Mariya Muzychuk

Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk (Ukrainian: Марі́я Оле́гівна Музичу́к; born 21 September 1992) is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster and Women's World Chess Champion from April 2015 to March 2016. She is also a twice women's champion of Ukraine (2012, 2013), World Team and European Team champion with Ukraine in 2013 and bronze medal winner of the 2012 and 2014 Chess Olympiad with Ukraine.[1]

Mariya Muzychuk
Muzychuk-Mariya-chess-women-Lviv-2016-03-07 5736bsa HBR LUFA.jpg
Mariya Muzychuk in Leopolis Hotel, Lviv, 2016
Full nameMariya Olehivna Muzychuk
Born (1992-09-21) 21 September 1992 (age 28)
Lviv, Ukraine
TitleGrandmaster (2015)
Women's World Champion2015–2016
FIDE rating2544 (March 2021)
Peak rating2563 (March 2016)
2015 Ukrainian postage stamp featuring the sisters Muzychuk


Born in Lviv,[2] Mariya Muzychuk was first taught chess at age two by her parents and at age three she knew all the chess pieces.[3] At age six, Muzychuk took part in her first chess tournament.[3]

Muzychuk won the under-10 girls' section at the 2002 European Youth Chess Championship in Peniscola, Spain. In November 2010 she was ranked as the fifth highest rated under-20 female player in the world.[4]

She made it to the top-16 of the 2010 Women's World Chess Championship, but lost to Dronavalli Harika in an armageddon playoff after a tie in the regular match.

Muzychuk won the women's Ukrainian Chess Championship in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, she won the best woman's prize at the Gibraltar Masters tournament, where she also earned a grandmaster norm.[5]

She won the Women's World Chess Championship 2015. In the first round, she drew with Yuanling Yuan in the classical games and then defeated her in the tiebreaks. In round two, she drew with Monika Socko in the classical games and defeated her in the tiebreaks. In round three, she defeated former Women's World Chess Champion Antoaneta Stefanova in the classical games by a score of 1½–½. In the quarter-final she defeated number one seed Humpy Koneru in the tiebreaks (2½–1½), and then beat Dronavalli Harika in the semi-final by tiebreaks (3½–2½). In the final she beat Natalia Pogonina with a score of 2½–1½. As a result of her victory, she obtained the Grandmaster title and qualified for the 2015 Chess World Cup which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan.[6] In 2015, Muzychuk was awarded the Order of Merit, 3rd Class by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.[7] The holder and the winner of the honorary FIDE award of Caissa as the 2015 best female chess player. Chess Award of Caissa, designed and executed by artisans of the Lobortas Classic Jewelry House, was solemnly presented on September 8, 2016 during the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku.

She lost her title against Hou Yifan in the Women's World Chess Championship 2016 by 3–6. In 2017 she refused to play in the Women's World Chess Championship 2017 in Iran out of protest for being obligated to wear a hijab.[8]

Playing styleEdit

In openings, Muzychuk typically plays King's Pawn Openings as White and the Sicilian Defence and Dutch Defence with Black.[9] Muzychuk has the ability to find unexpected tactical tricks, which sometimes compensates for flaws in her positional understanding.[10] During her World Championship match against Natalia Pogonina, Muzychuk was called "Miss Tactics" by the media.[10][11]

Personal lifeEdit

She has an older sister, Anna Muzychuk, who is also a leading chess player. Apart from chess, both sisters also play table tennis.[3]


  1. ^ "Ukrainian Mariya Muzychuk is the new Women's World Champion". Chess Daily News. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.
  2. ^ GM norm certificate FIDE
  3. ^ a b c ""We are not the Ukrainian 'Kosintseva Sisters'! We are the Muzychuk Sisters!"". Chess Daily News. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.
  4. ^ "Top 20 Girls November 2010". FIDE. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  5. ^ Ramirez, Alejandro (2014-02-10). "Closing Gala in Gibraltar". ChessBase. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Mariya Muzychuk is the 15th World Champion". ChessBase. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Порошенко наградил чемпионку мира по шахматам Музычук орденом" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.
  8. ^ "Women's World Championship 2017: Who plays, who doesn't?". Chess News. 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  9. ^ "Mariya Muzychuk". Chess DB. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Miss Tactics Knocks Out Rating Favorite". Chess News. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.
  11. ^ "Ukrainian chess player wins 2015 Women's World Championship". UNIAN. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Hou Yifan
Women's World Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Hou Yifan