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Meet Grandmaster Natalia Pogonina

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 December 2028

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Natalia Pogonina (born March 9, 1985) is a chess grandmaster and one of the best female chess players in the world. Since 2004 she has been a member of Team Russia and has won three Olympic gold medals playing for her country.

Woman Grandmaster (WGM), three-times European champion (U16, twice U18), bronze prize winner at the World Championship (U18) and European Women's Championship, winner of the gold medal at the 1st International Mind Sports Games, Russian women's champion (2012, 2018) and #1 at multiple prestigious international tournaments (2005 Bykova Memorial, 2007 Rudenko memorial, 2009 Moscow Open, etc.). Ranked as 3rd most successful female chess player in the world in 2009 by the Association of Chess Professionals. In 2011 Natalia became the only chess player in the world to simultaneously win the Eurocup and European Team Chess Championship and in 2013 - the only person to hold the individual and team Russian Champion titles. She was runner-up at Women's World Team Chess Championship-2011 and earned the bronze medal in 2013.

Natalia is the reigning Olympic Women's Chess Champion.
In 2015 Natalia Pogonina became the runner-up of the Women's World Chess Championship.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 May 2019 )

Russian Women's Team Chess Championship 2020

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Sunday, 29 November 2020

L2r: Marina Guseva, Olga Badelka, Pavel Lobach (captain), Baira Kovanova, Olga Girya, Natalia Pogonina

Image courtesy of the official site

The Russian Women's Team Chess Championship took place in Sochi from November 19th to 28th. It was a much welcome event given the hiatus experienced by the chess world lately. For example, Natalia hasn't played any tournaments since January, which is quite a long time.

The defending champion, Ugra, was a strong rating favorite on paper, featuring Natalia Pogonina (#1 seed of the championship), Olga Girya (seeded #2), Olga Badelko (#4) and other strong and experienced players. Nevertheless, the Moscow Chess Federation team managed to clinch a critical victory against their main rivals in the fourth round (2.5-1.5) and cruised to victory.

The final standings were as follows:
1. Moscow Chess Federation - 16 team points out of 18
2. Ugra - 15
3. Cimmeria - 12
(13 teams in total)

Natalia performed more or less according to her rating, scoring 5.5 points out of 8 (4 wins, 1 loss, 3 draws).

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 November 2020 )

Gibraltar Masters 2020

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Wednesday, 05 February 2020

From January 21st to 30th Natalia played in Gibraltar Masters, arguably the strongest regular chess open tournament in the world. This year's edition featured such top players as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wang Hao, Veselin Topalov, David Navara, Le Quang Liem, Kirill Alekseenko and many other notable players. In the end the tournament was won by one of the relatively underdogs, 21-year old David Paravyan, who tied with six other players for first with 7.5/10 and ended up winning the playoffs.

Gibraltar Masters is also widely known for having exclusive generous prizes for the female players. Unsurprisingly, the tournament regularly attracts some of the biggest names on the women's chess circuit. This year the female top seeds were Anna Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Lei Tingjie, Tan Zhongyi, Natalia Pogonina, Olga Girya, Zhansaya Adbumalik, Pia Cramling and Antoaneta Stefanova.

Natalia scored 5.5 points out of 10. On the bright side, she lost only one game and held such heavyweights as Vassily Ivanchuk and Krishnan Sasikiran to a draw playing Black. On the dark side, she lost 4 rating points and received a rather modest prize for her efforts. Tan Zhongyi won the first women's prize, scoring 7 points. Lei Tingjie came in clear second with 6.5 points.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 July 2020 )

Russian Superfinal 2019

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Friday, 23 August 2019

The winner and the medalists of the Women's Russian Superfinal-2019
Photo by Dmitry Kryakvin

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In 2019 the first two rounds were held in Votkinsk, while the remaining nine rounds were held in Izhevsk. The women's event was a round robin featuring many notable players, such as ex-Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk, the current Challenger Alexandra Goryachkina, the reigning Women's European Champion Alina Kashlinskaya, three-time Women's European Champion Valentina Gunina, et al.

Just like last year, Alexandra Goryachkina won the bronze medal. Also, repeating the scenario of 2018, Natalia Pogonina and Olga Girya tied for 1st place - this time with an amazing 8/11 points. However, this time Olga prevailed in the play-offs (1-1 in rapid, win as White in Armageddon) and secured her first Women's Russian Champion title.

Natalia shared the 1st place for the third year in a row, ending up with one gold and two silver medals. With an impressive 2608 performance, she earned 21.6 rating points - the biggest rating gain at the Superfinal in her career so far.

Full standings:

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 October 2019 )

Natalia Wins Motiva Rapid Cup

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Left to right: tournament organizer, Maria Fominykh (best U2200 performance), Daria Charochkina (#2), Anastasia Bodnaruk (#4), Natalia Pogonina (#1), Antoaneta Stefanova (#5), Monika Socko (#3), Evgenija Ovod (best player from St. Petersburg), Sarasadat Khadelmalsharieh (audience prize)
The 3rd edition of the Motiva Rapid Chess Cup took place in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 15-16. The main event was a Swiss rapid tournament featuring 32 female titled players representing 9 different federations, including 4 GMs, 10 WGMs and 6 IMs.
Natalia was seeded 1st by rating and cruised through the event rather comfortably on Day 1 by scoring 4.5/5. On Day 2 she earned 2.5 points out of 4 and finished in clear 1st place with 7/9.
Final standings

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 September 2019 )

Ugra Scores a Hat Trick

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Saturday, 11 May 2019

L2r: Marina Guseva, Baira Kovanova, Natalia Pogonina, Pave Lobach (captain), Anna Ushenina, Olga Girya
Image courtesy of the official site

The Russian Team Chess Championship took place in Sochi from April 30 to May 11. Thirteen teams competed in the women's section. As a result of a tough race between Ugra (2nd seed) and the team from St. Petersburg (3rd seed) Ugra managed to come out on top and to win the event for the 3rd year in a row.

