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I feel great at the festival, the support of czech fans motivates me

17 Apr 2023

The youngest Czech grandmaster Thai Dai Van Nguyen became a grandmaster at the age of 16, and his performance has been on the rise ever since. Currently the second-ranked Czech player, Thai Dai Van Nguyen revealed in an interview how the home environment at the Prague Chess Festival affects him.

Congratulations on your 6th place at the European Championship. How do you evaluate the entire tournament?
Thank you for the congratulations. I was successful at the European Individual Chess Championship in Serbia this year. I consider 6th place in such strong European competition to be one of my best tournaments so far. Overall, I played quite well, never really being under significant pressure in any of the games, and the most important wins came at the beginning of the tournament, where I managed to win three long positional endgames. With this result at the European Championship, I qualified for the World Cup, which was my main goal before the start of the tournament.

Last year, you won a great bronze medal at the Prague International Chess Festival. Do you have even higher ambitions this year?
The Prague Chess Festival is the tournament I am looking forward to the most. Last year, I was very happy with my result when I took the third place in a top-level competition. However, I had several great positions that I couldn't win.
This year, I will be the lowest-ranked player in the tournament, just like last year. I want to enjoy my games with elite players and make the most of the opportunities that arise.

How does the domestic atmosphere affect you? Do you feel more pressure than at tournaments abroad?
On the one hand, it's possible that the home atmosphere can mean more pressure, but on the other hand, I will have more support from my family and home fans, which motivates me. In previous years, I felt great at the Prague International Chess Festival, and that was certainly due to the pleasant home atmosphere at the festival.

Which foreign chess player would you like to meet at this year's Masters tournament?
I wouldn't say that I am looking forward to one particular game. I am looking forward to the whole tournament, where I will play against nine different players with different styles. I see every game as a new challenge.

Do you cooperate with David Navara before the tournament?
As it is already known, I have been training and working with David Navara for some time. However, we will not prepare together for this specific tournament, after all, we will be playing against each other in the tournament.