Interview with the European Chess Champion GM Ivan Saric


Croatian and European Chess Champion GM Ivan Saric spoke to editor GM Marian Petrov about his recent victories

Marian Petrov First of all, congratulations for conquering the Croatian title, that comes right after your European one!

Ivan Saric I’m happy that I’ve managed to win the Croatian championship. But honestly, I’m not happy with my play in almost half of the games there! Yet, from 2009 I was always in top 3 and I was either winning the championships or I was half point short, and this is a good achievement. The competition is very difficult, every year someone else also has a good tournament and it’s almost impossible to win the championship convincingly.

MP What was your most difficult game?

IS Probably round 9 with Jovanovic, when I completely missed the move to keep an initiative and ended up in a defending position with a clear pawn down. At some point it seemed hopeless, but my opponent wasn’t precise and I managed to save the game.

MP Now to the European Chess Championship. What were your ambitions before the European Championship and when did you feel you can win it?

IS My ambition was to qualify to the World cup (reach a score of +4), but I’m not the guy who makes draws when he has +4, so I knew that everything is possible. Each victory makes a huge difference, +5 sometimes is a medal. After 4-5 rounds I felt that this could be my tournament finally, but then I got the cold shower in next 3 games, and I wasn’t so ambitious anymore. Somewhere during the opening phase in game with Navara I realized I could win this tournament. Of course this is my biggest achievement of my career so far.

Full interview here: