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Iulija Osmak

Ukrainian Women’s Chess Champion

by John Bain

One day in March 2021 on a Thursday, the Ukrainian Women’s Chess Champion, Iulija Osmak, became a World Chess Champion. Iulija Osmak won the online 2021 University Women’s World Chess Championship!

Three days later, the FIDE–the International Chess Federation–and their Fair Play Panel removed her crown, insinuating she cheated.

Does Iulija Osmak Need to Cheat?

You Decide!Iulija Osmak red lipstick hand in strand of hair wearing checkered sportscoat

Iulija Osmak, 23 years old, was born March 6, 1998 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In over-the-board, in-person play–prior to the covid-19 pandemic and the advent of online play–Iulija proved herself.

In 2012, Iulija won the World Chess Championship Under-12 Girls title.

In 2016, Iulija Osmak earned the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title.

In 2017, Iulija won the Ukrainian Women’s Chess Championship.

Also in 2017, she earned the International Master (IM) title.

Her current FIDE rating in Standard Classical Chess is 2428, in Rapid Chess is 2301 and in Blitz Chess is 2149.

Iulija Osmak was the highest rated player to enter the online 2021 University Women’s World Chess Chess Championship, which she won, after which, three days later, FIDE removed her crown after “suspecting” her of “a breach of fair play regulations!”

Likelihood of 20 Players Cheating?!

Iulija Osmak seated at chessboard behind black pieces hair in pony tail

FIDE’s Fair Play Panel examined the games, held several meetings, then disqualified 20 female players from the World Chess Online Championship for breach of Fair Play.

The Fair Play Panel worked more than 70 hours analyzing 5,036 games, the Panel claimed, before arriving at their decision based on:

-Statistical Evidence
-Host Internet Platform (HIP) Evidence
-Physical Evidence
-Expert Opinion

Vague and Ambiguous?!

The Fair Play Panel, perhaps for legal reasons, is not claiming “proof of cheating” only “a breach of fair play regulations!”

For now, the Panel’s decisions will have no impact on the players competing in over-the-board events–other than tarnishing the players’ reputations.

2021 University World Chess Championship

However, the FIDE Fair Play Panel forfeited all of Iulija’s games in the tournament–along with 19 other women’s games–and removed Iulija’s newly won crown awarding it to runner-up Julia Antolak!

Table standings before FIDE strips Iulija Osmak of crown

Standings BEFORE Iulija Osmak’s crown removed

The FIDE Fair Play Panel gave Iulija a forfeit loss for every game, and converted her opponent’s losses to draws.

Table standings AFTER FIDE stripped Iulija Osmak of crown

Standings AFTER Iulija Osmak’s crown removed

Better Days

Iulija Osmak won the 2017 Ukrainian Women's Championship ahead of Olga Babiy and Natalia Zhukova

Iulija Osmak

Ukrainian Women’s Chess Champion

FIDE’s Final Statement – More Confusion?!

“Neither FIDE, nor the Hosting Internet Platform claims that the determination of a suspected fair play violation is proof of actual cheating or an admission of guilt by the disqualified player. Such a determination shall not affect the ordinary status of the player for over-the-board competitions within the jurisdiction of FIDE or its members, unless FPP decides in the case of a clear or gross violation, or repeated violations, to refer the matter to the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission which may exclude the player from all official chess participation for a period up to 15 years. “

Susan (Zusuzsa) Polgar Comments

Susan Polgár color portrait at 50 years old

“This is what I really do not understand. So if one is ‘not’ accused of cheating then why is the score erased? And how is it possible that the players can’t defend themselves? Very confusing!” -Susan Polgár

-Susan Polgár is a Hungarian-born American chess Grandmaster. She is a former Women’s World Chess Champion, a chess teacher, coach, writer, promoter and the head of the Webster University chess program in St. Louis, Missouri.

MOST AMAZING CHESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In July 1984 at the age of 15, Susan became the top-ranked woman player in the world, and remained ranked in the top three for the next 23 years!

She was also the first woman in history to break the gender barrier by qualifying for the 1986 Men’s World Chess Championship cycle.

Susan was the Women’s World Chess Champion from 1996 to 1999–in Classical Chess time control. She also won the World Blitz and Rapid Championships in 1992. In October 2005, Susan had a rating of 2577, making her the #2 ranked woman in the world at the time, after her younger sister Judit.

Learn to play chess like Iulija Osmak plays chess! >

Iulija Osmak 2019 Women European Club Chess Championship

Beginner’s BookChess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format.

A student-friendly Answer Key makes self-correction fun!

Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students is a workbook for beginning and intermediate students. Checkmate! covers the tactics used in checkmate attacks with clear explanations, diagrams and arrows to pinpoint the key features.

Unlike many other basic checkmate books, Checkmate! categorizes the checkmates by the tactics used to force the checkmate–like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance and Attacking Flight Squares–rather than only the checkmate pattern itself.

The worksheets and Answer Key are clear and simple for the student to use, and easy for the parent, teacher and coach to correct! Fun!

Intermediate & Advanced BookChess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

Chess Tactics For Students is a workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format. Chess Tactics has been extensively field tested with elementary, middle-school, and high-school students over a four-year period.

This book is ideal for independent seat work as well as for homework and classroom instruction.

The worksheet format and Answer Key enable self-correction with minimal dependence or direct help from a chess teacher, coach, or parent.

Chess for Students Shop Now


Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!


Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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