offer a draw, and the fight for the title can be decided in the tie-break games.
MK: Agreed, but I decided otherwise, and continued the game as I thought I couldn’t lose this position. But after 6 hours play, reaching midnight, I felt very tired. And this affected my sub sequential play, and lost.
CK: How did you feel after this game especially that it was the longest game of the tournament (126 moves)?
KM: I was very disappointed, depressed and frustrated. And here comes the role of the trainer or the captain. Their presence is a must in any event.
CK: In what mood did you enter the round 8, to face the Emirati WIM Nora Saleh?

KM: I was still frustrated from the previous round. As it was my 3rd zonal, and I missed the title in each of the 2 previous ones with just half a point! So I played without interest, just I wanted to finish the tournament. And that resulted in a draw.
CK: The last round was against the Jordanian WIM Lougain Dahdal.
KM: In the last round, I motivated myself, as it was important for me to fight for a place in the podium. I played aggressively and won it, thus guaranteed a third place, and the bronze medal for Lebanon.
CK: Now, as you are back to Lebanon, what is your next plan?
KM: I will participate in the Lebanese Men Championship, which will take part during September, with ambition to win it again! I want to prove that by winning it previously wasn’t by accident or luck.
CK: Suppose you have the choice to play in the next Arab Individual Championship for Men, or for Women. Which one you will choose?
KM: Although taking part in the Arab Men championship is very tough and prestigious, I will prefer to play in the Arab Women Championship, as I want to win back the title, and register it for Lebanon for the 5th times.
CK: Do you have any suggestion to the Lebanese Chess Federation?
KM: It is very important to the Lebanese Chess Federation VIPs to take care of the Women team, by providing a contracted and resident trainer with a long term training plan. This is the only way to improve our level and results, as, with all respects to the Men players, we, as Women players, as teams or individual performances, have more chances in collecting medals and securing leading places in Arab Women events and Asian Women ones.
Also, as I discussed with other Arab players, nobody of them believed that, when we return home as winners, we got nothing as reward! We got nothing from the federation or from the Ministry of Sports, on the contrary of all other Arab federations and Arab ministries of Sports, who always take care of their players and their performances.
Also, during the Zonal, as Lebanon didn’t have a chief of delegation, I had to seek assistance from other delegates. They have every support from their federation (pocket money, trainers, etc.) which release them from a lot of obligations, and made them feel confortable. And this of course affected our morals.
One important issue: No body from the federation contacted me and wished me good luck in my way to the zonal. I was informed about the event by a common friend Mr. Ali ElJawish, whom I take this opportunity to thank him, and who is not a member of the federation board.
CK: Thank you Kanarik for your time and for the opportunity to make this interview a nice one.
KN: Thank you Charles, and wishing you good luck with your nice work on the lebanesechess.com site.

Mouradian,Knarik (2186) – Al-Khelaifi,Salama (1757) [B01]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (1.1), 05.07.2011

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 a6 6.g3 Bg4 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.0–0 0–0–0 9.d5 Ne5 10.Bf4 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 12.Qxf3 e5 13.dxe6 Qxe6 14.Bg5 Rd6 15.Rfe1 Qd7 16.Bxf6 Rxf6 17.Qe3 b6 18.Ne4 Re6 19.Qf3 Kb8 20.Rad1 Bd6 21.Nxd6 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 cxd6 23.Qd3 Ka7 24.Rd1 g6 25.Qxd6 Qxd6 26.Rxd6 Rf8 27.Rd7+ Kb8 28.Kf1 Rc8 29.c3 Rf8 30.h4 h5 31.Ke2 Kc8 32.Ra7 a5 33.Ra8+ 1–0

Nouman,Amna (1725) – Mouradian,Knarik (2186) [A00]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (2.1), 06.07.2011

