Alexandra Kosteniuk Becomes Outstanding Chess Player of 2021
Several Russian representatives were honoured with the FIDE awards.
The International Chess Federation announced the winners of the Year of the Woman in Chess Awards honouring outstanding women and those supporting women in chess. The ceremony took place on the evening of August 5 in Chennai, India, as part of the 44th Chess Olympiad, and was broadcast live on FIDE's YouTube channel.
In the months before the ceremony, national chess federations were encouraged to submit their nominations in more than a dozen award categories that covered nearly all aspects of chess life. Apart from the overall winner in each category, the awards were also presented to continental winners.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich welcomed guests of the ceremony and praised the awardees. The awards have been provided by Dr Alwahshi Abdullah Salem of the Saudi Arabian Chess Federation, which fielded a women's team at the Olympiad for the first time.
Some of the recipients of the Awards, like Anastasiya Karlovich, the overall winner of Outstanding photographer, came to Chennai for the occasion. Others, like Sonja Johnson (Outstanding chess administrator) or Anastasia Sorokina (Outstanding chess arbiter), were already at the Chess Olympiad performing other duties. Some winners, like Alexandra Kosteniuk (Outstanding chess player of 2021), could not be present but recorded a touching speech.
In 2021, the 12th world women's chess champion Alexandra Kosteniuk won the FIDE Women's World Cup and the World Women's Rapid Championship. She also as became the silver medallist of the FIDE World Women's Blitz Championship.
Another representative of Russia Svetlana Gerasimova, 1st Vice-President of the International Physically Disabled Chess Association and Head coach of the Russian chess and checkers national team for people with physical disabilities, was awarded for the outstanding fighting spirit.
The Head of the general department of the Chess Federation of Russia Yana Sidorchuk was given a reward as the best organiser in Europe and the CFR Press Officer Eteri Kublashvili as the best photographer in Europe.