site.btaChess Player Viktoria Radeva on Winning First-Ever European Title at Team Championship in Budva
In an interview for BTA, Bulgarian chess player Viktoria Radeva, a member of the national women's team who won their first-ever European title at the European Team Championship in Budva last week, expresses the hope that the title will lead to an improvement in Bulgarian chess. She talks about the competition in Montenegro and the difficult match against Azerbaijan where she had to play while running a 40-degree fever. She admits her big dream is to win an Olympic medal for Bulgaria.
Radeva explains that the competition was hard because there are no weak teams at European championships. The Bulgarian team achieved seven wins and had only two remis. Ahead of the rounds, the team members discussed who would play against whom and what strategy they would use. With every team having five members, the Bulgarian chess players could not predict who they would face exactly, but they tactically prepared for two opponents each.
Radeva was not feeling well in Budva but managed to compete in the larger part of the championship. In the sixth round when facing Azerbaijan in a four-hour match, she had a fever of 40 degrees and afterwards needed emergency medical care. In her words, that was a very unpleasant and difficult experience, but she was tremendously happy when the team won the European title.
It was extremely pleasant for her when the team received special attention upon their return to Bulgaria. "it is wonderful to see so many people unite, be proud and happy with your success. I believe that in Bulgaria, we need more such things, given everything that is happening here and in the world. We need more reasons for happiness," she tells BTA.
It is indescribably difficult to be a professional chess player given the problems in this sport in Bulgaria, she says. There have been times where she has questioned whether it is worth it. There have been certain tournaments in which she could not participate due to lack of funding. But with strong will and persistence, one can keep going, she adds. "One of the most valuable things is the family which backs me and does not give up even when you are down," Radeva says.
According to her, the solution to the problems in Bulgarian chess is to give attention to those who love this sport and want to develop. She expresses the hope that after the win in Baku, the State will back them. "There are many very talented people in Bulgaria who want to show what they can do, but they simply need support. I believe that if this happens and our development gets supported, we will have the chance to develop our full potential," Radeva notes.
In the future, she wants to obtain an International Master title and win a medal at the Chess Olympiad. "The dream is to simply continue developing as a chess player, and in my personal life I would like to have a good, healthy family with wonderful children whose talent, whatever it may be, I can support and develop," Radeva tells BTA.