Alexandra Kosteniuk

Alexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk (Russian: Алекса́ндра Константи́новна Костеню́к; born 23 April 1984) is a Russian chess grandmaster and Women's World Chess Champion from 2008 to 2010. She was European women's champion in 2004 and a two time Russian Women's Chess Champion (in 2005 and 2016). Kosteniuk won the team gold medal playing for Russia at the Women's Chess Olympiads of 2010, 2012 and 2014, the Women's World Team Chess Championship of 2017,[1] and the Women's European Team Chess Championships of 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017.

Alexandra Kosteniuk
Aleksandra Kosteniuk 2013.jpg
Kosteniuk at the Women's European Team Championship, Warsaw 2013
Full nameAlexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk
Born (1984-04-23) 23 April 1984 (age 37)
Perm, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (2004)
Women's World Champion2008–10
FIDE rating2518 (October 2021)
Peak rating2561 (January 2018)

Chess careerEdit

Kosteniuk learned to play chess at the age of five after being taught by her father. She graduated in 2003 from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education in Moscow as a certified professional chess trainer.[2]


Alexandra won the girls under 10 division of the European Youth Chess Championship.


Alexandra won the girls under 12 title at both the European Youth Championships and World Youth Chess Championships. At twelve years old she also became the Russian women's champion in rapid chess.[3]


Kosteniuk at the 35th Chess Olympiad, Bled 2002

In 2001, at the age of 17, she reached the final of the World Women's Chess Championship and was defeated by Zhu Chen.


Kosteniuk became European women's champion by winning the tournament in Dresden, Germany.[4] Thanks to this achievement, in November 2004, she was awarded the grandmaster title, becoming the tenth woman to receive the highest title of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Before that, she had also obtained the titles of Woman Grandmaster in 1998 and International Master in 2000.[5]


Kosteniuk won the Russian Women's Championship.[6]


In August, she became the first Chess960 women's world champion after beating Germany's top female player Elisabeth Pähtz by 5½–2½. She defended that title successfully in 2008 by beating Kateryna Lahno 2½–1½.[7] However, her greatest success so far has been to win the Women's World Chess Championship 2008, beating in the final the young Chinese prodigy Hou Yifan, with a score of 2½–1½.[8][9] Later in the same year, she won the women's individual blitz event of the 2008 World Mind Sports Games in Beijing.[10]


In the Women's World Chess Championship 2010 she was eliminated in the third round by the eventual runner-up, Ruan Lufei, and thus lost her title.


In 2013, Kosteniuk became the first woman to win the men’s Swiss Chess Championship.[11] She also won the Swiss champion title.


In 2014, she tied for first place with Kateryna Lagno in the Women's World Rapid Championship, which was held in Khanty-Mansiysk, and took the silver medal on tiebreak, as Lagno won the direct encounter.[12]


In 2015 Kosteniuk won the European–ACP Women's Rapid Championship in Kutaisi.[13] In July of the same year, she lost the Swiss championship playoff to Vadim Milov, and was declared women's Swiss champion.[14]


Kosteniuk again won the Russian Women's Championship.[6]


In 2017 she won the European ACP Women's Blitz Championship in Monte Carlo.[15]


In late May, Alexandra faced Ukrainian-American International Master Anna Zatonskih in the quarterfinal match of the 2019 Women's Speed Chess Championship, an online blitz and bullet competition hosted by[16] Kosteniuk dominated the match and won with an overall score of 20–8.[17] In late November, Kosteniuk won the European Women's rapid and blitz championships in Monaco.[18][19] In December, she shared first place in the second leg of FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019–20 in Monaco.[20] In December she also achieved 2nd place in the Belt and Road World Chess Woman Summit, behind Hou Yifan.[21]


In August 2020, Alexandra was part of the Russian team which shared the gold medal with India in the Online Chess Olympiad.[22] She was unhappy with this result and has also tweeted regarding this issue, drawing criticism from many chess followers.[23]


In July and August 2021, Kosteniuk participated in the inaugural Women's Chess World Cup, a 103-player knockout tournament in Sochi, Russia, held in parallel with the open Chess World Cup. Seeded 14th in the tournament, she won all of her classical matches without ever needing to play a tiebreak, defeating Deysi Cori, Pia Cramling, Mariya Muzychuk, Valentina Gunina and Tan Zhongyi, before winning the tournament with a 1.5 - 0.5 score against top seed Aleksandra Goryachkina in the finals. In addition to $50,000 in prize money, she also gained 43 rating points and a place in the Women's Candidates Tournament 2022.[24]

Other activitiesEdit

Kosteniuk worked as a model and also acted in the film Bless the Woman by Stanislav Govorukhin.[4][25]

Kosteniuk is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[26][27]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Perm, Kosteniuk moved to Moscow in 1985.[4] She has a younger sister named Oksana, who is a Woman FIDE Master level chess player.

