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Strongest chess couples: "5000+ Club"

User Rating: / 20
Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

If only they were married: GM Kasparov G (2851) GM Polgar J (2735) = 5586

Natalia and I decided to compile a list of the strongest chess couples in the world who could become members of the honorary "5000+ Club".

The requirements for becoming a member are the following:

1)     Two chess players should be officially married (no girlfriend & boyfriend stuff)

2)     The sum of their peak FIDE ratings should be 5000 (!) or more

So, as of this day, we have the following list of of "5000+ Club" members:

Comments (12)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 July 2009 )

Smells like team spirit

User Rating: / 0
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Sunday, 07 June 2009

Many people don't consider chess to be a team sport. And this opinion has its reasons. Chess is a game between two people. There are no assistants, only you and your opponent. So a team match can also be viewed as a few separate confrontations. What is so special about team play then? Each for him/herself, so will the individualists say. 

But there is also a different point of view, which is supported by many people, including me. Chess has its own team play specifics. My opinion is based on other people's experience, as well as on my own. I have been playing in team events since I was a kid (and participated in the famous "White Rook" tournaments). Nowadays I play for the Russian chess team and various clubs. So I would like to tell you a bit about my take on team play and team spirit.

Comments (1)

Last Updated ( Monday, 08 June 2009 )

Natalia and Peter - a new chess couple

User Rating: / 4
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Friday, 05 June 2009

June, 5 was a wonderful day - I and Peter got married.
You can find some photos of our happy couple in the Gallery.

We love you guys!

With warm regards,
Natalia and Peter

P.S. will soon be transferred to Just kidding, I didn't change my last name!

Comments (13)

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 June 2009 )

64 Chess Review features Natalia Pogonina on cover

User Rating: / 2
Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009

64 Chess Review, one of the most respectable and popular chess magazines in the world (yes, Chess Oscar is their project, remember?), features winners of the Women European Chess Championship-2009 on its May edition's cover.

From left to right: Lilit Mkrtchian, Tatiana Kosintseva, Natalia Pogonina.

We aren't persuading you to buy this magazine, but if you want more information on Natalia's performance in the tournament, then you had better read it!

Comments (4)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 June 2009 )

Natalia Pogonina - My favorite chess books

User Rating: / 69
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Monday, 01 June 2009


When I was a kid, PCs werent that widespread yet, so books were our #1 choice when it came to chess studies. Of course, innovative technologies speed up the process of learning chess, but the old methods shouldnt be totally neglected too. Thats why some of the books that I liked during my childhood are admired by me now not less than contemporary chess software.

The saying a man is what he eats can be applied to chess literature too swallow a second-rate scribble written for the sake of earning easy money, and you may not only waste a lot of time, but form wrong perceptions of the game, its principles and players. On the contrary, some writers put soul into their books and try to do their best to help the readers increase their chess level and (importantly) gain pleasure during the process.

Thanks to the Internet and my home library, I have access to a few hundred chess volumes. Based on the popularity of such discussion topics as what chess book should I read? or is this one any good?, I decided to present to  you a short list of my favorite chess books. Here it goes:

Comments (12)

Last Updated ( Monday, 01 June 2009 )

Play like Pogonina: Bronnikova (2297) - Pogonina (2501)

User Rating: / 1
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Friday, 29 May 2009
As a "casual Friday" gift let me present to you a tactical shot from one of the games I played at the Russian Women Team Championship this year. Please try to solve this little problem without using any chess engines or viewers.

Black to move and win

Comments (4)

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 May 2009 )

Natalia Pogonina's "Create a caption" contest

User Rating: / 0
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Natalia has just thrown one of her fans off the bridge for not solving a chess problem.
Who's next?


Lately we've been adding lots of my pics (see the new albums as well as the new photos in the old albums at the Gallery) - hope you'll like them. Contributors - your pics would be very much appreciated, just send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The photo above features me in a park at her home city Saratov. The trivia will have two questions:
1) Create a caption for the pic
2) Guess when the photo was taken (at least the year)

The winner's response will become the actual caption of the photo in 3 days from the post's "published on" time.

Good luck!

And the winner is Gennady with his caption "Natalia has just thrown one of her fans off the bridge for not solving a chess problem. Who's next?". Unforunately, nobody guessed the correct date right, it was August, 18, 2006.

Thanks to everyone for participating!

Comments (11)

Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 May 2009 )

Natalia Pogonina: "Unique trainings in sexchess..."

User Rating: / 14
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Sunday, 24 May 2009
A smile before the game is worth 100 performance points

Recently I gave a pretty exciting and informative interview for, hope you'll like it:

Comments (10)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 May 2009 )

Play like Pogonina: Pogonina (2467) - Romanko M (2451)

User Rating: / 0
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Friday, 22 May 2009

Today we are going to look at a position from the last round of Moscow Open-2009 where I had the white pieces against Marina Romanko and needed at least a draw to win the tournament (see my interview for more details). My opponent decided to put up a fight, so we arrived at the following position (see diagram).

Do you see how to win with White? This problem is easier than the previous one, but still nice and memorable to me. Press "More" to see the solution.

Comments (5)

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 May 2009 )

The Controversial Computer

User Rating: / 0
Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Thursday, 21 May 2009

Recently we have asked you to submit your ideas and questions (my e-mail is still so that I could share my opinion and personal experience with you. The #1 responder was Phiseiskii Stanislav who asked me to write a bit about playing advanced chess and my home computer preparation. Heres the story:

Comments (10)

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 May 2009 )
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