WIM (2005); WGM (2007); IM (2008); GM (2015); Ukrainian U10 Girls Champion (2001); Ukrainian U12 Girls Champion (2004); Ukrainian Junior (U20) Girls Champion (2008); Ukrainian Women's Champion (2012, 2013 & 2014); 15th Women's World Champion (2015).
Master awards and norms
<Women's International Master> Muzychuk's WIM title was awarded for her result at the European Individual Women's Championship in 2005 (see below), which finished on 24 June 2005. She was aged 12 years 9 months and 3 days.
<Grandmaster> She gained a GM norm at Gibraltar 2014, but won the entire GM title direct when she won the Women's World Championship on 17 March 2015 (the date of the tiebreakers). She was aged 22 years 5 months and 26 days.
<Youth> Mariya first made her mark in high level Girls U10 competitions: in 2001, she won the U10 championship of Ukraine, and in the same year was third in the U10 European Championship and runner up in the U10 World Championship. In the Girls U12 competitions, Mariya took second place in the European Championship in 2002 and in 2004, won the Championship of Ukraine and came equal third in the U12 World Championship held in Crete. Continuing with her campaign into the next age group, she competed in the World Girls U14 Championship 2005 in Belfort and placed =2nd behind the late Elena Tairova, placed =3rd at the European Girls U14 Championship in 2006 and was 3rd in the World U14 Girls Championship in 2006. The following year she moved up another age division to compete in the 17th European Girls U16 Championship 2007 in Croatia, placing =2nd behind Kubra Ozturk.
<Junior> Muzychuk's first FIDE-rated tournament was in March 2003, when as a ten-year-old she competed in the Ukrainian Junior (U20) Girls' Championship and scored an impressive 5.5/11 in this outing (placing =5th), recording a tournament performance rating of 2189 - three years later in 2006, she was runner up in this event (to Diana Arutyunova). In 2008, she was equal runner up behind Dronavalli Harika in the Girls Division of the World Junior Championship and won the Ukrainian Girls Junior (U20) Championship in 2008.
<National> Late in 2003, the eleven-year-old dipped her toes in deep water by competing in the Ukrainian Women's Championship. Although she finished near the bottom of the field on this occasion, she learned from her experience and other similar experiences in senior chess venues to go on to eventually win this event in 2012 when she won the 72nd Ukrainian Women's Championship 2012 in Kharkiv with 6.5/9 (+4 =5 -0) ahead of Kateryna Lahno and Anna Ushenina on tie-breaks. She defended her title at the Ukraine Women's Championship (final) in 2013, winning with 7.5/9, 1.5 points ahead of 2nd placed Natalia Zhukova and at the Ukrainian Women's Championship in 2014.
<Continental> In 2005, 12-year-old Mariya dipped her toes into even deeper water when she entered the 6th European Individual Women's Championship (2005). On that occasion, Caissa again smiled on her and she scored 5.5/12 to add over 50 points to her rating card, as well as gaining her WIM title. No doubt encouraged by this result, she entered the 7th European Individual Championship: Women (2006), this time scoring 6.5/11 and adding 63 rating points to her tally. She duplicated her 2006 score at the European Individual Championships (Women) (2007), but her higher rating meant that the fourteen-year-old "only" acquired another 23 rating points on this occasion. The same score in the European Individual Championship (Women) (2008) added 3 points to the fifteen-year-old's rating. As a higher rated player, the sixteen-year-old scored 7.5/11 (placing =10th) at the 10th European Individual Women's Championship (2009) to add almost the same number of rating points (4 points) she did in the previous year's version of the event. In 2010, the seventeen-year-old was faced with higher rated opposition to again score 7.5/11 in the European Individual Championships (Women) (2010), this time placing =8th and adding 16 points on this occasion to her rating. Her first backward step in this event occurred at the European Individual Women's Championship in 2011 when the eighteen-year-old scored 7/11 and lost 4.5 rating points. 2012 was even worse for the nineteen-year-old at the European Individual Women's Championship (2012) when she only scored 5.5/11, losing 22 rating points.
