Russian Female Chess Players

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 1 
Lyudmila Rudenko
(Chess player)
Lyudmila Rudenko
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Birthdate: July 27, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lubny, Ukraine
Died: February 28, 1986

Ukrainian chess player Lyudmila Rudenko made history by becoming the second world women’s chess champion. Though she had begun playing chess as a child, she took it up seriously while on an economic planning meeting in Moscow. She also evacuated countless children during the Siege of Leningrad.

 2 
Alexandra Kosteniuk
(Chess Player)
Alexandra Kosteniuk
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Birthdate: April 23, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Perm, Russia

Alexandra Kosteniuk earned the grandmaster title at 20, thus becoming the 10th woman to achieve the feat. She has won several contests, such as the Russian and European women’s championship. She has also appeared in a film and promotes chess through streams and as a chess ambassador.

 3 
Nazi Paikidze
(Chess player)
Nazi Paikidze
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Birthdate: October 27, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Irkutsk, Russia

Georgia-born Nazi Paikidze had earned four European Youth Chess Championships by the time she was 16. She is also a six-time World Youth Chess Championship winner. The Woman Grandmaster and International Master later moved to Moscow and then to the US, where she is currently studying information systems.

 4 
Aleksandra Goryachkina
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Birthdate: September 28, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Orsk, Russia

Aleksandra Goryachkina made headlines after losing the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship in a tiebreaker. She was also the first player to make it to the Russian Championship Superfinal’s open section. Ranked no.2 by FIDE, the grandmaster is the daughter of chess player parents. However, she initially preferred table tennis.

 5 
Alla Kushnir
(Chess player)
Alla Kushnir
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Birthdate: August 11, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia SSR, Soviet Union
Died: August 2, 2013

Alla Kushnir was a  celebrated Soviet-born Israel chess player, who began her career in her birth country, becoming a Woman International Master and winning two Women's Chess Olympiads before migrating to Israel. There she continued to excel, eventually becoming Woman Grandmaster. Also three times Women's World Chess Championship Challenger, she later became a professor of archeology at Tel Aviv University.

 6 
Maya Chiburdanidze
(Chess player)
Maya Chiburdanidze
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Birthdate: January 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kutaisi, Soviet Union

International grandmaster Maia Chiburdanidze made headlines after winning the Women’s World Chess Championship at age 17. She is also the second female chess player to be named a grandmaster by FIDE. She has also been featured on postage stamps and documentaries. She prefers competing against male chess players.

 7 
Alina Kashlinskaya
(Chess player)
Alina Kashlinskaya
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Birthdate: October 28, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Russian International Master and Woman Grandmaster Alina Kashlinskaya has had many accomplishments, including the 2019 European Women’s Individual Chess Championship win and the top women’s prize at the Chess.com Isle of Man tournament. She also won the Russian Junior Girls Championship. She is married to Polish chess Grandmaster RadosÅ‚aw Wojtaszek.

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 8 
Valentina Gunina
(Chess player)
Valentina Gunina
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Birthdate: February 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Murmansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Grandmaster Valentina Gunina has won both the Women's European Individual Chess Championship and the Russian Women's Championship thrice. She also won the 2000 European under-12 girls’ championship and was the first winner of the Cairns Cup. Her accolades include the Medal of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland."

 9 
Polina Shuvalova
(Chess player)
Polina Shuvalova
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Birthdate: March 12, 2001
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Orsk, Russia

Woman Grandmaster and International Master Polina Shuvalova has not just won the World Girls Champion thrice but has also earned other major titles such as the Moscow Women’s Chess Champion and the Vice Russian Women Chess Champion. As of 2021, she was the top-ranked under-20 chess player.

 10 
Natalia Pogonina
(Chess player)
Natalia Pogonina
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Birthdate: March 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Three-time European champion, Natalia Pogonina is a Woman Grandmaster. She began learning chess at age 5 from her grandfather. She also pens chess columns and is currently studying to get a law degree. Her accomplishments include being the only player to win the Eurocup and European Team Chess Championship simultaneously.

 11 
Tatiana Kosintseva
(Chess player)
Tatiana Kosintseva
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Birthdate: April 11, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Arkhangelsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Tatiana Kosintseva began learning chess at age 6. Both she and her elder sister Nadya excelled in the game and began competing at tournaments. The grandmaster has also won the European Women's Championship twice and the Russian Women's Championship thrice. She also has a degree in law.

 12 
Alisa Galliamova
(Chess player)
Alisa Galliamova
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Birthdate: January 18, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kazan, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Woman Grandmaster and International Master Alisa Galliamova is not just a three-time Russian national champion but has also been a runner-up at the 1999 and 2006 Women’s World Chess Championships. She was previously married to top Ukrainian chess player and grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk, though they separated in 1996.

 13 
Nadezhda Kosintseva
(Chess player)
Nadezhda Kosintseva
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Birthdate: January 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkhangelsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Russian Grandmaster Nadezhda Kosintseva won her first gold at the European Youth Chess Championship (Girls Under-10). Continuing with her winning spree, she eventually became Woman International Master in 2001, Woman Grandmaster in 2002, International Master in 2004 and finally the Grandmaster in 2011. Currently retired from professional chess, she holds a B.A. degree in Jurisprudence and M.Sc. degree in Finance.

 14 
Elisaveta Bykova
(Chess Player)
Elisaveta Bykova
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Birthdate: November 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bogolyubovo, Russia
Died: March 8, 1989

Woman International Master, International Master, and Woman Grandmaster Elisaveta Bykova was a two-time Women's World Chess Champion and had defeated top-rated chess champion Lyudmila Rudenko. Though educated at the Institute for Economic Planning, she later devoted her life to chess. She had also penned chess-related columns and several books on chess.

 15 
Larissa Volpert
(Chess grandmaster)
Larissa Volpert
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Birthdate: March 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 1, 2017

Apart from being a three-time Soviet women's chess champion, Woman Grandmaster and International Master Larissa Volpert was also a philologist. She was introduced to chess by her older brother. A specialist in Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov’s poetry, too, she taught Russian philology at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

 16 
Olga Rubtsova
(Chess player)
Olga Rubtsova
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Birthdate: August 20, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 30, 1994

Though a qualified engineer, Olga Rubtsova later devoted her life to chess and had been a women’s world champion. She also made history by being the only player to be the world champion in both over-the-board and correspondence games. She also won the titles Woman Grandmaster and International Master.

 17 
Valentina Golubenko
(Chess player)
Valentina Golubenko
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Birthdate: July 29, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Volgograd, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
 18 
Kira Zvorykina
(Chess player)
Kira Zvorykina
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Birthdate: September 29, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ukraine
Died: September 6, 2014

Three-time Women's Soviet Champion Kira Zvorykina had lived in Belarus for quite some time. Born into a family of chess players, she later married grandmaster Alexey Suetin. The Woman International Master and Woman Grandmaster was also named an International Arbiter. She also participated in the 1960 Women's World Championship.

 19 
Elena Tairova
(Chess player)
Elena Tairova
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Birthdate: August 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Died: March 16, 2010

Although Russian chess player, Elena Tairova, lived for only eighteen years she is still remembered for her enormous talent and outstanding records. Debuting in professional chess at the age of eight, she won a gold medal at 2021 European Youth Chess Championships in the Girls U10 category, eventually becoming a Woman Grandmaster at 14 and an International Master at 15.