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Olga’s Smiling Now!

She’s the Champion!

Born: June 4, 1991 (age 28 years), Langepas, Russia

Rated 2457

Olga Girya standing outside bottle in hand 2019 Russia Women Championship

Going into the Final Round 11, Olga Girya was in First Place, but only .5 points ahead of Natalija Pogonina. 

Olga drew in Round 11 and Natalija won, creating a tie for First Place at the end of regulation play.

That set the stage for a playoff!

A tie for First Place is settled by two Rapid Chess playoff games with 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move for each player.

If the score is still tied after two Rapid Chess games, a 5-minute vs. 4-minute Armageddon sudden death game, where Black has draw odds, decides the winner! (Black having “draw odds” means Black can win the tournament with a win or a draw!)

For Girya, this was a particularly tense event, because she led the whole tournament, only to be caught by Pogonina in the final round of regulation play.

In the Tie-Break format, Girya won the first Rapid Chess game only to be defeated again by Pogonina in the second game, setting the stage for the sudden death Armageddon game.

Then Olga Girya got the White pieces in the sudden death Armageddon game, and in a 67-move game she won her first national title–Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Champion!

See Final Standings below.

2019 Women’s World Chess Championship

The Challenger

Aleksandra Goryachkina

Aleksandra Goryachkina makes a point Round 9 at 2019 Russia Championship

Aleksandra Goryachkina

Born: September 28, 1998 (age 20 years) in Orsk, Russia
Rated 2564 

Aleksandra did not win Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Championship this year–she came in 3rd Place, .5 points behind the leaders, but she made a few clear statements in Round 9, 10 and 11!

Her play spoke for itself.

First, SHE was the only UNDEFEATED player in Russia’s 2019 Women’s Chess Championship!

Second, in Round 9, SHE gave 1st Place Olga Girya her only defeat in a Knight & pawn (for Aleksandra) versus a Bishop & pawn (for Olga) endgame. 

Third, SHE–not Olga Girya–is the candidate Challenger for the 2019 Women’s World Chess Championship against China’s World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun.

Final Standings

Regulation Play

Olga Girya and Natalija Pogonina tied for 1st Place with 8.0 points, followed by Aleksandra in 3rd Place with 7.5 points.

Round 11 Final Standings 2019 Russia Championship

Time Controls

Players receive 90 minutes each for 40 moves, then 30 minutes each for the rest of the game–plus 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

No draw offers are allowed before move 40.

In the case of a tie, a Rapid Chess format of tiebreaks will determine the winner.


Aleksandra Plays
Reigning World Chess Champion 

China’s Ju Wenjun rated 2575 is the Women’s World Chess Champion

China’s Ju Wenjun

Born: January 31, 1991 (age 28 years), Shanghai, China
Rated 2600

Women’s World Chess Champion

Women’s World Chess Challenger!

Aleksandra Goryachkina in color blue bandana and coat hand to face at chess board.

Aleksandra Goryachkina

Born: September 28, 1998 (age 20 years) in Orsk, Russia
Rated 2564 

Earlier this year, Aleksandra won the 2019 Candidates Tournament and will soon challenge the World Chess Champion, China’s Ju Wenjun, later this year in the 2019 Women’s World Chess Championship at a date and location to be determined. 

Aleksandra is a Grandmaster and two-time Russian Women’s Chess Champion. She also twice won the World Girls Under-20 Chess Championship.

She is on the rise and may well be the next Women’s World Chess Champion!

The Path to a Chess Championship Begins Here!

The World’s Best Selling

Scholastic Chess Workbooks!

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Beginner’s Book – Chess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

“Knights Battle”

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

“Knight Checkmates King!”

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 Book – Chess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

“Profiles Face-Off in King’s Shadow”

Chess Tactics For Students contains 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.

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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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