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N Pogonina 
Photograph courtesy of  
Natalia Pogonina
Number of games in database: 868
Years covered: 1996 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2445 (2447 rapid, 2416 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2508
Overall record: +316 -147 =302 (61.0%)*
   * 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 (182) 
    B92 B33 B42 B32 B83
 Ruy Lopez (64) 
    C78 C65 C69 C77 C70
 French Defense (62) 
    C07 C03 C05 C10 C09
 French Tarrasch (55) 
    C07 C03 C05 C09 C04
 Sicilian Najdorf (45) 
    B92 B90
 Caro-Kann (43) 
    B12 B18 B17 B15 B19
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (104) 
    B76 B78 B52 B50 B70
 Sicilian Dragon (57) 
    B76 B78 B70 B72 B74
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C78 C69 C65 C92 C85
 Modern Benoni (45) 
    A57 A58 A59 A56
 Benko Gambit (43) 
    A57 A58 A59
 Nimzo Indian (34) 
    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
   The World vs N Pogonina, 2010 1/2-1/2
   N Pogonina vs C Roelli, 1998 1-0
   N Pogonina vs Kosteniuk, 2011 1-0
   Zhu Chen vs N Pogonina, 2007 1/2-1/2
   N Pogonina vs K Newrkla, 2008 1-0
   O Girya vs N Pogonina, 2012 0-1
   N Pogonina vs K Arakhamia-Grant, 2010 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Russian Women's Superfinals (2012)
   Russian Chess Championships Higher League (Women) (2012)
   FIDE Women's World Chess Championship (2015)
   European Club Cup (Women) (2007)
   60th Russian Women's Superfinal (2010)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2005)
   Russian Superfinals (Women) (2007)
   10th European Individual Women's Championship (2009)
   European Individual Women's Championship (2012)
   European Individual Championship (Women) (2008)
   6th European Individual Women's Championship (2005)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014)
   Women's Olympiad (2008)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2014)

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, 30 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
WFM (2001), WIM (2002), WGM (2004).

IM and WGM Natalija Andreevna Pogonina was born in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai and learned to play chess at the age of 5 from her grandfather.


Pogonina’s 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 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship (2015). There she won through to the final, defeating Qi Guo, Ju Wenjun, Marie Sebag, Zhao Xue and Pia Cramling in the preliminary rounds (also winning the IM title and a GM norm for her efforts), to play for the women's crown against Mariya Muzychuk. Unfortunately for her, she lost the final match by 2.5-1.5 (+0 =3 -1).

Classical Tournaments

Pogonina won the L’viv 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 women’s 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 women’s and men’s 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.


Pogonina was awarded the national title of <Russian Grandmaster> in 2006 or 2007 in recognition of her achievements and contribution to the game in Russia. (1)


Pogonina's highest rating to date was 2508 in July 2014 when she was ranked #15 woman player in the world, while her highest ranking ever was #14 on the women's list in April 2009 and May 2010 when she was rated 2501.


(1) Natalia Pogonina, Wikipedia article: %D0%93%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%B9%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80 %28%D1%88%D0%B0%D1%85%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%8B%29; and Natalia Pogonina (kibitz #657).

