Alexandra Kosteniuk Wins 2008 Women's World Championship

  • SonofPearl
  • on 9/17/08, 11:59 AM.

Alexandra Kosteniuk (pictured) has won a well deserved victory in the 2008 Women's World Chess Championship.  The dynamic Russian player took the title by drawing the fourth and final game against her young Chinese opponent, Hou Yifan.

The narrow final margin of victory, by 2.5 -1.5 points fails to adequately reflect how dominant Kosteniuk was during the final.  Besides the first game of the match which she won, Alexandra could also have won game 2 and 3, and forced a draw by repetition in a completely winning position in the final game to ensure victory.

Kosteniuk is the first Russian Women's World Champion since Elisabeth Bykova who held the title from 1958-1962 (and also from 1953-1956).

Name  Years  Country
Vera Menchik  1927–1944  Czechoslovakia / United Kingdom
Lyudmila Rudenko  1950–1953  Soviet Union / Ukraine
Elisabeth Bykova  1953–1956  Soviet Union / Russia
Olga Rubtsova  1956–1958  Soviet Union / Russia
Elisabeth Bykova  1958–1962  Soviet Union / Russia
Nona Gaprindashvili  1962–1978  Soviet Union / Georgia
Maya Chiburdanidze  1978–1991  Soviet Union / Georgia
Xie Jun  1991–1996  China
Susan Polgar  1996–1999  Hungary / USA
Xie Jun  1999–2001  China
Zhu Chen  2001–2004  China
Antoaneta Stefanova  2004–2006  Bulgaria
Xu Yuhua  2006–2008  China
Alexandra Kosteniuk  2008– Russia

Huge congratulations to Sasha Kosteniuk who had an excellent tournament and won the title in convincing style.  She won all of her matches without the need for tie-breaks and didn't lose a single game during the tournament.  She has been a tireless promoter of chess - and herself - for many years, as her entertaining website makes clear.

So the final hurdle proved to be too much for the talented 14 year-old Hou Yifan, but with such prodigious talent who would bet against her adding her name to her many successful Chinese compatriots in the years to come?

The start of the final game.  Pic from the official site.


6916 reads 10 comments
2 votes


  • 8 years ago


    Exciting championship! Game 1 is the only decisive game,but the 3 drawn game is still a fighting chess.Kosteniuk miss the winning lines in game 2 and 3. And Yi Fan chose fighting sicilian in game 4 in an attempt to tie the match.

    Kosteniuk's determination is shown from the start of the tournament up to the finals.She creates a lot of complications to dominates every game.As SonofPearl's say, Kosteniuk won all her matches with out the need of the tiebreaks (although Kosteniuk is a very good blitz player),and went undefeated! Well deserved championship for Kosteniuk.

    Hou Yifan is also a winner on the other way.Youngest challenger in world chess championship history. If she can continue to improve her phenonenal talent,she might be the next Judith Polgar or 1st women to win the World Chess Championship in Men's League.

  • 8 years ago


    Neat website, I would like it cleaned up a little, but still good info, I just felt like some russian mafia hacker was gonna steal my identity while there :-)

  • 8 years ago


            Very interesting the OLD/Experience against a young podigree of China, Chinese Girl Xufang had many good years ahead, could be the next world champion lady

  • 8 years ago


    i could see how the mid-endgame would be very nerve-racking

  • 8 years ago


    Great job, Alexandra..! Not only the best, but the hottest lady in chess won..!

  • 8 years ago


    shes good

  • 8 years ago



  • 8 years ago


    Congrats to Alexandra well done!

  • 8 years ago


    a nerve-racking finale, where Kosteniuk always headed for complications, missing winning continuations, until she eventually found a clever attacking idea after the time-control (41.h3 / 46.Rd5!) and forced a perpetual.

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