Person of day - 23 APRIL 2023
Alexandra was born in Perm, where her father served in the armed forces, but she moved to Moscow in 1985 with her parents. The future world champion was a true wunderkind. She learned to play chess when she was five and, under her father’s guidance, she won multiple juniors’ tournaments- she was European and world champion and she became a female grandmaster at 14. Later, in 2004, Alexandra fulfilled the criteria for a male grandmaster and became the tenth woman in history to attain this title.
Alexandra’s first moment of real success in adult chess came in 2001, when the 17-year-old girl came one step short of becoming world champion. After this, she won Russian and European champion alongside international team competitions such as the 2010 and 2012 Olympiads. In 2008, she fulfilled her childhood dream and won the world championship, which took place in Nalchik according to a knockout system. Under the guidance of her coach Yuri Razuvaev, she demonstrated an amazingly focused and mature style that defeated opponents in the main time and made her the 12thfemale world champion and the first champion in modern Russian history.
Alexandra is not only a strong grandmaster, but also a talented promoter of chess. She has written several books and multiple articles, she regularly gives lectures and organises children’s tournaments (like the Alexandra Kosteniuk Cup), she meets with chess fans and she partakes in TV projects. Alexandra leads a rich life on social media through her Twitter feed and her blog. Aside from chess, she has multiple other interests: she is an active sportswoman, she writes poetry and she even appeared in Stanislav Govorukhin’s film, Bless the Woman.
Alexandra Kosteniuk has won three chess Olympiads, in 2010, 2012 and 2014, the world championship in 2017 and five European team championships in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017 with the Russian team. She won two world championships in Chess960, in 2006 and 2008. At the European team championship in Warsaw in 2013, she was the best performer in the competition, winning 8,5 points out of 9 on the second board.
During the last few years, Alexandra has consistently demonstrated impressive results in competitions of the highest level- she is firmly in the top 10 female players of the world. In 2016, she won the Russian championship superfinal in Novosibirsk. In the online world blitz championship in 2015, Kosteniuk won a bronze medal and a gold medal in Basque chess at the World Mind Games in Beijing. Alexandra continued her successful streak and won the Russian rapid championship and qualified for the semi-final of the knockout world championship in 2017.
At the 2018 Women's World Championship, Alexandra eliminated the main favourite Anna Muzychuk, but lost to the winner Ju Wenjun in the semi-final. In 2019, Kosteniuk took the second place at Cairns Cup in Saint Louis.
Since March 23, Alexandra Kosteniuk represents Switzerland.