1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nd7 5.Ne2 e5 6.Be3 Ngf6 7.h3 0–0 8.0–0 exd4 9.Bxd4 Re8 10.Nbc3 Nf8 11.Qd2 Bd7 12.g4 Ne6 13.Be3 h5 14.f3 Kh7 15.Rad1 Rh8 16.e5 Ne8 17.f4 hxg4 18.hxg4 Qh4 19.f5 Bxe5 20.Rf3 Bh2+ 21.Kf1 Qxg4 22.fxe6 Bxe6 23.Nf4 Bc4+ 24.Nce2 Nf6 25.Qd4 Bxe2+ 26.Nxe2 Be5 27.Qxg4 Nxg4 28.Bg1 Kg7 29.c3 Rae8 30.Nd4 f5 31.Rh3 c6 32.Nf3 Rxh3 33.Bxh3 Nf6 34.Bxa7 Ra8 35.Bd4 Bxd4 36.Rxd4 Rxa2 37.Rxd6 Rxb2 38.Ng5 Nd5 39.Ne6+ Kf7 40.Ng5+ Kg7 41.Ne6+ Kf6 42.Nd4+ Kg5 43.Ne2 Kh4 44.Bg2 Ne3+ 45.Kf2 Nxg2 46.Kxg2 Rxe2+ 47.Kf3 Re4 48.Rxg6 Rc4 49.Rg7 b5 50.Rg8 Kh5 51.Rg2 Rxc3+ 52.Kf4 Rc5 53.Rg3 b4 54.Rb3 Rb5 0–1

Mouradian,Knarik (2186) – Hakimifard,Ghazal (2197) [B30]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (3.1), 07.07.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.Nbd2 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.Re1 Qc7 9.Nf1 b6 10.c3 Bb7 11.Be3 Rfe8 12.h4 Rad8 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bd2 Ne5 15.Qe2 Ba6 16.c4 Bf8 17.N1h2 Nc6 18.g4 h5 19.Bc3 Nxg4 20.Nxg4 hxg4 21.Nh2 e5 22.Qxg4 Bc8 23.Qg3 Qd7 24.Rf1 Qe6 25.h5 Qh6 26.f4 exf4 27.Rxf4 Qxh5 28.Raf1 Be6 29.Nf3 Qg6 30.Qh2 Be7 31.Nh4 Bxh4 32.Rxh4 Kf8 33.Rf3 Nd4 34.Bxd4 cxd4 35.e5 Ke7 36.exd6+ Rxd6 37.Re4 Qg5 38.Rff4 f5 39.Re5 Kf7 40.Rf1 Rdd8 41.Qh3 Kf6 42.Re2 Bd7 43.Ref2 Rh8 44.Qf3 Rhe8 45.Qd5 Be6 46.Qc6 Qe3 47.Bd5 g6 48.a4 Re7 49.b4 Kg5 50.Bf3 Rh7 51.a5 bxa5 52.bxa5 Bc8 53.a6 Re8 54.Rb1 Rhe7 55.Kg2 Re6 56.Qc5 Rxa6 57.Rb8 Bd7 58.Rb7 Kf6 59.Rb1 Qe5 60.Bd5 Rh8 61.Rh1 Rxh1 62.Kxh1 Ra1+ 63.Kg2 Kg7 64.Rb2 Qe3 65.Rf2 Qg5+ 66.Kh3 f4+ 0–1

Al-Zarouni,Kholoud Essa (1853) – Mouradian,Knarik (2186) [B40]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (4.1), 08.07.2011

1.e4 c5 2.c3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Qxd7 7.d4 Nc6 8.0–0 Bd6 9.Re1+ Nge7 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Be3 Bd6 12.Nbd2 0–0 13.Nd4 Ne5 14.N2f3 Nc4 15.Qc2 Rac8 16.Rad1 b5 17.Bg5 f6 18.Bc1 Ne5 19.Qe2 b4 20.Qb5 Nxf3+ 21.gxf3 Qh3 22.f4 bxc3 23.Rd3 Qh5 24.bxc3 Rfe8 25.Ne6 Ng6 26.Qd7 Bf8 27.Rg3 Qf5 28.Rge3 Nxf4 29.Nxf8 Qg5+ 0–1

