Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alexandra Kosteniuk Biography

info from , i'm just copy and paste.

Alexandra Kosteniuk (Александра Костенюк) (born April 23, 1984 in Perm, Volga Federal District) is a Russian chess Grandmaster with a FIDE rating of 2515. Her most notable chess achievements include: Becoming female European champion in 2004 by winning the tournament in Dresden, Germany. And in August 2006 she became the first Chess960 (Fischer Random) women world champion after beating Germany's top female player Elisabeth Pähtz 5.5-2.5.

In November 2004, she achieved the International Grandmaster title, becoming the tenth of the eleven women who have received the highest title awarded by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). She also holds the titles of Woman Grandmaster and International Master. She is sixth on the October 2007 FIDE women Elo rating list with a rating of 2515. Kosteniuk won the 2005 Russian Women's Championship, held from May 14 to 26 in Samara, Russia, finishing with a score of +7 =4 -0.

Kosteniuk's mottos have been "chess is cool" and "beauty and intelligence can go together". Alexandra has also been called Anna Kournikova of chess who actually wins tournaments. With these as a backdrop, Kosteniuk has been promoting chess in the capacity of a fashion model in order to spark interest in the game around the world.

She is also the host of a popular podcast "Chess is Cool" which informs listeners about Alexandra's life and current chess events.

Alexandra learned to play chess at the age of five after being taught by her father. She also has a little sister named Oxana Kosteniuk, who is a master level chess player.

On April 22, 2007 Alexandra gave birth to a daughter, Francesca Maria. Francesca was born 2 1/2 months premature. But, after an 8 week stay in the hospital, has since made full recovery. Alexandra's website, which is maintained by her husband Diego Garces, covers the chess events she is playing in and offers up to date information about her.