Home ACHIEVERS Alexandra Kosteniuk- The champion who won the world crown in three formats...

Alexandra Kosteniuk- The champion who won the world crown in three formats of Chess

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In our series World Champion Born On This Date, today we will see the life story of a champion who has won the World Championship crown in Classical, Rapid Blitz as well as Chess960 formats. She is Alexandra Kosteniuk- a Chess player who is also a model and social activist. 

Alexandra Kosteniuk was born on 23rd April 1984 at Perm in Russia but moved to Moscow in 1985 and started learning Chess from her father since she was five years old. Her first success at the World level was winning the World U-12 Girls Championship in 1996. The same year, she won the Russian Women’s Rapid Championship.

In 2001, at the age of 17, Kosteniuk reached the final of the Women’s World Chess Championship which was won by Zhu Chen of China. In 2003, she graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education in Moscow as a certified Professional Chess Trainer.

Alexandra Kosteniuk became European Women’s Champion by winning the tournament in Dresden, Germany in 2004, with a performance rating above 2600, thereby becoming the 10th woman to receive the highest title of International Grandmaster.

In August 2006, Kosteniuk became the first Chess960 Women’s World Champion after beating Germany’s top female player Elizabeth Pahtz by 5½–2½. She defended that title successfully in 2008 by beating Kateryna Lahno 2½–1½.

Alexandra Kosteniuk’s greatest success has been her stunning victory in Women’s World Chess Championship 2008, wherein she defeated the young Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan with a score of 2½–1½.  The same year, she also won the women’s individual Blitz event of the 2008 World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. 

Kosteniuk lost her World Women Championship crown when she was eliminated in the third round of the Knockout World Women’s Championship 2010.

In July and August 2021, Kosteniuk participated in the inaugural Women’s Chess World Cup, a 103-player knockout tournament in Sochi, Russia, held in parallel with the open Chess World Cup. Seeded 14th in the tournament, she won all of her classical matches without ever needing to play a tiebreak and emerged the Champion. Kosteniuk ended the year by winning the Women’s World Rapid Championship in Warsaw, with score of 9.0 points from 11 games. 

Alexandra has dual Swiss-Russian citizenship. She married Swiss-born businessman Diego Garces at eighteen years old. After her divorce, Kosteniuk married Russian Grandmaster Pavel Treguboy in the year 2015.

Alexandra Kosteniuk worked as a model and also acted in the film Bless the Woman by Stanislav Govorukhin. 

Presently, Kosteniuk is a member of the Champions for Peace club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization. 

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Praveen Thipsay is one of the earliest Grandmasters and the first Indian to win the Commonwealth Chess Champion. He is a FIDE Senior Trainer who has been a coach to many promising Indian Chess players.

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