For the first time in Switzerland’s 113-year chess history, a woman has been able to win both the women’s and men’s national chess titles. Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk has conquered the top step on both podiums last week in Grächen, Switzerland. Read about it below and check out our exclusive photos of the event.
Thanks to her dual Swiss-Russian citizenship, Alexandra Kosteniuk has been invited to fight for the National Swiss Championship for the 5th year in a row. The last 4 years she was close to the top but not quite first, the winners last years have been Grandmasters Viktor Kortchnoi (2009 and 2011), Yannick Pelletier (2010), and Joe Gallagher (2012). This year the event started with 8 GM’s and 8 IM’s, the strongest being GM’s Bauer, Stojanovic, Sokolov and Miezis, and the highest ranked fighting for the Swiss title were Gallagher, Kosteniuk, Gerber, Lötscher, Buss, Klauser and Carron.
This year’s Swiss championship took place in the beautiful mountain resort Grächen (close to Zermatt):
The local papers had articles about the tournament speculating Alexandra might win it (that makes it double as hard to win a tournament!):
A photo of the playing hall just before the 4th round:
Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk before her game:
From the game Kosteniuk – Carron, Grächen 2013. White plays and wins. 1. Ng6+! hxg6 (if 1…Kg8 then 2. Nfe7+ wins) 2. hxg6+ Kg8 3. Rh8+! resigns because 3…Kxh8 4. Qh3+ Kg8 5. Qh7+ Kf8 6. Qh8 mate:
Alexandra Kosteniuk at the Swiss national championship:
The last round was critical, Alexandra drew GM Bauer (Elo 2637) and got 6.5/9:
But IM Buss and GM Gallagher also finished with 6.5/9, so according to the rules of the championship the top 2 players according to Bukhholz had to play a tie-break match of 2 games. Alexandra won both games against IM Buss and became the first woman to win the men’s Swiss Championship
So the men’s podium was as follows: 1. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk 2. IM Ralph Buss 3. GM Joe Gallagher:
The women’s podium was as follows: 1. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk 2. WFM Laura Stoeri 3. WGM Barbara Hund:
The traditional photo all Swiss champions, from left to right: FM Vjekoslav Vulevic (Seniors), GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (both Men and Women), Aurélien Pomini (U-16), and André Meylan (U-18):
After the prize ceremony, a photo of Alexandra with GM Alexander Raetsky:
And Swiss Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk with promising youth and Swiss Champion U-18 André Meylan:
Alexandra Kosteniuk holding a Chess Queen:
Alexandra Kosteniuk is the first woman to ever win the Swiss National Chess Championship in both the men’s and women’s events
Here’s an article that came out in the Berner Zeitung of August 2, 2013. A higher resolution scan of the article can be found here.