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N Pogonina 
Photograph courtesy of  
Natalia Pogonina
Number of games in database: 802
Years covered: 1996 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2480 (2404 rapid, 2427 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2508
Overall record: +295 -131 =273 (61.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      103 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (175) 
    B92 B33 B42 B32 B58
 French Defense (62) 
    C07 C03 C05 C10 C09
 Ruy Lopez (59) 
    C78 C65 C69 C77 C70
 French Tarrasch (55) 
    C07 C03 C05 C09 C04
 Sicilian Najdorf (44) 
    B92 B90
 Caro-Kann (42) 
    B12 B17 B18 B15 B19
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (104) 
    B76 B78 B52 B50 B70
 Sicilian Dragon (57) 
    B76 B78 B70 B72 B74
 Modern Benoni (43) 
    A57 A58 A59 A56
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C78 C69 C92 C65 C85
 Benko Gambit (41) 
    A57 A58 A59
 Nimzo Indian (32) 
    E32 E46 E21 E47 E20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   N Pogonina vs V Gunina, 2012 1-0
   N Pogonina vs N Dzagnidze, 2009 1-0
   N Pogonina vs The World, 2009 1-0
   N Pogonina vs Kosteniuk, 2011 1-0
   The World vs N Pogonina, 2010 1/2-1/2
   Zhu Chen vs N Pogonina, 2007 1/2-1/2
   N Pogonina vs C Roelli, 1998 1-0
   O Iljushina vs N Pogonina, 2010 0-1
   N Pogonina vs J Majdan-Gajewska, 2013 1-0
   N Pogonina vs K Arakhamia-Grant, 2010 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Russian Team Championships (Women) (2010)
   Russian Women's Superfinals (2012)
   Russian Chess Championships Higher League (Women) (2012)
   60th Russian Women's Superfinal (2010)
   European Club Cup (Women) (2007)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2005)
   10th European Individual Women's Championship (2009)
   European Individual Women's Championship (2012)
   European Individual Championship (Women) (2008)
   European Individual Women's Championship (2013)
   6th European Individual Women's Championship (2005)
   Women's Olympiad (2008)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012)
   European Individual Women's Championship (2014)
   European Team Championship (Women) (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   White Sicilian Wins by Hvalros
   Black Sicilian Wins by Hvalros

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Natalia Pogonina
Search Google for Natalia Pogonina
FIDE player card for Natalia Pogonina

(born Mar-09-1985, 29 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
WFM (2001), WIM (2002) and WGM (2004). WGM Natalija Andreevna Pogonina was born in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai and learned to play chess at the age of 5 from her grandfather.


Pogoninaís early successes include winning the Russian U14 Girls championship in 1998. She was =1st at the Russian U18 Girls in 2001 and is two-times European girls champion (U16 in 2000, U18 in 2003), bronze winner at the World Championship (U18) (Girls) in 2003, =1st at the Russian Junior Championship (Girls) in 2003 and 2004, and outright winner of that event in 2005, She also won bronze at the 10th European Individual Women's Championship (2009). She contested the 2004 Women's World Championship and the Women's World Chess Championship (2010) but was eliminated in the first round on both occasions. In March 2012, she scored 7.5/11 in the European Individual Women's Championship (2012) (EIWC) to place =5th (10th on tiebreak and with a TPR of 2501), and then followed up in June 2012 by scoring an undefeated 8/11 (TPR 2514) to take outright second place in the Russian Chess Championships Higher League (Women) (2012), signaling a return to her playing strength of a couple of years ago. Her latter result also qualified her to participate in the Russian Women's Superfinals (2012), in which she went one better to win outright with 6.5/9 (+4 =5), and a TPR of 2611. In August 2013, she scored a solid 7.5/11 at the European Individual Women's Championship (2013).

Pogonina qualified for the FIDE Knock-out Women's World Championship (2012) and defeated compatriots, IM Svetlana Matveeva and former Women's World Champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, in the first two rounds before losing to the eventual winner, Ukrainian IM Anna Ushenina, in the third round, thereby bowing out of the title contest. Her result in the 2012 EIWC qualified her to play in the next Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament that will be held late in 2014.

