Lots of people have asked me why I’m called the “Chess Queen”, so I decided to write an illustrated post about it. It all started in 2001, when I was 17 years old. My rating was 2469 and I had the titles of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and Men International Master (IM).
At the Moscow Women’s World Championship, which took place in Moscow in December 2001, I played (unexpectedly to many) very well and went all the way to the final, beating seasoned players such as Galliamova, Skripchenko, and Xu Yuhua. The final against Zhu Chen was epic, 8 games, and not a single draw, the main match was tied 2-2, and I only lost in the tie-breaks.
Right after that World Championship, at the very beginning of 2002, I got enormous attention from the Russian and international press. The photo series by Dolgina with chess clothes designed by Feshina from the spring of 2001, commissioned by FIDE to promote chess in the world, had made the rounds. Well-known CNN reporter Jill Dougherty made a TV video piece about me (she came with a whole crew to the Moscow chess club “Oktiabrsky”) and introduced me on the CNN site as “chess queen” (See that CNN 2002 video).
That was closely followed by the very important media Time Magazine and Time for Kids, who both came out with articles calling me “Chess Queen”.
After that I have been called all kinds of names, such as Chess Babe, Chess Grace, Alexandra the Great, Anna Kournikova of Chess (with variations such as the Sharapova of Chess); Newsweek called me the Chess Goddess. But the name that stuck most and was more common was the “Chess Queen”.
At that time I did my best to promote chess in the media, to prove that “Chess is Cool”, and that “Intelligence and Beauty go well together”, with photo shoots by famous photographers Pierre-William Henry (Series 2003, Series 2004, Series 2005) and Zhenya Minkovich (Vogue 2002, Fashion 2003).
At the same time I was working on chess very much, and in 2004 became Women’s European Champion. I also became the 10th woman in history to ever get the title of Grandmaster (Men) “GM”. I became Russian champion in 2005.
I decided to make my nickname “Chess Queen” more permanent, especially since I did not like other names, especially the “Kournikova of Chess” name that was often given to me by the press. Surprisingly it seemed there was no great attention to that nickname from other women chess players, so without any trouble I was able to buy the domain name www.chessqueen.com and register that nickname “chessqueen” on the most important social web sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where my personal pages are now:
To cement my nickname, since 2007 I trademarked it with the government, so it’s now a protected mark around the world, and can only apply to me as a chess master. I’ve made it my brand. Pretty much the same concept as the well known brands “Dairy Queen” or “Burger King”. Everybody knows “Burger King” as a brand, not necessarily as the very best burgers on earth, but quite excellent, and definitely the favorite of millions of consumers.
It was actually quite fitting that in 2008, I became the 12th Women’s World Chess Champion, by winning the Women’s World Chess Championship in Nalchik. My trainer, respected Grandmaster Yuri Razuvaev, after hearing I won the World Championship, said he thought I had to win it, since I already had the nickname “Chess Queen” in active use.
I’ve also been reigning Women’s World Champion in Chess960 since 2006.
Below you can see some images of magazines covers and articles where the “Chess Queen” description can be seen, both in English and in foreign languages in the second image. Please email me to let me know how to say “Chess Queen” in other languages, I will be very grateful to you, since I’d like to make the list below longer with many new languages!
Translation of Chess Queen in different languages
01) In English: Chess Queen
02) In French: Reine des échecs
03) In Spanish: La Reina del Ajedrez
04) In German: Die Schachkönigin
05) In Russian: Шахматная королева / Королева шахмат
06) In Afrikaans: Skaak Koningin
07) In Portuguese: A Rainha do Xadrez / rainha de xadrez
08) In Greek: Η Βασίλισσα τού Σκακιού
09) In Italian: regina degli scacchi
10) In Romanian: Regina şahului / Regina de Şah
11) In Filipino: Reyna ng Ahedres / Reyna ng Chess
12) In Dutch: schaak koningin
13) In Lithuanian: Šachmatų Karalienė
14) In Norwegian: Sjakkdronning / Sjakkdronningen / Sjakk Dronning
15) In Galician: Raiña do Xadrez
16) In Bulgarian: шах-кралица
17) In Cajun: Varminte d’echecs reinne
18) In Swahili: malkia wa chaturanga
19) In Indonesian: Ratu Catur
20) In Finnish: Shakkikuningatar
21) In Turkish:satranç kraliçesi
22) In Bengali: Dabar Rani
23) In Polish: Królowa szachów
24) In Georgian: Chadrakis dedofali
25) In Esperanto: Ŝakdamo / Ŝak-Reĝino
26) In Japanese: Chesu Kuiin
27) In Danish: Skakdronning
28) In Tamil: chathuranga rani (சதுரங்க ராணி)
29) In Latin: Regina de Scachis / Regina del latrunculi
30) In Hebrew: מלכת השחמט (Malkat HaShachmat)
31) In Vietnamese: Nữ Hoàng cờ vua
32) In Persian :Malakeh Shatranj ملکه شطرنج
33) In Arabic: ملكة شطرنج – malekat – al – shatarang
34) In Catalan: Reina dels Escacs
35) In Malaysian: Puteri Catur / Ratu Catur
36) In Hindi: shataranj ki rani
37) In Czech: Šachová královna
38) In Haitian Creole: Rèn nan echèk
39) In Latvian: Karaliene šahs
40) In Swedish: Drottningen av schack
41) In Assamese and Bengali : Dobaar Raani
42) In Albanian: Mbreteresha e Shahut
43) In Hungarian: Sakk Királynő
44) In Welsh: Brenhines y gwyddbwyll
45) In Nahuathl: Cuapatolli Siuatlajtoani
46) In Chinese: 西洋棋的女王 (or 棋后/国际象棋王后 ?)
47) In Kurdish: Şahbanûya Kişikê
48) In Armenian: Շախմատային Թագուհի (Shakhtamatayin Taguhi)
49) In Croatian: šah kraljica
50) In Gujarati: Shatranj ni rani
Do you know how to say “Chess Queen” in any other languages?
Some articles in English. Many more can be found here.
Some articles in various languages, with “Chess Queen” translated. Please send me translations of “Chess Queen” in more languages!
Chess Queen ® is now my nickname and brand, you can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.
Actually, looking back, one of my favorite documentaries is the one that was made by Eurovision in 1997, after I got back to Russia having won the title of Girls U-12 World Chess Champion. It’s quite fitting that already in 1997, Eurovision called the video “To Become a Queen”, and in it they show a TV interview where they ask me what next titles I would like to get… the rest is history! You will enjoy this video, I am sure!
And now, I can present to you my current business card:
Posted by Chess Queen ® Alexandra Kosteniuk
12th Women’s World Chess Champion