Hey Everyone! My name is Yelizaveta Orlova — but you can just call me Liza! I am 18 years old, and currently the 4th top Woman in Canada. I live in Toronto, Canada and have been living here for most of my life (15 years). My background is mostly Ukrainian, but I do have some Russian and Polish background. I was born in Odessa, Ukraine — every summer that is where I go! Right now, I am studying Business Administration at George Brown College. I will graduate in 2016. I am also trying to open up a chess club at my college, that will be fun! I have been playing chess professionally for about 8 years, and I do not plan to stop anytime soon. I have had many accomplishments in my life, but here is the list of the most important!
2012 Represented Canada at International Women’s Rapid Championship at UNAM, Mexico
2012 Represented Canada at Women’s Olympiad
2011 Toronto Women’s Champion
2011 Women’s Canadian Championship, 3rd place
2011 Canadian Girls Under-18 Champion
2010 Toronto Women’s Champion
2010 Represented Canada at Women’s Olympiad
2010 Ontario Girls Under-16 Champion
2009 Ontario Girls Under-16 Champion
2008 9th place, World Youth Under-14 Girls Championship
2008 Canadian Girls Under-14 Champion
2008 Canadian Junior Girl Champion
2007 Canadian Girls Under-14 Champion
2006 Ontario Girls Grade 6 Champion
2006 Ontario Girls Under-12 Champion
2005 Canadian Girls Under-12 Champion
2005 Ontario Girls Under-12 Champion
2004 Ontario Girls Under-10 Champion
Ernesto: What Grand Masters have you researched and studied?
Liza: Ever since I was little, and especially when beginning chess, I was introduced to Garry Kasparov (who hasn’t?). My two all time favorite Grandmasters have to be Anatoly Karpov and Mikhail Tal. The reason why I am a huge Fan of Anatoly Karpov is because I have met him in real life about 3-4 times, and find him a very smart and intelligent person. Mikhail Tal, on the other hand, I did not meet (of course)–what always made me jealous was his attacking ambition, I would not be able to have such courage in a game of chess by sacrificing pieces all over the place. You need a lot of brain power and ambition to do so.
Ernesto: What mind set do you have when you train for a tournament or a big game?
Liza: I must admit that the past 4.5 years I have not trained for a single tournament. But I do not want to discourage people in studying. Before I stopped studying, I was lucky than most 13-year-olds, I had my father as my trainer. When I had a serious tournaments, we would go over my openings, and some tactical positions. Right now, especially since I will be playing in tournaments where there is only 1 game per day. I will be not only going over my openings, but as well, as prepping against my opponent each night. And, Of course, analyzing my previous games! I have a goal to accomplish before 2014, and I hope I will succeed!!
Ernesto: What chess player has given you the best advice on the game?
Liza:I would say that I have chess in my blood, my father and grandfather played chess. My Father during his time was almost an International Master, but one tournament he got 3rd in all of Ukraine, but only first and second places allowed you to go to the next top tournament, since then my dad has stopped playing professionally. My grandfather on the other hand was a Master in United States. These were the two most important chess players in my life. My father can still help me in anyway he can, but my grandfather–sadly, passed away in 2009.
Ernesto: What have you taken from another player that has improved your game?
Liza: I would say Bent Larsen, I love playing his opening system 1.b3! And I am fairly good at it!
Ernesto: At what age did you start playing chess?
Liza: My dad taught me at the age of 3 years old, by the age of 4 I was already playing chess games with my father. Sadly, I lost interest and only started playing at around 9 years old, but I’d say even closer to the age of 10.
Ernesto: Who are your biggest supporters?
Liza:The biggest supporters are my family. Both sides, My father’s side (The chess side). And my mother’s side (They give me moral support all the time!)
Ernesto: Are you a Baby Chess Monster( some one taught chess at a very early age)?
Liza: I would say yes, but I lost interest when I was 4 years old.
Ernesto: What would you like to change about the chess world if you feel there should be any changes made?
Ernesto: I’d say it would be great to see girls and women not losing interest! In the chess world, there are much more women than men! Why?
Liza: I try hard to promote Women’s Chess by traveling all around the world and updating my new blog!
Ernesto: Is there any thing else that you’d like to share with us?
Liza: Very soon I’d like to maybe try a chess modelling campaign.. this is just a thought, but I think it might be a good idea! Also, this year I will be playing in couple of international tournaments so It would be great if you can support me by visiting (and liking) my Facebook page and also checking out my website once in awhile, I always put some chess news about me.