Classical Tournaments

Pogonina won the Líviv Hopes-5 Women in 2002 with 11/13 and the bronze medal at the North Urals Cup (2007). Co-winner of the 2008 Student World Championship, and first at multiple prestigious international tournaments: 2006 Bykova Memorial with 8.5/9, the Rudenko Memorial 2007 with 8/9 and the C section (women's) of the Moscow Open 2009 with 8/9, Pogonina also came equal first (2nd on rapid game tie break behind Alisa Galliamova) in the 60th Russian Women's Superfinal (2010). In 2011, she scored 6/10 in the Tradewise Gibraltar (2011) and in 2014 she scored a respectable 5.5/10 at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2014). In May-June 2014, she competed in the Rashid Nezhmetdinov Cup, and played strongly to score 6/9.

Team Play

<Olympiads> Pogonina represented Russia in the Women's Olympiad (2008) scoring 6/7 (+5 =2 -0) on first reserve, and was top board for Russia 2 in Chess Olympiad (Women) (2010), scoring 5.5/11. She achieved her best result so far when she won team and individual gold (playing on board 5) in the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012) held in Istanbul, scoring 6.5/8 (+6 =1 -1). She again played board 5 for Russia at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014), remaining undefeated to score 5.5/7 and help her team to another gold medal for the event.

<National and Club events> She won team gold as a member of her Russian team for the womenís blitz final and the bronze medal in the women's team rapid final at the 1st International Mind Sports Games in 2008. 2011 was an excellent year for Pogonina in team play. Playing for her club, AVS Krasnoturinsk, she won team gold and individual silver at the European Club Cup (Women) (2011), and playing for Russia, she won team gold and individual gold at the European Team Championship (Women) (2011) and team silver and individual silver medals at the FIDE Women's World Team Championship (2011). The combination of winning in both the European Club and European Team championships in the same year is unique in both the womenís and menís competitions. Playing board 3 for Russian, she won bronze and helped her team to a bronze medal at the Women's World Team Championship (2013). She helped her team Ugra to win gold at the Russian Team Championships (Women) (2013), also taking individual gold for her 4.5/5 points, which represented a 2757 rating performance. Pogonina wound up 2013 playing board 3 for Russia in the European Team Championship (Women) (2013), helping her team to silver and winning individual bronze for her board.

In 2014, she played board 2 for Yugra (Khanty) in the Russian Women's League and helped her team to win the gold medal. She also played board 2 for the Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk region club in the 2014 European Women's Club Cup, scoring individual bronze and helping her team to 4th place in the event.


Pogonina has an MA in law from the Saratov State Academy of Law. Her hobbies include flamenco, music, photography, traveling, sports, literature and poetry. She is married to Peter Zhdanov (User: Peter Zhdanov), and they have a son, Nikolai (born 18 November 2009). She is also a member of as User: Natalia Pogonina, and an occasional commentator and analyst here for live broadcasts of games.


<Standard> As of 1 November 2014, Pogonina's rating was 2480 ranking her the #26 woman in the world;

<Rapid> 2404 (inactive); and

<Blitz> 2427 (inactive).


Live rating: [; Website:; Wikipedia article: Pogonina

Last updated 4 Nov 2014

 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 802  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. N Pogonina vs Y Kaschenko 1-038 1996 Volgograd opB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
2. N Zajnullina vs N Pogonina ½-½16 1996 Volgograd opA00 Uncommon Opening
3. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  0-128 1996 Volgograd opD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. V Savchuk vs N Pogonina  0-148 1996 Volgograd opC60 Ruy Lopez
5. N Pogonina vs A Kizhikina  1-032 1996 Volgograd opE10 Queen's Pawn Game
6. M Dolgova vs N Pogonina  1-045 1996 Volgograd opB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
7. N Pogonina vs A Sorokina  1-048 1996 Volgograd opC42 Petrov Defense
8. T Baranchikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½31 1996 Volgograd opB24 Sicilian, Closed
9. T Kosintseva vs N Pogonina  1-063 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
10. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  ½-½38 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
11. J Komarishkina vs N Pogonina  ½-½81 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
12. N Pogonina vs M Zabiran  1-050 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC52 Evans Gambit
13. E Meshcheriakova vs N Pogonina  0-138 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
14. N Pogonina vs L Kucherova  1-060 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB33 Sicilian
15. L Dezhurko vs N Pogonina  0-137 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB27 Sicilian
16. T Eremina vs N Pogonina  0-136 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. N Pogonina vs E Hasanova 0-125 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
18. N Pogonina vs C Roelli 1-029 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsB42 Sicilian, Kan
19. E Kupczyk vs N Pogonina  0-156 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsB01 Scandinavian
20. N Pogonina vs O Kuchkova  1-033 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsC05 French, Tarrasch
21. N Pogonina vs L Javakhishvili  0-150 1998 Wch U14 GirlsB54 Sicilian
22. N Pogonina vs S Tidman  ½-½35 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsC07 French, Tarrasch
23. Y Melnikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½52 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsC49 Four Knights
24. N Pogonina vs Korbut  1-029 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsB32 Sicilian
25. N Pogonina vs M Magnucka  ½-½18 1998 Wch U14 GirlsB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 802  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pogonina wins | Pogonina loses  

