I am Alexandra Kosteniuk, the 12th Women’s World Chess Champion. In this page I will give you some info about me and about my career, with photos, links and embedded videos.
Let me start showing you a documentary made by Eurovision in 1997, after I had just won the Girls U-12 World Championship. I am sure you will find it interesting, since much of what was mentioned in the video became true…
Then let me show you my YouTube video of the championship when I was crowned Women’s World Chess Champion. As I’m writing this it’s at 67,000 views and counting. It’s the high point of my career to date, and I’m very proud of it.
I received the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title in 1998, at the age of 14 and the International Master among men (IM) title in the year 2000. During the 2004 FIDE Congress in Calvia I was awarded the highest title of Grandmaster (Men), thus I became 10th woman in the whole history of chess who got this title.
In 2001, at the age of 17, to everybody’s surprise, I came in second at the Women’s World Championship in Moscow. After that, I became European Champion in 2004 and Russian Champion in 2005. My top chess rating is 2540. You can see my FIDE card at this link.
But let me start from the beginning. I was born in the Russian city of Perm on April 23, 1984. I have been living in Moscow since I was one year old. I then graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education in July 2003 and am now a certified professional chess trainer. It’s my dad, Konstantin Vladimirovich – who taught me to play chess when I was 5 years old and I am very grateful to him for that.
I improved in chess rapidly. My first great achievements came in Junior tournaments. In 1994 I became the European Champion among girls under the age of 10, and a month later shared first and second places at the World Championship under the age of 10.
Later, I had the same major achievements in other age categories, for example I became World Champion of girls under 12, in 1996.
In 1997, I became a Woman International Master (WIM) at the age of 13, they say that I reached this mark slightly quicker than Maya Chiburdanidze, but I don’t give much significance to that. I scored all necessary WGM norms in February of 1998 that is at the age of 13 years and 10 months but the Women’s Grand Master title was officially given to me in November 1998 at the 33rd World Olympiad in Kalmykia.
To promote chess, I’ve done fashion modelling, I’m sure you’ve seen the following photo before:
I have been also photographed by Zhenya Minkovich (Vogue Fashion, Series 2003), Vladimir Maximov (Marie-Claire Magazine), Andrei Rozen (Sokolniki), Pufichek (Beach 2006, Beach 2009), Vladimir Shirokov (ProSport). Many more photos of me can be found on ChessPics, which is updated regularly. My “older” photos can be found on my pre-2005 photo album page.
I also have many other interests but chess, I write poems (some of them are published in my book), and I like sport in all its forms. I also love to do fashion modelling, and I even played a part in a movie, which by far was the most fun thing I have ever done in my life.
My first book How I became Grandmaster at age 14 has been published already in three languages (Russian, English and Spanish). My dad and I have worked on it for almost two years, and I feel that its genre is very original. It is a manual in which I teach to play chess and at the same time I tell how I learned to play chess starting from the age of 5. The book contains many annotated games and pictures, including color ones. I hope that it won’t disappoint you. I think that many parents could purchase it as a present for their children. Perhaps not everyone who reads it will become a Grandmaster at the age of 14, but many readers will learn to play this most intelligent and most beautiful game in the world.
I am eager to hear your feedback and suggestions concerning my site. I have tried to gather as many as possible articles that have come out about me and the work I do to try to promote chess in the world. I am most grateful to everybody who orders something at my web-shop, or makes a donation (even the most modest is greatly appreciated) to my Chess Foundation. Thanks to your help I can give free simuls to children, give away my books and other presents to them to show them how wonderful chess is, and need your help to do even more. All donations go exclusively to promoting chess and for gifts, so please if you can afford to help, do it now!
Main titles and victories:
· European champion among girls U-10 (1994)
· 3-times world champion, among girls U-12 and U-14 (1996-98)
· Women’s world vice-champion (2001)
· Women’s European champion (2004)
· Women’s Russian Champion (2005)
· Winner of 7 medals playing for the Russian National Team (98, 02, 04, 06, 10, 12)
· 12th women’s world chess champion (2008-2010)
· 2-times Fischer Random World Champion (Chess-960) (2006, 2008)
· Winner of the 1st word mind sports games (2008)
· Winner of the 1st ACP women’s world cup (2009)
· Winner of the 2010 World Chess Olympiad playing for the Russian national team
· 3-times European Champion for the Russian National Team (2007, 2009, 2011)
· Winner and medalist of the 1st SportAccord Mind Games (2011)
· Silver medalist of the women’s world team chess championship (2011)
· European and World Rapid Chess Vice-Champion (2012)
· Winner of the 2012 World Chess Olympiad playing for the Russian national team
· Gold Medal winner of the Blitz Chess SportAccord Mind Games (2012)