M.Nyamjargal: Every game I play is a World Championship

Trans.by A.OYUNZUL

 M.Nyamjargal is the first woman to become an international Grandmaster in Mongolia. She is the winner of the Asian Draughts Championship, a national champion and won the National Young Adults Championship six times. The grandmaster has been playing draughts for more than a decade and she is only 18 years old.

We spoke with Nyamjargal, who just got back from a 40-day trip to the Netherlands, about the pressure that is placed on her, challenges, and inspiration.

How was your competition?

 Annually, five to six international draughts tournaments are held in the Netherlands. This year, there were four tournaments, and I participated in all of them. World champions and leading players from all around the world participated in the first tournament I went to. There were 195 players, including female champions. Usually on international tournaments, men and women can play against each other. There were a lot of good players, so I played without much success. Also my coach Manlai won the third tournament, out of 118 players. And on the last competition, MTB Open Hoogeveen, I took second place.

Did anything special happen in the Netherlands?

 There were a lot of beer and bread. After the first tournament, I heard that people drank beer nonstop for a week. Players were also very nice. They would ask if I would like anything to drink, and I would offer them a drink after that.

What is the difference between national and international tournaments?

 In Mongolia, men’s and women’s championships are held separately, which suppresses the opportunity to play against each other. Internationally, the draughts field is led by men. So when competing against men, female players have an opportunity to obtain and broaden their skills and knowledge. The advantage of participating in international tournaments is that you can play with great masters and world champions. These tournaments are very good experience for players from all around the world.

How long have you been playing and what got you started?

 When I was six, my father taught me to play draughts. At that time, I used to live in Zavkhan Province, and our family moved to the city. On my first ever tournament, I took second place. Then I went to an international checkers club, and that was the beginning of my career.

What is your training like? Is there any key factor to your success?

 When I was in school, I used to go to the club. But now I train either by myself or with my coach. Also, playing in international tournaments is training by itself. When I’m home, I usually play checkers on the computer. My family is really supportive of me and inspires me to never give up. My number one rule is, every game I play is a world championship, and I never underestimate anyone. I learn from every player I compete with. I used to think “I have to win this game”, but the pressure got the best out of me, and in the end, I lost. So now, I try to focus only on the game. Afterwards, it’ll be much more memorable for me to remember that I tried my hardest.

What is your biggest challenge? How do you manage it?

 Finding a good coach is difficult. Checkers is a practical sport and requires one to constantly compete with different players. Therefore, to participate in international tournaments, players have to pay their expenses and plane tickets. Due to financial problems, young players’ chance to go overseas is limited. Fortunately this year, Gobi-Khangai Mebel LLC paid for my plane ticket. My parents help me find sponsors and try their best to give me an opportunity to go to international checkers competitions.

 How do you find inspiration when you feel like giving up?

 If I’m feeling down, I’ll think about the achievements I made. I’ll remember the games I won. Not every girl my age has the opportunities I have. So I consider myself to be very lucky being in this position.

Are you planning to continue your sports career?

 Before I turn 20, which is the age you start to compete in adults’ category, I’m intending to challenge myself in young adults’ world championships for two more years. To compete in adults, I have to train ten times harder than today, and tournaments will be tough. Before settling up on a sports career, I’m going to get through college first. And I hope I’ll never stop playing checkers.

 Any advice for young sportsmen?

 If you are interested, then why don’t you just try it out? If you train hard and not give up easily, success will be at your fingertips.

 What is your next goal?

 In December, I’m going to Poland for the World Championship.


Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=11622

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