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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Radosław Wojtaszek.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.