(Why did you not go to Russia for the tournament?) I decided not to go, I didn't feel like the region was that safe, and I traveled to Montreal to help my husband play a chess tournament. (How does the fact that you moved to the U.S. from Ukraine as a child figure into your decision?) It didn't figure in at all. I've been living here since I was five. For the Georgian women who decided not to participate, I understand their boycott. For other women like me, this isn't about South Ossetia. It's more just the general security in the area. (This presumably is a competition that one would want to take part. Can you easily miss out on this?) Definitely not, this was a difficult decision for me. The most important thing though is feeling good about the place you're going to. (Do you feel as though you've mixed politics and sport?) Definitely not. No one is mixing politics and sport, this is about safety. The reality though is that politics trumps sports. You can't have a sports competition when there are bombs going off. (Are there other American competitors there?) Yes, two other American women are there.