Grandmaster Pogonina's Website

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 23 OF 23 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Kosteniuk not playing this year? I didn't see her name on the list of participants.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <HHM>A lot of the usual suspects aren't there, including former winners Cmilyte and Cramling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ...worried about their luggage being stolen?
Jul-16-14  dumbgai: 5/10 against 2300 opposition, including 4 losses. Not a good result. Declining the Evans Gambit with Bb6 backfired badly today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Natalie, can you tell us anything about the Russian position on the Norway fiasco? Is there a mechanism to get your team to the Olympiad?
Jul-20-14  MissScarlett: < Is there a mechanism to get your team to the Olympiad?>

Yes, it's called an aeroplane.

I fear a rising tide of anti-Western sentiment in Russia may be behind Miss Pogonina's absence from the site since March. The popular perception is that we're riddled with spies and effeminate homosexuals.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: how can people named Boris and Ivan be effeminate homosexuals?
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: <I fear a rising tide of anti-Western sentiment in Russia may be behind Miss Pogonina's absence from the site since March.> Perhaps she has enough sense to detest politics as much as most other sane people.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Natalie and Ni:


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think Natalie is board four for Russia, in the Olympiad:


Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: No politics at all. We've just been somewhat busy winning the Chess Olympiad ;) Thanks to everyone who followed it and rooted for us!
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: During the Olympiad, Natalia's teammates were (jokingly) interested in the excerpts from her book "Kama Sutra" (about the connection between chess and sex, explaining the "love theory" of chess). Regrettaby, it is doubtful whether that book will ever be finalized and published or not. It's pitty because the idea that there is a way to apply ideas about sex to improve chess skills, and vice versa seems very attractive.

An interesting "This Girl Is On Fire" interview with Natalia at

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <there is a way to apply ideas about sex to improve chess skills, and vice versa seems very attractive.>

My wife says I should be much better at chess than I am :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Check It Out> Better than vice versa.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Whose the girl on the far right?


Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: <HMM>

Kateryna Lahno

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: She must be the new girl in town?
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Yeah, she's the one that JUST transferred from the Ukraine to Russia IIRC.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: We're hoping the book will have many illustrative photos:


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Natalie looking good, (if a tad bit frumpy), at the opening ceremony:


Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: <Natalie looking good, (if a tad bit frumpy), at the opening ceremony:>

The jacket is not mine, hence it looked weird on me, especially given that I was wearing a dress which doesn't match it at all. The only reason why the organizers asked me to put it on was that the pin of the medal is rather "wicked", so I had to wear something on top of the dress in order not to get pierced.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hi Natalie, good to hear from u! Sounds like you had an experience like our high schoolers headed to the prom where they get "pinned" with a corsage. The pinner has to have steady hands.

Just kidding about frumpiness; you and Kate Middleton are still are favorite fashion favies.

Have you an opinion on how the big match will play out?

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: With Ju Wenjun getting her GM title retroactive several years, do you think anybody will have an earlier performance upgraded to a norm?

The lack of female titled players has made it difficult for some women to get titles. Lisa, a Chess Novel discusses why some women are hesitant to play men and after reading some posts here and much more so on chessbomb, I can see their point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nice photo, relaxed before the struggle:


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: This was a rough Russian championship, Natalie. The chessbase cross section indicates you lost 24 rating points. Have you found that you have less time for chess, in the last year or so?
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