RIGA, April 12 (LETA) – Latvian Grandmaster Ilze Berzina who is participating in the European Individual Women’s Chess Championship in Riga is also going to work as usual, the chess player told LETA.

As reported, the European Individual Women’s Chess Championship got under way in the Latvian capital on Tuesday. The first day of the tournament was not very successful for the Latvian chess players as Berzina’s win over 14-years-old compatriot Madara Golsta was the only victory for Latvia.

“I won, but this was a tough match – I could feel that my rival was well prepared. I had the black pieces, and the first game is always the most difficult,” said Berzina. “There is always slight nervousness before each tournament. When the game is on, most of it disappears, but anyway, the first games are always interesting and the results are so to say, incorrect.”

As reported, a total of eleven rounds will be played during the championship through April 22, with one day off on April 18. The matches will start at 3 p.m. on all days, except April 22 when the matches will begin at 11 a.m. The award ceremony will also be on April 22 at 8 p.m.

Berzina said she did not manage to find a colleague to cover for her at work, so she goes to work in the morning and plays chess at the European tournament in the afternoon.

“I would have taken a leave if I could, but unfortunately there was nobody to stand in for me. The goal is definitely not to place tenth or twentieth in this competition, but of course I will do my best to take the highest place possible,” Berzina said.

As for other Latvian chess players participating in the European tournament, Berzina believes that good results can also be expected of Grandmaster Inguna Erneste.

“Agnese Lickrastin has had less experience lately, maybe the young ones will show something, but it is hard to tell,” Berzina said. “The top favorites are the Muzychuk sisters of Ukraine and Kateryna Lagno of Russia. But on the whole, the top ten players will battle it out among themselves.”

Berzina also praised the organizers of the tournament, saying that there is good lighting, air conditioning, water and coffee at the venue of the championship – the Omega hall at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

“Latvians know how to organize a competition. I am glad that we are hosting such a tournament, and I will do all I can to show my best result,” Grandmaster Berzina said.