Live rating:; Website:; Wikipedia article: Pogonina

Last updated 5 April 2015

 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 868  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. T Baranchikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½31 1996 Volgograd opB24 Sicilian, Closed
2. N Pogonina vs Y Kaschenko 1-038 1996 Volgograd opB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
3. N Zajnullina vs N Pogonina ½-½16 1996 Volgograd opA00 Uncommon Opening
4. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  0-128 1996 Volgograd opD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. V Savchuk vs N Pogonina  0-148 1996 Volgograd opC60 Ruy Lopez
6. M Dolgova vs N Pogonina  1-045 1996 Volgograd opB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
7. N Pogonina vs A Kizhikina  1-032 1996 Volgograd opE10 Queen's Pawn Game
8. N Pogonina vs A Sorokina  1-048 1996 Volgograd opC42 Petrov Defense
9. N Pogonina vs E Hasanova 0-125 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
10. T Kosintseva vs N Pogonina  1-063 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
11. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  ½-½38 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
12. J Komarishkina vs N Pogonina  ½-½81 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. N Pogonina vs M Zabiran  1-050 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC52 Evans Gambit
14. E Meshcheriakova vs N Pogonina  0-138 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
15. L Dezhurko vs N Pogonina  0-137 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB27 Sicilian
16. N Pogonina vs L Kucherova  1-060 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB33 Sicilian
17. T Eremina vs N Pogonina  0-136 1997 RUS-ch U12 GirlsB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. N Pogonina vs V Djuric  0-142 1998 Wch U14 GirlsB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
19. E Kupczyk vs N Pogonina  0-156 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsB01 Scandinavian
20. N Pogonina vs C Roelli 1-029 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsB42 Sicilian, Kan
21. N Pogonina vs O Kuchkova 1-033 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsC05 French, Tarrasch
22. N Pogonina vs L Javakhishvili  0-150 1998 Wch U14 GirlsB54 Sicilian
23. Y Melnikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½52 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsC49 Four Knights
24. N Pogonina vs S Tidman  ½-½35 1998 EU-ch U14 GirlsC07 French, Tarrasch
25. N Pogonina vs Korbut  1-029 1998 RUS-ch U16 GirlsB32 Sicilian
 page 1 of 35; games 1-25 of 868  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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <Kinghunt>

Anyone receiving a national GM or Master of Sports title for chess or any other sport in Russia or Ukraine would be very strong in the game for which they receive the honor.

It would therefore be some indication of quite considerable strength, just not a precise one because other factors are likely also taken into consideration.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: <twinlark> Yes, that is a more precise statement of what I meant. You do not get it without being an very strong player, but some extremely strong players do not have it because it is awarded on the basis of more than just strength.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <zanzibar> Sorry about that. I was on a different page when I copied its URL so I don't know why it happened. But, no, I definitely did not intend to send you to the Russian page on GMs since, as I indicated, I don't know Russian.

Now this is really weird. I typically compose my posts in Word before I post them so that I can run the spell checker. I verified that the link, when posted in Word, got you to the proper page. But when I posted this post in my forum and clicked on the link again, it sent me to the page that you were sent to (a different page)!

But the page doesn't really say all that much; it's just a brief overview of the title of Grandmaster and it's mostly about the FIDE Grandmaster title, but it does indicate the chronological evolution of the title and the regulations for awarding it. If you are still interested, Google "Grandmaster of Soviet Union title" and the first link displayed, to the page titled "Grandmaster (chess) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" will get you there.

Apr-09-15  zanzibar: <AK> No problem from my end.

Weird how things like that can happen. Also, funny that <shams> was synchéd up too.

Anyways, while I'm here - let's try another link - Pogonina's favorite chess books (this one is mostly in English): (scroll down pass all the Natalia's)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <zanzibar> <Also, funny that <shams> was synchéd up too.>

Wait, what? I'm confused.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: In Russian sports classification system the title of Russian grandmaster in chess, checkers and go is equivalent to the title of Master of Sports of Russia International Class (equates to international champion). It is the highest sports title in Russia. The requirement is the obligatory participation of the athlete in official international competitions, in which he played for the national team of Russia, as well as in the case of an establishment or repetition of the European or the world record.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: On a somewhat related subject, here is a link: ;-)
Apr-09-15  zanzibar: <Shams> I clearly should have written <twinlark>.

Apologies to both.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <cro777>

Thanks for the extra info.

<as well as in the case of an establishment or repetition of the European or the world record.>

Does this mean, for example, the team winning Olympic or European gold?

Also, would you be able to link to some source material concerning the criteria your mentioned in your post?