Kosteniuk has dual Swiss-Russian citizenship.[11] She married Swiss-born Diego Garces, who is of Colombian descent,[28] at eighteen years old. On 22 April 2007 she gave birth to a daughter, Francesca Maria. Francesca was born 2½ months premature, but after an 8-week stay in the hospital made a full recovery.[29] In 2015, Kosteniuk married Russian Grandmaster Pavel Tregubov.[30]

Notable gamesEdit

Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2007


  • Kosteniuk, Alexandra (2001). How I became a grandmaster at age 14. Moscow. ISBN 5829300435.
  • Как стать гроссмейстером в 14 лет. Moscow, 2001. 202, [2] с., [16] л. ил. ISBN 5-89069-053-1.
  • Как научить шахматам : дошкольный шахматный учебник / Александра Костенюк, Наталия Костенюк. Moscow : Russian Chess House, 2008. 142 с ISBN 978-5-94693-085-7.
  • Kosteniuk, Alexandra (2009). Diary of a Chess Queen. Mongoose Press. ISBN 978-0-9791482-7-9.


  1. ^ McGourty, Colin (2017-06-28). "Flawless China retain World Team Championship". Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  2. ^ Golchian, Mohammad (April 9, 2015). "Alexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk". Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Alexandra Kosteniuk: "The victory was so close!"". FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2014. FIDE. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "The 2004 European Women's Chess Champion". ChessBase. 2004-04-04. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  5. ^ Alexandra Kosteniuk rating card at FIDE
  6. ^ a b Silver, Albert (2016-11-01). "Riazantsev and Kosteniuk are 2016 Russian champions". Chess News. ChessBase. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  7. ^ "Mainz 2008: Kosteniuk wins Chess960, Rybka and Shredder qualify". Chess News. Aug 1, 2008. Retrieved Oct 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Alexandra Kosteniuk is Women's World Champion ChessBase
  9. ^ The crowning of Kosteniuk as a World Champion Chessdom
  10. ^ "Kosteniuk wins WMSG blitz title". Chessdom.
  11. ^ a b " - Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog". Archived from the original on 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  12. ^ "Title: Kateryna Lagno crowned Women's World Rapid Champion". FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2014. FIDE. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Alexandra Kosteniuk wins European-ACP Women's Rapid Championship". Chessdom. 2015-06-04. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Abschluss der SEM in Leukerbad: Erster Titel für GM Vadim Milov" (in German). Swiss Chess Federation. 2015-07-17. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Anna Muzychuk & Alexandra Kosteniuk won the European ACP Women's Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship". FIDE. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  16. ^ "Nakamura Defeats So To Repeat As Speed Chess Champion". Retrieved Oct 2, 2020.
  17. ^ Doggers, Peter (27 May 2019). "Women's Speed Chess: Kosteniuk Too Strong For Zatonskih".
  18. ^ "Chess-Results Server - European Women Individual Blitz Chess Championship 2019". Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  19. ^ "Chess-Results Server - European Women Individual Rapid Chess Championship 2019". Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  20. ^ "Alexandra Kosteniuk wins the Monaco Women's Grand Prix". Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  21. ^ "The Week in Chess 1311". Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  22. ^ "India, Russia announced joint winners of Chess Olympiad after controversial finish". Aug 31, 2020. Retrieved Oct 2, 2020.
  23. ^ Kosteniuk, Alexandra [@chessqueen] (2020-08-30). "Let's clarify one thing: India didn't win the Olympiad, but was rather named by FIDE a co-champion. imho, there is a huge difference between actually "winning" the gold or just being awarded one without winning a single game in the final #onlineolympiad" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2021-08-10 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ [@chess24com] (2021-08-02). "Congratulations to Alexandra Kosteniuk (@chessqueen) on winning the 2021 Women's #FIDEWorldCup, earning $50k (40k after FIDE's cut) and picking up an amazing 43 rating points in the process! #c24live" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2021-08-07. Retrieved 2021-08-10 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Alexandra Kosteniuk at IMDb
  26. ^ "The Chess Queen Becomes Champion for Peace". 2010-03-03. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  27. ^ Champions for peace Archived 2015-11-19 at the Wayback Machine Peace and Sport
  28. ^ "Various photos of Frascati". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved Oct 2, 2020.
  29. ^ "Francesca Maria Kosteniuk enters the world". ChessBase. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Alexandra Kosteniuk Marries Pavel Tregubov". 2015-08-08. Retrieved 10 October 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Women's World Chess Champion
Succeeded by