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Natalia Pogonina
N Pogonina 
Photograph courtesy of  
Number of games in database: 1,034
Years covered: 1996 to 2018
Last FIDE rating: 2474 (2433 rapid, 2309 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2508

Overall record: +365 -165 =370 (61.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 134 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (188) 
    B92 B33 B42 B32 B83
 Ruy Lopez (65) 
    C78 C65 C69 C70 C77
 French Defense (64) 
    C07 C03 C05 C10 C04
 French Tarrasch (57) 
    C07 C03 C05 C04 C09
 Sicilian Najdorf (47) 
    B92 B90
 Caro-Kann (43) 
    B12 B18 B17 B15
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (102) 
    B76 B78 B52 B50 B70
 Ruy Lopez (60) 
    C78 C69 C65 C92 C77
 Sicilian Dragon (55) 
    B76 B78 B70 B72 B74
 Modern Benoni (45) 
    A57 A58 A59 A56
 Benko Gambit (43) 
    A57 A58 A59
 Queen's Gambit Declined (41) 
    D37 D35 D38 D36 D30
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   G Swathi vs N Pogonina, 2008 0-1
   N Pogonina vs N Dzagnidze, 2009 1-0
   N Pogonina vs V Gunina, 2012 1-0
   The World vs N Pogonina, 2010 1/2-1/2
   N Pogonina vs The World, 2009 1-0
   L Kalinina vs N Pogonina, 2005 0-1
   Korbut vs N Pogonina, 2007 0-1
   Zhao Xue vs N Pogonina, 2015 0-1
   M Socko vs N Pogonina, 2009 0-1
   Zhu Chen vs N Pogonina, 2007 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Russian Team Championship (Women) (2018)
   European Club Cup (Women) (2007)
   World Junior Championship (Girls) (2005)
   Russian Chess Championship Higher League (Women) (2012)
   FIDE Women's World Chess Championship (2015)
   Russian Superfinals (Women) (2016)
   FIDE Women's Grand Prix Tehran (2016)
   10th European Individual Women's Championship (2009)
   European Individual Women's Championship (2012)
   European Individual Championship (Women) (2008)
   European Individual Championship (Women) (2017)
   Women's Olympiad (2008)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2016)
   Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012)
   European Team Championship (Women) (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   White Sicilian Wins by Hvalros
   Black Sicilian Wins by Hvalros
   C78 Spanish: Archangelsk [Black] by chess.master

   🏆 Russian Team Championship (Women)
   E Nikitina vs N Pogonina (May-09-18) 0-1
   N Pogonina vs Darya Filippova (May-08-18) 1-0
   V Nebolsina vs N Pogonina (May-07-18) 0-1
   N Pogonina vs Margarita Lysenko (May-05-18) 1-0
   E Ovod vs N Pogonina (May-04-18) 0-1

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

(born Mar-09-1985, 33 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

WFM (2001), WIM (2002), 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.


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: Гроссмейстер (шахматы); and Natalia Pogonina (kibitz #657).

Live rating:; Website:; Wikipedia article: Pogonina

Last updated: 2017-01-13 07:56:06

 page 1 of 42; games 1-25 of 1,034  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  0-1281996Volgograd opD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. N Zajnullina vs N Pogonina ½-½161996Volgograd opB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. V Savchuk vs N Pogonina  0-1481996Volgograd opC60 Ruy Lopez
4. M Dolgova vs N Pogonina 1-0451996Volgograd opB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
5. N Pogonina vs A Kizhikina  1-0321996Volgograd opA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
6. N Pogonina vs A Sorokina  1-0481996Volgograd opC42 Petrov Defense
7. N Pogonina vs Y Kaschenko 1-0381996Volgograd opB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
8. T Baranchikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½311996Volgograd opB24 Sicilian, Closed
9. T Eremina vs N Pogonina  0-1361997RUS-ch U12 GirlsB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  ½-½381997RUS-ch U12 GirlsB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
11. T Kosintseva vs N Pogonina  1-0631997RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
12. N Pogonina vs M Zabiran  1-0501997RUS-ch U12 GirlsC52 Evans Gambit
13. J Komarishkina vs N Pogonina  ½-½811997RUS-ch U12 GirlsE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
14. E Meshcheriakova vs N Pogonina 0-1381997RUS-ch U12 GirlsC42 Petrov Defense
15. L Dezhurko vs N Pogonina  0-1371997RUS-ch U12 GirlsB27 Sicilian
16. N Pogonina vs L Kucherova  1-0601997RUS-ch U12 GirlsB33 Sicilian
17. N Pogonina vs E Hasanova 0-1251997RUS-ch U12 GirlsB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
18. N Pogonina vs I Vasilevich  1-0231998RUS-ch U16 GirlsB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
19. N Pogonina vs O Kuchkova 1-0331998RUS-ch U16 GirlsC05 French, Tarrasch
20. N Pogonina vs Korbut  1-0291998RUS-ch U16 GirlsB32 Sicilian
21. Y Melnikova vs N Pogonina  ½-½521998RUS-ch U16 GirlsC49 Four Knights
22. N Pogonina vs M Komiagina  1-0401998RUS-ch U16 GirlsB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. L Galustova vs N Pogonina  0-1661998RUS-ch U16 GirlsB01 Scandinavian
24. N Pogonina vs N Zajnullina  1-0171998RUS-ch U16 GirlsC50 Giuoco Piano
25. O Druzhinina vs N Pogonina  0-1611998RUS-ch U16 GirlsD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 42; games 1-25 of 1,034  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 27 OF 28 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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:


Jan-27-16  waustad: Congratulations on the nice win over Arkadij Naiditsch! That's getting back some elo in a hurry.
Feb-05-16  HeMateMe: two former champions of Russia square off:


Feb-05-16  sonia91: She earned a GM norm in Tradewise Gibraltar (2016): http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.c...
Feb-11-16  waustad: Yes. She got a 9 game norm. I thought she had come up short with a tpr of 2583, but before her last round draw in round 10 with Alexandra Kosteniuk it was over 2600. Now she only needs one more GM norm for the title, since she's had a rating over 2500. She started out well today, winning with black against Harika Dronavalli in the Tehran Grand Prix.
Feb-14-16  HeMateMe: Go Natalie! She's on top of the Grand Prix in Iran, leading the field, like a bullet. Rumor has it that she's superstitious, and she'll wear the head scarf to all future tournaments if she wins this one.


wait, wrong girl...


much better.


ok, that's not Nat, it's Svetlana Z, another Russian looker. She just popped up in the search window. kinda grabs your attention.

Mar-08-16  sonia91: Happy birthday to the 2015 Women's World Vice Champion!
Mar-08-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Natalie!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Happy birthday, Natalia!
Mar-08-16  waustad: 31, a prime of life!
Mar-08-16  HeMateMe: happy 29th, Nat!
Mar-08-16  Party Animal: Happy Birthday Natalia! Great chess player & beautiful woman! ; P

The Beatles - Birthday

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Happy Birthday Natalia. We each have something to celebrate March 9th. You, of course, your birthday. Me, it's the anniversary of the day my wife and I met, back in 1969, and we still celebrate it each year. So, happy 31st to you and happy 47th to us.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Natalia Pogonina> Happy Birthday!!
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