Anna Ushenina was the 14th Women's World Champion, winning the crown in December 2012. She lost the title to Yifan Hou in September 2013 in the Ushenina - Hou Women's World Championship (2013).
WIM (2001); WGM (2003); IM (2007); GM (2012).
Ushenina was born in Kharkov where she still lives. She learned chess at the age of 7 from her mother and she attended what was then the Sport School of Olympic Reserves and is now called the Kharkov School of Physical Culture and Sports from 2000 and graduated in 2002. Her coach from 2000 until 2002 was Artiom Tsepotan, who is the founder of the live ratings site http://www.2700chess.com/.
After winning a number of age based national girls championships, Ushenina won the Ukrainian Championship (Girls U20) in 2002 and the Ukrainian Women’s Championship in 2005. She participated in the FIDE Women's World Championship (2006) and defeated 2004 Women’s U20 World Champion Ekaterina Korbut in the first round before losing to the eventual winner and Women’s World Champion of 2006, Yuhua Xu. Two years later at the Women's World Championship (2008) held in Nalchik, Ushenina defeated Vietnam’s Thanh Tu Le, Germany’s Elisabeth Paehtz, and Russia’s Svetlana Matveeva before losing in the quarter finals to the eventual winner and 2008 Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. Also in 2008, she came third in the European Individual Championship (Women) (2008) held in Plovdiv.
In 2012, she came =1st at the Ukrainian Women's Championship, but placed third on tiebreak behind Mariya Muzychuk and Kateryna Lahno respectively. She qualified for the FIDE Knock-out Women's World Championship (2012) and defeated Peruvian WGM Deysi Estela Cori Tello, Slovenian GM Anna Muzychuk, Russian WGM Natalia Pogonina, Russian GM Nadezhda Kosintseva and WGM Ju Wenjun to reach the final where she played and defeated former Women's World Champion, Bulgarian GM Antoaneta Stefanova, in the first set of tiebreakers after drawing the classical portion of the match 2-2. Her victory also gained her the Grandmaster title.
Ushenina competed in the first event of the Women's Grand Prix series 2013-14, the Women Grand Prix Geneva (2013), scoring 6/11 and placing =5th, scoring 75 Grand Prix points. Her second event in the series was at FIDE Women's Grand Prix Dilijan (2013) where she placed 5th with 5.5/11 (+1 -1 =9), earning another 80 GP points. Qualifying for the World Cup (2013) as current Women's World Champion, she met Peter Svidler in the 1st round and after drawing with the Russian GM in the two standard games and in the 25 minute rapid game tiebreakers, she eventually lost in the 2nd set of rapid game (10+10) tiebreakers. Her win against Svidler in the 2nd game of the standard match earned for her the highest standard rating of her career.
In September 2013, she lost her championship title to former champion Yifan Hou in the Ushenina - Hou Women's World Championship (2013) match by 5.5-1.5 (+4 =3).
In April 2014, she played in the 4th leg of the Women's Grand Prix 2013-14, and scored 5/11 for an =8th placement at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014). In September, she played in the sixth and final leg of the Grand Prix series at FIDE Women's Grand Prix Sharjah (2014), placing 3rd-6th and earning 87.5 GP points. Her final best-of-three tally for the Grand Prix Series 2013-14 was 242.5, earning her 9th place in the overall standings.
She won the Rudenko Memorial held in Saint Petersburg in 2004 and placed 2nd at the North Urals Cup (2008). She won the round robin Rector's Cup event in 2010.
Ushenina won a Team Gold Medal playing reserve for Ukraine in the 37th Chess Olympiad: Women (2006) held in Turin, a Team Silver Medal playing board 3 for her country in the Women's Olympiad (2008) played in Dresden, and Team Bronze Medals playing board 4 for Ukraine at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012) and board 3 at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014). Other noteworthy achievements include Team and Individual Bronze Medals at the inaugural Women's World Team Championship (2007) held in Ekaterinburg and from top board she led Ukraine to a bronze medal in the 2nd Women’s World Team Championships in 2009 in Ningbo, China. In addition, she won individual gold at the European Team Chess Championships (Women) (2007), team bronze at the 17th European Team Championship (Women) (2009) and individual gold for board three at the European Team Championship (Women) (2011).
Ushenina played in the Women's World Team Championship (2013) in Astana, Kazakhstan in March 2013, helping her team to a team gold and herself to an individual silver with a 6/8 result on board 2. She also helped her team Ugra to a gold medal in the Russian Team Championships (Women) (2013). She rounded out the year with team gold and individual bronze playing board 2 for Ukraine in the European Team Championship (Women) (2013), and scoring 6.5/8.
Ushenina played board 1 for the Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk region club in the European Women's club Cup 2014, winning individual bronze and helping her team to fourth place. She is also playing in the 2014 Chinese League, where she is playing for the Tianjing team.
In January 2013, the President of Ukraine awarded Ushenina the Order of Princess Olga, 2nd Class, in recognition of her winning the Women's World Championship.*
FIDE ratings and rankings:
<Standard> As of 1 January 2015, Ushenina’s rating was 2486, making her the #22 woman player in the world. Her peak rating was 2502 in July 2007 when she was ranked #8 woman in the world;
<Rapid> 2513 (women's world #12); and
<Blitz> 2485 (women's world #15).
Sources and references
Live ratings: http://www.2700chess.com/women; Wikipedia article: Anna Ushenina; * Wikipedia article: Орден княгини Ольги; (Russian); Wikipedia article: Order of Princess Olga (English); Chessbase article following her win of the women's chess crown: http://chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211...
Latest update 6 Jan 2015