Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chess Ladies : Anna Ushenina

Anna Ushenina (born August 30, 1985 in Kharkov) is a Ukrainian chess player with the titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).


Born in Kharkov, she still lives there with her family. It was her mother who introduced her to chess at the age of seven, along with painting and music, being determined that the young Ushenina would develop intellectual and creative talents.[1]Her earliest chess results were remarkable; consistently winning events in her age group and beyond, culminating in becoming the Ukrainian Girls' (under 20) champion at just 15 years. Many of her chess skills have been self-taught, although there was some coaching at a specialist facility in Kramatorsk. Even today she often works without a trainer but is, at the same time, critical of the lack of support for chess in the Ukraine. Other countries such as China offer concessions and generous stipends to their top players.

[edit] National success

At the national Ukrainian Women's Championship, her progress and achievements have been noteworthy. In 2003 (Nikolaev) and 2004 (Alushta), she finished in fourth and sixth places respectively, thereafter becoming the champion at Alushta in 2005, and outperforming top seed Tatjana Vasilevich along the way. She almost repeated the success at Odessa in 2006, finishing second, but ahead of the higher rated Natalia Zhukova and Inna Gaponenko.[2]At these combined (men and women) events, she has defeated male grandmasters of the calibre of Anton Korobov and Oleg Romanishin and in the Ukraine was endowed with the title Honored Master of Sports.

[edit] Exceptional team performances

Her many successes in team chess reached an early pinnacle in 2006. At the Turin Women's Olympiad she was a part of the victorious Ukrainian team and remained undefeated throughout the contest. Ushenina and her compatriots Natalia Zhukova (also undefeated), Kateryna Lahno and Inna Gaponenko each scored between 70-80%, in what was a commanding performance, earning them team gold medals and much adulation in chess circles.[3]

For Ushenina, her earliest major medal-winning performance occurred in Balatonlelle, at the European Team Championship for Girls (under 18) in 2002, where she took team gold and individual silver on board 1. On another occasion at the 2007 Women's World Team Chess Championship in Yekaterinburg, she helped Ukraine to a bronze medal finish and added an individual bronze to her tally. She has also played twice at the European Team Championship, in 2005 and 2007. The team finished outside of the medal places each time, but for her personal performance, Ushenina took individual gold at the latter event, held in Heraklion, with 5/7.[4]

A very active league chess player, she regularly plays in the national leagues of France, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

Tournaments and titles

Tournament successes at Kiev in 2001 and Odessa in 2003, earned her the WGM title, awarded in 2003. Her Olympiad performance and subsequent results in Pardubice and Abu Dhabi (both 2006) then qualified her for the IM title, awarded in January 2007.

In the 'A2' section of the prestigious Aeroflot Open in Moscow 2007, she scored 5 points from the first 7 rounds, defeating three male grandmasters for a part performance rating of 2672. At the Women's European Individual Chess Championship, held 2008 in Plovdiv, she took the bronze medal, losing out 1-2 to Viktorija Cmilyte in a tie-break for silver. Playing at the Wijk aan Zee Corus 'C' (mixed) event of 2008, she found the standard very tough and finished towards the bottom of the Group, equal with Peng Zhaoqin on 4½/13. At the 2008 Moscow Open Women's event, run alongside the Aeroflot tournament, she took second place (after Anna Muzychuk, but ahead of Natalia Zhukova and Kateryna Lahno).[5]

In her spare time, she enjoys reading detective novels and listening to classical and pop music.

As of July 2008, Anna Ushenina had an Elo rating of 2476, placing her third behind Kateryna Lahno and Natalia Zhukova in the national listings and number 22 in the world among women.

Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Ushenina

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

She looks pretty! I hope she becomes much stronger and fly higher in her career.