Person of day   -  12 MARCH 2021

POLINA SHUVALOVA

POLINA SHUVALOVA

Polina Shuvalova was born on the 12th March 2001 in Orsk. She began to play chess at a sports school in 2007, under the guidance of Vladimir Antonov. At the age of 9, she became WCM. During later stages, Shuvalova was coached by international master Alexej Hamatgaleev- a native of Orsk who coached Shuvalova via Skype as he lived between Qatar and Australia.

As her successes pushed her onto greater heights, she moved to the capital, where she enrolled in the “Moscow Youth” school, a prestigious institution situated in the grounds of the Tigran Petrosian Club. A fortunate occurrence led to Shuvalova’s introduction to Sergey Zagrebelny, a celebrated Russian grandmaster who helped her make another breakthrough. 

“It is very important for a young chess player to enrol in school, so when Polina was left to her own devices, she received no help despite her impressive abilities. I remember when we met in 2015- Polina came to me at the suggestion of Liudmila Belavenets. We were introduced and began to work, with success following soon after. Of course, Polina began to feel that she was supported by a serious structure and a consistent trainer, which only helped her performances.” (S. Zagrebelny)

Polina Shuvalova has won several youth championships of Russia, Europe and the world. Her sporting interests extend beyond the chess board- she plays football and table-tennis and takes an interest in running.

“It is probably an exception in our times, but I do not read fantastic fiction, it does not arouse any interest in me. Recently I have read a book of Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata, who is now considered a classic of Eastern literature. I enjoyed Marquez’ novels, primarily 100 Years of Solitude. Now I am trying to read at least one book of all the renowned authors and broaden my horizons. When it comes to poetry, I prefer poets from the Silver Age before all others. My Mother believes that the world would be different without music and poetry and I share her belief.” (P. Shuvalova)

The young chess player has read all of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and is well versed in Russian classical literature. 

Polina Shuvalova became the champion of Moscow among women in 2016, having scored 8.5 points out of 9. She is also a prize-winner of the Higher League of the Russian Championship, a regular performer at Russian Superfinals, and the Russian rapid women’s champion in 2018. In her first adult European championship in 2018, she split 2nd-8th places, which qualified her for the knockout stages of the World Women’s Championship. In that same year, Polina made her debut for the Russian national team in the match against China. Today, she is considered one of the most promising sportswomen in the country.

Polina is a student of the Ural State Mining University. At the 2019 Moscow Open, Shuvalova played for the students’ team of her university, scoring 9 points out of 9. In that same year, Polina won two world championships; among girls under 18 years old and juniors under 20 years old.

In 2020, Polina Shuvalova won the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad with the Russian national team and became the national champion with the Moscow city team. The young chess player made a blistering start at the Superfinal of the Russian women’s championship, winning the first six games. However, she dropped her tempo in the second half of the tournament and allowed herself to be caught by Aleksandra Goryachkina. The tie-break was won by the vice world champion, while Polina took the silver medal.