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Meet Grandmaster Natalia Pogonina

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 25 December 2014
Train your brain by solving chess puzzles

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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 is the reigning Olympic Women's Chess Champion.

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, co-winner of the 2008 Student World Championship and Russian Superfinal-2010, 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's FIDE rating is over 2500 a mark associated with the GM title.

Natalia is the reigning Olympic Chess Champion (gold medals for both team and individual performances).

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Last Updated ( Friday, 09 May 2014 )

Puzzle of the Day Widget

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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 ( Wednesday, 28 May 2014 )

Interview with Chess Champion Natalia Pogonina

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Natalia Pogonina

Natalia Pogonina:

Natalia Pogonina has recently been interviewed by the blog StartUpTown:

How did you enjoy the Chess Olympiad and why didnt you play every round?

Hi! I have enjoyed Tromso a lot, from the friendly people to beautiful sceneries and the chess fever which is now taking place in Norway. Observing chess being broadcast on national TV every day for hours, plenty of chess merchandize in the shops and chess boards being offered at any bar was definitely pleasant for me. However, the organization of the Chess Olympiad itself left a lot to be desired. I dont want to go into details, but it is enough to point out that two chess players/participants died during the Olympiad2014. This is very sad.

I guess you were referring to a particular day when I didnt play, right? Its up to the captains to decide which line-up to choose for a particular match. This time I participated in 7 out of 11 rounds, although I would have certainly liked to play more and was always eager to compete.

Obviously, it was amazing to win the Chess Olympiad for the third time in a row. We have a fantastic team, and I am happy that we managed to perform so well.

Natalia in Tromso

At the Chess Olympiad in Tromso. Norway has become a chess country thanks to World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsens achievements

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 August 2014 )

Vladimir Putin Congratulates Russian Women's Chess Team

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Vladimir Putin greeting Boris Gelfand and Viswanathan Anand, the participants of the 2012 World Chess Championship Match in Moscow

According to Itar-Tass:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the Russian women team with the victory at the 2014 FIDE Chess Olympiad in Norways Tromso, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

The president has sent a congratulatory telegram to members and coaches of the Russian womens chess team, which won the gold of the Chess Olympiad in Norway, Peskov said.

Notably, Dmitry Peskov is the Head of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Chess Federation. Other members are elite politicians, businessmen, artists, media moguls, et al.


President of the Russian Federation. Notice by telegraph. Moscow, Gogol Boulevard, 14/1, Russian Chess Federation.

To Russian women's chess team: O.A. Girya, V.E. Gunina, A.K.Kosteniuk, E.A.Lagno, N.A.Pogonina

Dear Olga Alexandrovna, Valentina Evgenyevna, Alexandra Konstantinovna, Ekaterina Alexandrovna, Natalia Andreevna!

I heartily congratulate you on your triumph at the international Chess Olympiad in Tromso.

I am happy that our national team won the most prestigious cup in the chess community for the third time in a row, thus upholding the victorious traditions of our chess school. This remarkable achievement is a well-deserved reward for your mastery,  self-control and a truly fighting spirit. I wish you further successes and all the best!

V. Putin

5:41 p.m., August 16, 2014

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 August 2014 )

Chess Review - Final Report from the Chess Olympiad

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 18 August 2014

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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 August 2014 )

Press Conference in Moscow

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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 August 2014

Kateryna Lagno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina, Sergei Rublevsky (coach), Natalia Pogonina, Olga Girya, Andrei Filatov (RCF President)

Upon arriving to Moscow from Tromso, the women's Olympic chess champions were invited to participate in a large press conference attended by most of the leading Russian TV channels. Below you can find some of the reports.

Channel One
Russia 1 (starts at 45:15)
Russia 24
NTV Plus

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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 August 2014 ) Natalia Pogonina is the Prettiest Female Chess Player in the World

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Sunday, 17 August 2014 selected Natalia Pogonina for the "girl of the day" category once again. The tweet says: "The most beautiful female chess player in the world is called Natalia Pogonina. Check out a large gallery of her images at our site".

The Russian women's chess team has also been recently featured in this nomination.

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 August 2014 )

GM Kateryna Lagno to represent Russia

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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 12 July 2014

The reigning Women's World Rapid Chess Champion and #7 on the FIDE women's rating list GM Kateryna Lagno is eligible to represent Russia from July 12, 2014 according to the FIDE site.

Consequently, she is highly likely to play on one of the top boards for Russia in the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Tromso. China will probably be the rating favorite in the women's section, although the reigning Olympic Women's Champion (Russia) and World Women's Team Champion (Ukraine) are also the top candidates to win gold. Ukraine has recently regained Anna Muzychuk (who previously played for Slovenia) only to lose another top player to its direct competitor.

Needless to say, the Ukrainian Chess Federation has objected against this transfer and has recently issued an open letter to FIDE, stating their official position regarding the situation. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that they will be able to prevent Kateryna from representing the Russian Chess Federation in the nearest future. The Chess Olympiad starts in 20 days.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 July 2014 )

David vs. Goliath: Upsets of the Week

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014
By candidate master Peter Zhdanov, Editor of

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In this special weekly column we will be looking at the most unexpected upsets that happened last week. Players usually face opponents of a similar level. Considerably less frequent are situations when a significantly lower-rated player succeeds in beating a much stronger adversary.

Over 30 chess sensations have happened last week. Take a look:

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 July 2014 )

European Women's Chess Championship-2014

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Venue: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Dates: July 5-18
Format: Swiss, 11 rounds
Time control: 90m/40 moves + 30m until the end of the game with a 30s increment per move, starting from move one.
Participants: 118

Top-10 players:

Nana Dzagnidze, 2541, Georgia
Mariya Muzychuk, 2521, Ukraine
Natalia Pogonina, 2508, Russia
Valentina Gunina, 2501, Russia
Olga Girya, 2493, Russia
Hoang Thanh Trang, 2490, Hungary - reigning champion
Antoaneta Stefanova, 2488, Bulgaria
Tatiana Kosintseva, 2476, Russia
Lela Javakhishvili, 2474, Georgia
Monika Socko, 2462, Poland

View the full list of participants

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 July 2014 )
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