Final standings:

1. Ugra - 16/18, 27.5 match points: Ushenina (2442), Pogonina (2453), Girya (2449), Guseva (2402), Kovanova (2349)
2. SHOR St. Petersburg - 16, 26: Bodnaruk (2431), Ovod (2362), Belenkaya (2315), Styazhkina (2272), Balaian (2250)
3. SHSM Legacy Square Moscow - 13: Kosteniuk (2546), Shuvalova (2439), Kovalevskaya (2413), Bivol (2393), Voit (2340)

The best players on their respective boards were:

Board 1 - Olga Badelka (2383) - 6 points out of 9 games
Board 2 - Natalia Pogonina (2453) - 6.5/8
Board 3 - Olga Girya (2449) - 7/8
Board 4 - Anna Styazhkina (2272) - 6.5/7
Board 5 - Daria Voit (2340) - 5.5/7

Full results
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 June 2019 )

Women's World Chess Championship 2018

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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Photo from the official website

Women's World Chess Championship 2018 is taking place in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia. 64 participants have entered the knock-out event in order to fight for the chess crown, 4 spots in the upcoming Candidates tournament and the $450,000 prize fund.

In round 1 Natalia defeated Indian WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (2256) 1.5-0.5.

Round 2 turned out to be more challenging for WGM Pogonina. She traded blows with Chinese chess prodigy WIM Zhu Jiner (2379) in classical chess and won both rapid games.

Round 3 became a true nailbiter. Natalia faced GM Kateryna Lagno (2556) - a formidable opponent given her rating and an exceptional personal score vs Pogonina. All the classical time control, 25m and 10m rapid games were drawn. In blitz Natalia won the first game and lost the second one. The first Armageddon game of the event followed, where Lagno had White and 5m against Natalia's Black and 4m with draw odds for Black. After a tough struggle White managed to come out on top.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 June 2019 )

Russian Superfinal 2018

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Saturday, 08 September 2018

Dmitry Andrekin and Natalia Pogonina won the Russian Chess Superfinals in 2012 and 2018
Photo by Eteri Kublashvili

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This year the Russian Chess Superfinal took place in Satka 25th August to 6th September. While the men's championship lacked a few key players (Kramnik, Grischuk, Karjakin, Svidler), the women's championship featured pretty much all the leading female players except for Kateryna Lagno.

After a hard-fought event Natalia Pogonina and Olga Girya shared first with 7.5 out of 11. Natalia prevailed in the playoffs by winning the first game and drawing the second one, thus becoming the Russian women's chess champion yet again. For this achievement she was awarded a monetary prize & a brand new Renault Kaptur car.

Full standings:

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Last Updated ( Monday, 10 September 2018 )

Puzzle of the Day Widget

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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 23 December 2017

By WGM Natalia Pogonina, Russia
FIDE rating: 2501

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I've been receiving a lot messages from people who like to solve chess puzzles, especially interactive ones. Previously we used to post static diagrams from time to time, but they probably were old-fashioned and not user-friendly enough.

Also, there have been many requests to provide more information about my own games.

As a result, I am glad to share with you the new widget. On the board, using your mouse, you can solve the "puzzle of the day" or a random puzzle. Please note that you are not obliged to stop solving the puzzle after the widget displays the "Puzzle solved" sign. If you are interested in the final position or not sure what the evaluations is, you can always play the game out against an inbuilt chess engine. Similarly, if you make a "wrong" move, the widget will tell you that, but you can always insist on your choice if you like and see how the match would unfold. These features make the widget highly interactive and fun: you are encouraged to act in a creative way and improve your chess by practising to take important decisions in exciting tactical positions! Finally, don't forget about using the "hint" button if you get stuck.

As of now all the puzzles are based on positions from my own games. Please let me know in the comments to this post what you think about the widget and whether you would like to see examples from the games of other chess players.

Every day a new problem will be added to the collection. Have a great time solving the puzzles!

P.S. If you have your own site, please feel free to embed the widget, thus making it easier for yourself and your audience to access the puzzles. Don't hesitate to contact us if you experience any technical problems or need special tuning.

Large version (345x450 - you can change the numbers to 215 and 310 accordingly and remove ?w=45 from the code posted below if you prefer the small version):

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Last Updated ( Friday, 17 July 2020 )

Russian Superfinal 2017

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 18 December 2017

L2r: Natalia Pogonina, Alexandra Goryachkina, Alina Kashlinskaya
Image courtesy of the official site

The Women's Russian Chess Superfinal took place from December 3 to 14 in St. Petersburg. The prize fund of the tournament was roughly $150k. The winner also received a Renault Kaptur car for her efforts.

Natalia Pogonina shared 1st-2nd places with Alexandra Goryachkina after the classical portion and went on to lose the dramatic rapid tie-break and to end up winning the silver medal. Notably, last year she also became the runner-up of the event.

Final standings:

1. Alexandra Goryachkina (2486) - 7/11
2. Natalia Pogonina (2469) - 7
3. Alina Kashlinskaya (2452) - 6.5
4. Olga Girya (2484) - 6.5
5-6. Anastasia Bodnaruk (2428), Valentina Gunina (2510) - 6
7-9. Polina Shuvalova (2385), Marina Nechaeva (2424), Oksana Gritsayeva (2373) - 5
10. Evgenia Ovod (2364) - 4.5
11. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (2405) - 4
12. Alisa Galliamova (2443) - 3.5

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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 December 2017 )
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