Mariya then switched events and in 2013 she played in the powerful "open" European Individual Championships (2013) where she scored a par-for-rating 6/11. A few months later she reappeared at the European Individual Women's Championship (2013), faring no better than in the previous year scoring 6.5/11. She regained her upward trajectory with her run up to the Women's World Championship 2015 in the women's event in European Individual Women's Championship (2014), when she scored 8/11 to place 3rd behind Valentina Gunina and Tatiana Kosintseva.
<World> She qualified for the Women's World Chess Championship (2010) and defeated Deysi Estela Cori Tello and Betul Cemre Yildiz before losing to Harika in round 3. She also qualified for the FIDE Knock-out Women's World Championship (2012) and won the first two rounds of matches against Cristina-Adela Foisor and Maritza Arribas Robaina respectively, before conceding the third round to GM Zhao Xue.
Mariya's finest hour so far came at the FIDE Women's World Chess Championship (2015) knockout event, where she defeated Yuanling Yuan, Monika (Bobrowska) Socko, Antoaneta Stefanova, Koneru Humpy and Harika to win through to the final against Natalia Pogonina. She won the final 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3), thereby becoming the 15th Women's World Champion. For winning this event, she also won the "open" Grandmaster title. In addition, her win of the Women's title automatically qualified her for the World Cup (2015), where she played and lost to Michael Adams in the first round.
Muzychuk was outright second with 7/9 behind Jacek Tomczak in the 2nd KS Polonia Tournament that was staged in Wroclaw in Poland in April 2007. She scored a strong 6.5/9 at the Pfalz Open in 2009. She was invited to the Corus Group C (2010) and scored a basically rating-neutral 6/13. He victims in the event included GMs Robin van Kampen and Kjetil A Lie. Soon afterwards, in February 2010, she was 2nd at the Women's International Tournament at Cotroceni in Romania. Her best "open" result came when she competed at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2014), and was the top female performer with 7/10, ahead of Zhao Xue and Natalia Zhukova on tiebreak, and winning a GM norm.
<National Representative> Mariya Muzychuk played for Ukraine at the Women's Olympiads of 2010, 2012 and 2014. At the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2010), she won individual gold for her result as the team's reserve. At the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012) in Istanbul, she won team bronze and individual silver (board two). She won team bronze at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014). Her games tally to date at the Women's Olympiads is 18.5 points from 28 games (+11 =15 -2) for a 66.1% result.
She also represented Ukraine at the World Women's Team Championships in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, and at the European Women's Team Championships in 2011 and 2013. Her medal tally in the former includes team bronze in the Yinzhou Cup Women World Teams (2009), team gold and individual silver in the Women's World Team Championship (2013), individual bronze at the World Women's Team Championships in 2015. In the latter her medal tally is individual silver (reserve board) at the European Team Championship (Women) (2011) (team placing 4th) and both team and individual gold (board 3) at the European Team Championship (Women) (2013).
<Continental League> Muzychuk played in the European Women's Club Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for the Russian AVS Krasnoturinsk team, winning individual gold for reserve board in European Club Cup (Women) (2011).
<National Leagues> Mariya played in the Turkish League 2 of 2006, the Turkish Is Bank Chess League 2007-2008 & 2012, the Serbian League for women in 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014, the Slovenian Women's League from 2007 until 2010, the Croatian Women's League from 2009 until 2011, the Frauenbundesliga in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013-14 & 2014-15 and the Russian Women's League in 2010 & 2011. She played for Lviv in the 3rd all-Ukrainian Games (chess - women) in Eupatoria in 2007, winning team and individual gold. She also played in the Chinese League B Division in 2010 and for the Qinhuangdao club in the Chinese League A Division in 2013.
<Other> Muzychuk was the top female scorer with 5/8 in the Snowdrops and Old-hands (2011), won by the Old Hands team. She was in the women's team in the next staging of the event, which was the Snowdrops - Oldhands (2013), this time the Snowdrops winning.
Rating and Ranking History
Mariya's initial rating was in July 2003 when as a ten year old she returned a FIDE rating of 2150. Her rating rose above 2500 in December 2013 and has remained above 2500 since that time. Her highest rating to date was 2530 in August 2014 when she was ranked #9 woman in the world, that ranking also being her highest rank to date.
Her sister is GM Anna Muzychuk.
References and Sources
Most of the data from this bio are from the FIDE database, with supplementary information on these data derived from This Week In Chess and Chess-Results.
Wikipedia article: Mariya Muzychuk