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <twinlark: Does this mean, for example, the team winning Olympic or European gold?>

Yes, this includes Olympic (and Paralympic) medals. The title is awarded for outstanding achievements in international competitions. Requirements and norms are established by "Regulations on Unified Sports Classification System of Russia" (Положение о Единой всероссийской спортивной классификации).

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <cro777>

Thanks again. That manual is a doozy to work out.

Apr-10-15  MagnusVerMagnus: All I have to say is SHENNIGANS EVERYONE here that knows and has played chess at a high level hopefully understands what Grandmaster GM means...many have worked their @ss off for that Title and it means something that many (I myself included) could not achieve with half a lifetime of perseverance. I only bring this up to applaud those who sacrificed so much to achieve that lofty title. Thank you
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<MagnusVerMagnus> EVERYONE here that knows and has played chess at a high level hopefully understands what Grandmaster GM means>

Obviously you don't. Is that your way of saying that those that have those "other" grandmaster titles did not work their @ss off for those titles and that they don't mean anything?

I think that it takes an immense amount of time and effort plus talent and sacrifice to reach the pinnacle in any endeavor, and ALL that reach that level should be applauded, regardless of what they are called.

Apr-14-15  HeMateMe: Great photo, from the Spragett site:


Natalie should be a villainess in a future Bond movie. We need a script--any writers out there?

I am curious as to why, in the long, double interview of Natalie that was recently published on ChessBase it is not mentioned that the interviewer, Peter Zhdanov, is also her husband?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Here is the full version of the interview "The race after titles, fame and money is destroying people":

Hope you will enjoy reading it! ;)

Apr-14-15  falso contacto: Nice one. way to go.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Sailing Along Silver Moon

Natalia Pogonina: "Won team and board silver at the Women's World Chess Team Championship in China. Silver year so far for me at the world championships - three such medals."

Apr-29-15  HeMateMe: Newsweek has a short article about the recent world ch. match between Natalie P. and young Mariya M.:


mariya looks so nervous, maybe she's worried that silly crown will fall off? It looks like a birthday cake candle for a one year old enfant terrible.

I don't think the author, Felicity Capon knows how to play chess, maybe that's why the story is so superficial. Capon, on Grrl Power:


I just hope the air conditioning wasn't turned on!


Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Pogonina's projects in literature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Pogonina said that in recent times, she has devoted a lot of time to psychology.

Natalia Pogonina: "Most people tend to have a very biased and limited notion about psychology in chess: they either view it as a set of cheap tricks aimed at unsettling the opponent, or ignore this aspect altogether by quoting Bobby Fischer’s famous line: “I don’t believe in psychology. I believe in good moves”. Actually, this statement has little in common with the way Fischer acted himself, so it was more of a flashy motto than a real principle worth following.

Also, I would like to suggest a totally different attitude towards the game and life in general, which has nothing to do with all those slogans like “break a man’s ego”, “be prepared to kill people over the board”, and other means of trying to prove one’s worth by diminishing other people’s achievements’; hindering their self-fulfillment; demoralizing them. What attitude am I advocating? You will find out one day!"

Natalia's long-time trainer IM Pavel Lobach and her mother Elena wrote a book (in Russian) about chess and psychology:

Pavel Lobach, Elena Pogonina, "Chess and Psychology. Facts, comments, tests", Saratov 2011.

(Natalia Pogonina and Pavel Lobach)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Became the official ambassador of Chess Heroz. Should be fun :)

Aug-09-15  HeMateMe: Let's hope Natalie can afford some new jeans with prize money from the 2015 Russian championships:


I guess stuff wears out, after awhile...

Oct-03-15  HeMateMe: Natalie's back!


I couldn't resist.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Women's FIDE Grand Prix 2015 in Monte-Carlo

After listening the anthems of Monaco and FIDE, it came the drawing of lots to set up the pairings, where each girl had to open a box, within which a medal with the number was to be found.

Natalia Pogonina: "Lucky 7!"

Oct-14-15  HeMateMe: Natalie can't take a bad photo:


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