List of female chess players

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From the Middle Ages through the 18th century, chess was a popular social pastime for both men and women of the upper classes. Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I played, and Thomas Jefferson wrote several times about Benjamin Franklin's playing chess in Paris with socially important women, including the Duchess of Bourbon, who was "a chess player of about his force".[1] Chess games between men and women were a common theme of European art[2][3] and literature in the fourteenth through 18th centuries.[4]

By the 19th century, however, the chess world had become dominated by male chess players, perhaps as a result of card playing becoming socially acceptable for mixed groups. Then during the 20th century, female players again made significant progress in breaking the male stranglehold on the game, although remaining fewer than 5% of registered tournament players.

The country of Georgia produced some of the best women chess players of the later 20th century, including the first female International Grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili, who was awarded a special title in 1978. By the mid-1980s a number of women were competing regularly in events with men. In 1991, Susan Polgar became the first woman to earn the Grandmaster title on the same basis as the men, by earning Grandmaster norms.

Grandmasters[edit]

There are currently 30 female players to hold the GM title:[5][6]

NameCountryBirth DateDateAgeEarnedWorld ChampionPeak ratingNotes
Nona Gaprindashvili Georgia1941-05-03197837WCC1962–19782495First female grandmaster
Maia Chiburdanidze Georgia1961-01-17198423WCC1978–19912560
Susan Polgar Hungary
 United States
1969-04-19199122norms1996–19992577First to be awarded the title traditionally
Judit Polgár Hungary1976-07-23199115norms2735Youngest grandmaster ever at the time
Xie Jun China1970-10-30199121WCC1991–1996,1999–20012574
Pia Cramling Sweden1963-04-23199229norms2550
Zhu Chen China
 Qatar
1976-03-16200125norms2001–20042548
Humpy Koneru India1987-03-31200215norms2623
Antoaneta Stefanova Bulgaria1979-04-19200325norms2004–20062560
Alexandra Kosteniuk Russia1984-03-23200420EWC2008–20102540
Peng Zhaoqin China
 Netherlands
1968-05-08200436EWC2472
Hoang Thanh Trang Vietnam
 Hungary
1980-04-25200727norms2511
Kateryna Lahno Ukraine1989-12-27200717norms2557
Xu Yuhua China1976-10-29200730WCC2006–20082517
Marie Sebag France1986-10-15200821norms2537
Zhao Xue China1985-04-06200823norms2579
Hou Yifan China1994-02-27200814norms2010–2012, 2013-2663Youngest ever female grandmaster
Nana Dzagnidze Georgia1987-01-01200821norms2569
Monika Soćko Poland1978-03-24200830norms2505
Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant Georgia
 Scotland
1968-07-19200940norms2506
Tatiana Kosintseva Russia1986-04-11200923norms2581
Natalia Zhukova Ukraine1979-06-05201030norms2499
Elina Danielian Armenia1978-08-16201032norms-2521
Viktorija Čmilytė Lithuania1983-08-06201026norms-2528
Nadezhda Kosintseva Russia1985-01-14201126norms2576
Dronavalli Harika India1991-01-12201120norms2525
Anna Muzychuk Ukraine
 Slovenia
1990-02-28201222norms2606
Anna Ushenina Ukraine1985-08-30201227WCC2012–20132502
Valentina Gunina Russia1989-02-04201324norms2533
Irina Krush United States1983-12-24201329norms2502
Ju Wenjun China1991-01-31201423norms2582

There is also a Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title, but the requirements for achieving it are significantly lower. Still, chess has not regained its former social status among women. As of 2012, no woman has ever been the world champion, and only a handful have made it to the top 500 players. Even so, the strength of women players continues to climb, and by 2005 most of the top 10 women held the Grandmaster title. In September 2005, Susan Polgar's younger sister GM Judit Polgár of Hungary, then rated #8 in the world by the international chess organization FIDE, became the first woman to play for the World Championship title.[7]

International masters[edit]

As of 2013, 83 women hold the International Master title:[8]

A[edit]

B[edit]

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

F[edit]

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

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L[edit]

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

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R[edit]

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U[edit]

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Y[edit]

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See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]