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This is a game from round 4 of the Fide Women's Grand Prix series, which is part of the qualifying cycle for the World Chess Championship and the Women's World Chess Champonship.
Alexandra Kosteniuk VS Natalia Pogonina
Alexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk (Fide rating 2555) was born in 1984, is ranked number 5 among women, and number 470 in the world. She is a Russian Gm with a long list of merits to her name. Her first major victory was winning the European Championship for girls under 10, in 1994. In 1996 she clinched both the European and World titles for girls under 12.
In 2004 she became the European women's champion. She achieved the title of Woman Grandmaster in 1998, International Master in 2000, and in 2004 she achieved the Grandmaster title, becoming the tenth woman to achieve the highest title of the World Chess Federation (Fide).
Her accomplishments are simply too many to list here, but the most important one is her win over the chinese child prodigy Hou Yifan, thereby claiming the title of Woman's world champion, in 2008. She lost the title to Ruan Lufei, in 2010. In 2013 she won the Swiss Championship, first for men, and then for women, becoming the first person to win both the women's and' men's national chess titles in Switzerland.
She is known for her fierce attacking style, and for her fashion modeling, in the interest of promoting chess, like Magnus Carlsen is also known to have done.
Natalia Andreevna Pogonina (Fide rating 2492) was born in 1985, in Vladivostok, Russia. Her first major accomplishment was winning the Russian under-14 girl's championship. She achieved the title of Woman Grandmaster in 2004. She won the prestigious Moscow open in 2009.
In 2012 she won the Russian Women's Championship, a major accomplishment as Russia has the highest chess level in the world. In 2015 she reached the final of the Women's World Chess Championship, and lost to Maria Muzychuk.
Alexandra Kosteniuk is a quite clear favorite, but remember that chess is always like walking on a tightrope, where the slightest mistake means falling to sudden death. Alexandra will be playing with the white pieces, and this, combined with her being the higher rated player, and the importance of this match, means that I predict that she will try to win, and she is known for her attacking style.
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