I am Alexandra Kosteniuk, an International Woman Grandmaster (WGM) (1998) and an International Master among men (IM) (2000). During the FIDE Congress in Calvia (2004) I was awarded the title of Grandmaster (Men), thus I became 10th woman in the whole history of chess who got this title. I am the Women's Vice Champion of the World, a title I got at the World Championships in Moscow in December 2001. I am the European Champion 2004 and Russian Champion 2005.
I was born in the Russian city of Perm on April 23, 1984. I have been living in Moscow since I was one year old. I graduated from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education in July 2003 and am now a certified professional chess trainer. It's my dad, Konstantin Vladimirovich - who taught me to play chess when I was 5 years old and I am very grateful to him for that.
I improved in chess rapidly. My first great achievements came in Junior tournaments. In 1994 I became the European Champion among girls under the age of 10, and a month later shared first and second places at the World Championship under the age of 10. Later, I had the same major achievements in other age categories, for example I became World Champion of girls under 12, in 1996.
In 1997, I became a Woman International Master (WIM) at the age of 13, they say that I reached this mark slightly quicker than Maya Chiburdanidze, but I don't give much significance to that. I scored all necessary WGM norms in February of 1998 that is at the age of 13 years and 10 months but the GrandMaster title was officially given to me in November 1998 at the 33rd World Olympiad in Kalmykia.
My current ELO rating as of July 1, 2005 is 2516, which makes me now the fifth strongest woman in the world. My official rating in the USCF Rating list of August 2005 is 2565 and so I am the highest rated woman on the USCF Rating List at this moment.
I also have many other interests but chess, I write poems (some of them are published in my book), and I like sport in all its forms. I also love to do fashion modelling, and I even played a part in a movie, which by far was the most fun thing I have ever done in my life.
My first book How I became Grandmaster at age 14 has been published already in three languages (Russian, English and Spanish). My dad and I have worked on it for almost two years, and I feel that its genre is very original. It is a manual in which I teach to play chess and at the same time I tell how I learned to play chess starting from the age of 5. The book contains many annotated games and pictures, including color ones. I hope that it won't disappoint you. I think that many parents could purchase it as a present for their children. Perhaps not everyone who reads it will become a Grandmaster at the age of 14, but many readers will learn to play this most intelligent and most beautiful game in the world. Good luck!
I am eager to hear your feedback and suggestions concerning my site. There is a guestbook on my site where you can leave your comments for everybody to see, as well as many photo-albums for you to look at. I have tried to gather as many as possible articles that have come out about me and the work I do to try to promote chess in the world.
I am most grateful to everybody who orders something at my web-shop, or makes a donation (even the most modest is greatly appreciated) to my Chess Foundation. Thanks to your help I can give free simuls to children, give away my books and other presents to them to show them how wonderful chess is, and need your help to do even more. All donations go exclusively to promoting chess and for gifts, so please if you can afford to help, do it now!