Mouradian,Knarik (2186) – Iman,H M Al-Rufaye (2160) [C54]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (5.1), 09.07.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Bb3 a6 7.Nbd2 Be6 8.h3 Bxb3 9.Qxb3 0–0 10.0–0 Nh5 11.Nc4 b5 12.Ne3 Nf4 13.Qd1 g6 14.d4 exd4 15.Nc2 Nh5 16.cxd4 Bb6 17.d5 Ne5 18.Nxe5 dxe5 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.Nxe3 Qh4 21.Ng4 Qg5 22.Rc1 f5 23.exf5 Rxf5 24.d6 Nf4 25.dxc7 Rff8 26.Re1 h5 27.Rxe5 Nxh3+ 28.gxh3 Qf4 29.Qb3+ Kh8 30.Qc3 b4 31.Rxh5+ Kg8 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Rxf8+ Rxf8 34.Qb3+ Kg7 35.c8Q 1–0

Mir Mahmoud,Afamia (1993) – Mouradian,Knarik (2186) [E15]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (6.1), 09.07.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Nc3 d5 8.Bg2 c6 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.0–0 0–0 13.Bc1 Rc8 14.Bb2 Bb4 15.Rc1 Qe7 16.Rc2 Nf6 17.Qa1 Rc7 18.a3 Bd6 19.Rfc1 Rfc8 20.Kf1 h5 21.Rd2 h4 22.Kg1 hxg3 23.hxg3 Ng4 24.Bf3 Qg5 25.Rcd1 Nxf2 26.Kxf2 Qxg3+ 27.Kf1 Qxf3+ 0–1

Mouradian,Knarik (2186) – Ghader Pour,Shayesteh (2246) [B90]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (7.1), 10.07.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 Qb6 7.Nb3 e5 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Qd2 Qc7 10.a4 Be7 11.a5 h6 12.Be3 b5 13.axb6 Nxb6 14.Na5 Be6 15.Bd3 0–0 16.0–0 d5 17.exd5 Nbxd5 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Nc4 Nxe3 20.Nxe3 Qb6 21.Kh1 Bg5 22.Rfe1 a5 23.b3 Bh4 24.g3 Bg5 25.Qe2 f5 26.Nc4 Bxc4 27.Bxc4+ Kh8 28.Rad1 Rae8 29.f4 Bf6 30.fxe5 Rxe5 31.Qf3 Rxe1+ 32.Rxe1 Qb4 33.Rf1 a4 34.Bd3 a3 35.Qxf5 g6 36.Qxg6 Qb7+ 37.Be4 Qg7 38.c3 Qxg6 39.Bxg6 a2 40.Ra1 Ra8 41.Bb1 axb1Q+ 42.Rxb1 Bxc3 43.Kg2 Kg7 44.Kf3 Rf8+ 45.Ke3 Bb4 46.Rc1 Be7 47.Rb1 Rb8 48.Kf3 Kg6 49.Kg2 Kg5 50.Re1 Bf6 51.Re3 Rc8 52.h4+ Kf5 53.Kf3 h5 54.b4 Bd4 55.Rd3 Ke5 56.Ra3 Rf8+ 57.Kg2 Rf2+ 58.Kh3 Ke4 59.Ra8 Rb2 60.Rg8 Bf6 61.Rg6 Bd4 62.Rg5 Bg1 63.Rxh5 Rxb4 64.Rh8 Bd4 65.Rg8 Kf3 66.Rf8+ Ke2 67.Rf4 Ke3 68.h5 Rb1 69.Kg4 Be5 70.Rf3+ Ke4 71.Ra3 Rb8 72.Ra4+ Bd4 73.Kh4 Rg8 74.g4 Ke5 75.h6 Be3 76.Ra5+ Kf6 77.Ra6+ Kf7 78.Rc6 Bg5+ 79.Kh5 Be7 80.h7 Rh8 81.Rh6 Bf8 82.Ra6 Rxh7+ 83.Kg5 Be7+ 84.Kf5 Rh1 85.Ra4 Rb1 86.Re4 Bf6 87.Ra4 Rb5+ 88.Kf4 Kg6 89.Rc4 Rb1 90.Rc6 Rd1 91.Ra6 Rf1+ 92.Kg3 Rc1 93.Kf4 Rc4+ 94.Kg3 Rc5 95.Kf4 Kf7 96.Ra7+ Be7 97.Rb7 Ke6 98.Ra7 Rc4+ 99.Kg3 Bd6+ 100.Kh4 Kf6 101.Ra6 Rd4 102.Ra1 Rd3 103.Rb1 Kg6 104.Rb6 Kh6 105.Rc6 Rd2 106.Rc3 Be7+ 107.Kh3 Kg5 108.Rb3 Bd6 109.Rb5+ Kg6 110.g5 Kh5 111.g6+ Kxg6 112.Kg4 Rd3 113.Rg5+ Kf6 114.Rf5+ Ke6 115.Rb5 Rg3+ 116.Kh4 Rg1 117.Rb6 Kd5 118.Kh3 Be5 119.Rb4 Bd4 120.Kh2 Rg8 121.Kh3 Ke5 122.Rb7 Kf5 123.Rf7+ Ke4 124.Rb7 Be3 125.Kh2 Kf3 126.Rh7 Bf4+ 0–1
Saleh Nora,Mohd (1911) – Mouradian,Knarik (2186) [E61]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (8.1), 11.07.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bf4 Nbd7 6.h3 0–0 7.e3 Re8 8.Be2 c6 9.0–0 Qa5 10.a3 e5 11.b4 Qc7 12.Bh2 b6 13.Rc1 Bf8 14.c5 Qb8 15.Qc2 Bb7 16.Rfd1 exd4 17.exd4 Qd8 18.cxd6 Rc8 19.Qa2 Nd5 20.b5 N7f6 21.bxc6 Bxc6 22.Ba6 Ra8 23.Ne5 Qxd6 24.Nxf7 Nxc3 25.Rxc3 Qd5 26.Qxd5 Bxd5 27.Ne5 Bd6 28.Nc4 Bxh2+ 29.Kxh2 Ne4 30.Rc2 Rf8 31.f3 Ng5 32.Ne5 Ne6 33.Bc4 Bxc4 34.Rxc4 Rad8 35.Nc6 Rd7 36.Rcc1 Kg7 37.Ne5 Rd5 38.Rc6 Re8 39.Rc4 Re7 40.g3 Nxd4 41.Rcxd4 Rdxe5 42.g4 ½–½

