The Top Chess Players in the World

WFM Maria Emelianova

Maria Emelianova
Full name
Maria Emelianova
Apr 5, 1987 (age 36)‎
Place of birth
Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblas, Russia



Maria Emelianova is a Russian woman FIDE master, streamer, and renowned chess photographer. Emelianova learned how to play at the age of six and earned her WFM title when she was 16-years-old. As a chess player, her most significant achievements came when she finished first in the Yekaterinburg's Women Rapid Championship and reached the number one spot in the girls U-16 category of the Sverdlovsk region. Emelianova eventually switched to the English chess federation. After a hiatus from competitive chess, she came back on December 2020 when she participated in the British Online Championship, taking the third place in blitz and fourth in rapid.

As a streamer, Emelianova also enjoys great success. With more than 12,000 followers, she regularly streams chess content on her Twitch channel. On average, her stream gathers 500 concurrent viewers. Her impressive numbers put her in the top 0.04% of Twitch streamers in the world (as of April 2021).

As impressive as her chess and streaming achievements are, Emelianova is simply at another level as a chess photographer. She has been working with photojournalism since 2010, when she covered the 39th Chess Olympiad. Since then, her photos have appeared in all the prominent online and periodical chess magazines and newspapers.

Emelianova has multiple exhibitions, including the Sochi 2014 World Championship, the Baku 2016 Olympiad, and the Tata Steel Tournament in 2017. In 2018, she won the Chess Journalist's Award for Best Chess Photojournalism and got an honorable mention the following year. Today, Emelianova works for, where she provides most of the website's photographs and leads the Russian Social Media team.

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