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Lilit Mkrtchian: Sometimes it’s a pleasure to simply enjoy the silence
Sunday, 02 May 2010
020510_mkrtchian-int-1.jpgLilit, is there a chess boom in Armenia now?
Yes, indeed, currently we’re having really eventful chess life in Armenia.  I think you know that the President of our country is also the President of the Armenian Chess Federation and a big chess fan. Perfect conditions have been provided for chess players: we have coaches working with us, and training sessions are held before every tournament. We’re going to have a Panarmenian chess contest, in which Armenian chess players from every corner of the globe will take part.

It is true that all grandmasters in Armenia receive grants?

Yes, all our grandmasters receive pretty good grants.

Lilit, what are your parents?
– My mom is an engineer by profession. My dad used to be a professional wrestler, and repeatedly won the Armenian championship. Then he switched over to coaching.

Do you live in Yerevan?
– No, I live in the village of Karpi, approximately 25 kilometers away from Yerevan. Our village is very nice – so quiet and peaceful. We’ve got our own garden and our doggies. There are three of them living in our yard. They’re so dear to us, and we love them so much. I love nature. Quite often, when I’m at a tournament, I feel like going out to take a walk in a park, to take a breath of fresh air.

How do you get to Yerevan, by car?
– I don’t drive myself. My brother usually gives me a lift.

020510_mkrtchian-int-3.jpgEver thought about moving to the capital?
– I wouldn’t mind having a flat in Erevan, but I can’t afford it now. Certainly, life is easier there, everything is at hand. However, it isn’t as close to nature as our home.
What is your daily routine when you’re at home?
– I get up at 9-10 in the morning, and I usually play chess in the morning or later in the day, but never in the evening. In the evenings I take a rest and do whatever I like.
But after the tournament – I don’t play chess at all. I just walk, watch movies, TV, and listen to the music.

What kind of books and films do you prefer?
– It mostly depends on my mood. At some point I only used to like watching Soviet films. Sometimes I only want to read, especially after tournaments.  I can read 3-4 big books in succession, but then this hunger passes off.

Do you like cooking?
– No, unfortunately, I cannot cook. My mother is a very good mistress of the house. She knows everything. She always helps me, so I have more time for chess. The desire to cook something in the kitchen hasn’t awakened in me yet

Are you scrupulous about you appearance?
– I guess I am. Before I go somewhere, I visit a beauty parlor. It puts me in good spirits, as does shopping. When I am in a bad mood, I take my best friend with me and we go shopping together. New purchases raise my vitality a lot.

Do you buy clothes abroad?
– No, usually I buy them in Armenia. Usually I am concentrated on the game during tournaments and I do not have time for shopping.

Do you like surfing the Internet?
– I only recently got the opportunity of using it, but the speed is rather slow. Therefore I regularly use the Internet on tournaments. I download music. I have already downloaded several songs onto my computer here.
Do you listen to the music on a player?
– I do not carry the player with me all the time. Sometimes it’s a great pleasure to simply enjoy silence.

020510_mkrtchian-int-2.jpgDo you have any idols in chess?
– When I was a child, I liked Anatoly Karpov's games. Then I began to play in an attacking manner, and Mikhail Tal became my idol. Now I do not have idols. I just admire the game of the strongest chess players.

Do you think that women’s chess and men’s chess are quite different?
– Both women’s and men’s chess games are often on a very high level. But in general men’s tournaments are of a different kind. They can be punished even for one mistake. In women’s chess one mistake does not influence the outcome of the game. Opponents are usually given the second chance.

Will you tell us what surprises the participants of the Women Grand Prix in Jermuk can come across?
– As I have a very busy tournament schedule I am not interested in such things. The opening of Men’s Grand Prix tournament was very beautiful. I am sure there will be something interesting this time as well.
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