(41) Mouradian,Knarik (2186) – Dahdal,Lougain (1882) [B40]
Asian Zonal 3.1 Women Championship 2011 Sharjah (9.1), 12.07.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Qe2+ Ne7 7.Nxd5 a6 8.Bxd7+ Nxd7 9.d3 Nb6 10.Nxb6 Qxb6 11.0–0 0–0–0 12.Ne5 Qe6 13.Re1 Nf5 14.Nf3 Qg6 15.Bf4 Bd6 16.Ne5 Qf6 17.Qd2 h6 18.Nc4 Bxf4 19.Qxf4 g6 20.a4 Rd4 21.Qe5 Qxe5 22.Rxe5 Kd7 23.Rxc5 Re8 24.c3 Rg4 25.Ne5+ Kd6 26.Nxg4 Kxc5 27.Kf1 h5 28.Nf6 Rd8 29.Ne4+ Kc6 30.Ke2 Re8 31.Kf1 Rd8 32.Rd1 b5 33.axb5+ axb5 34.h3 b4 35.g3 Ra8 36.d4 Ra2 37.d5+ Kd7 38.Rd2 Nd6 39.Nxd6 bxc3 40.Rd1 c2 41.Rc1 Rxb2 42.Ne4 Rb1 43.Nc5+ Kd6 44.Nd3 Kxd5 45.Ke2 Rb8 46.Rxc2 Re8+ 47.Kf3 Kd4 48.Nf4 Re7 49.Rd2+ Kc5 50.h4 Kc6 51.Kg2 Kc5 52.f3 Kc6 53.g4 hxg4 54.fxg4 Re8 55.h5 gxh5 56.gxh5 f5 57.Kg3 Rg8+ 58.Ng6 Rg7 59.Kf4 Rh7 60.Rh2 Kd6 61.Kxf5 Rf7+ 1–0

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