Ukraine Wins Women’s World Championship

Comments: 28

Several days ago, the Women’s World Team Championship finished. The final results were:

  1. Ukraine
  2. China
  3. Russia

A useful question we can ask ourselves is, “WHY are some teams on the podium, while others cannot reach it?”

Obviously it’s NOT because talented are people born in certain countries constantly. :)
Government support of chess in the Ukraine (and in Russia) is minimal.

So WHY do they keep wining? By the way, in December, a Ukrainian GM, Anna Ushenina, won the Women’s World Champion title.

The answer, as it turns out, is actually quite simple: some teams get greater results CONSTANTLY because they have a better system of training.

Ukraine and Russia had an excellent “chess school” (in a broad meaning) in the past and continues to get good results from it. China also develops its teaching system now (by inviting coaches from the former USSR :)) .

Of course, a proper training brings good results not only at the top level, but for beginner/intermediate players as well.

Here’s an e-mail that I recently received from one of my students:

Dear sir,
I started playing chess 1 year ago. I bought your course 6 months ago. I studied your course Gm secret,opening labratory & end game expert. Then participate 15th prime bank international rating chess tournament 2013 dhaka Bangladesh. (my first tournament) I got 1870 fide rating facing 9 rated player and got 5 points.

In 2nd tournament I also got 5 point 9th Borisal amrit lal day international rating chess tournament, and my rating is increase by +9. Now I am a rated player and it cannot be possible without you. so thank you my dear sir.
your sincerely
Md. abu lish ansary
here is my fide id link  

1870 is not that huge for a rating, but it’s excellent after only 6 months of learning! Some people can’t reach this level after many years. You can see the difference that a proper training makes. :)


Getting back to the Women’s World Championship, I’ve selected some really interesting games for you.

Perhaps you know already that your chess game is your self-portrait; It shows your character and your way of thinking.

From this point of view, it’s interesting to notice the difference between men’s and women’s chess style.

–> MEN have more holistic approach and orient on strategic plans.

–> WOMEN are excellent in noticing specific aspects of each given position. Sometimes it helps them to discover very sudden resources!

Now, let’s see if you can guess these women’s plans. :)

Nakhbayeva – Lagno

Black’s turn

How would you play here as Black?
Please, try to find the answer in all 5 positions. At the end I’ll provide the solutions.

Mohota – Ushenina

Black’s turn

Of course you should not just find a single move, but calculate the resulting lines as well.

Ni – Zhukova

Black’s turn

You are playing Black again.

Khurtsidze – Muzychuk

Black’s turn

Many pieces are exchanged already, but still there’s some place for your creativity :)

Now you probably think Ukrainian women can only play Black well. :) Perhaps I should provide a game for White side as well:

Muzychuk – Padmini

White’s turn

If I don’t ask you to think here you would just continue White’s development, wouldn’t you? :)

After you’ve come up with your solutions for all 5 positions, please, download the full games here: LINK You’ll enjoy them for sure! :)

If you want to watch other games from this tournament, you can download all those games here: LINK

Have a nice day!
P.S. Did you like these games? Write your impressions in comments below.

Comments: 28

Comments 28

  1. Than you very much master Igor,you’re a very great chess teacher,may you’ll always bless with a happy and healthy life.

  2. Igor,

    your files are impossible to open easily. it is so convoluted I don’t know why you bother to publish anything. I bought one of your courses which caused me endless problems so I gave up. The thing is your content seems really interesting but getting to it is like climbing Everest

    1. If you cannot open it,you need to have a program called CompoChess,you can download it on his page,I think in one of his latest lessons.

  3. To have to go over all games from beginning is very cumbersom and impractical. Why dont you just publish answers and explanations at end of column?

  4. Everything work fine like always !!!!!!!!!!! I have never problems with it , lucky I found the best training method it is self taught grandmaster 🙂 Thank u for this great article

    congratulations to Ukraine they have the best chess coach ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. If somebody can’t open chess games, please, do the following:
    1) If you don’t know how to open *.zip files – please, watch this video tutorial:
    2) Here’s an instruction for opening chess games in *.pgn format (which is the most common format of a chess database):
    3) In case of any other questions, please, visit our support zone: All common questions are already answered there.

  6. It seems that some people here have certain problems with the lessons given by Igor but that doesn’t mean that we should be impolite. A “please” or a “thank u” is not so much to give to a person who has helped us in a long time now to improve our chess.
    So guys be polite. It costs nothing.

  7. some teams get greater results CONSTANTLY because they have a better system of training.>>Look….Self-taught Grandmaster course»

  8. I just studied the Lagno’s game! Impressive! I found …b5 and i calculated all the critical variations but i also enjoyed the rest of game. She was attacking all the time! She gave no time to white to organize a defence. Every move by Lagno was a threat! I liked very much the moves …Qxd5 and …Bd4! keeping the pressure and even increase it! Amazing perfomance by this beautiful lady Gm!

  9. Thank you Igor for this interesting lesson. I have understood that when you learn chess you must begin with easy lesson and not very hard. You can not spend immediately at the top level. I want to say that you must not learn hard things if you don’t understand easy, and simple things.

  10. Good point, Christos!
    People are often reluctant to study fundamentals, because it doesn’t seem so cool. However, studying “advanced” materials simply does NOT work when those fundamentals are missing.

    1. Agree , that’s why I study everything from you’re courses never skip something , and take every lesson seriously.

  11. I love chess but to keep intrest i want to keep up with the news of chess. Its not as easy as soccer so could you please give me good places I could view these games. I have also heard there is a candidate tournament starting on who shall play against anand for the world champion title.
    Thanks a lot,
    Vaibhav Jain

  12. Dear Igor>> You cannot improve at chess by any means. No-one improved at chess by just watching 2-hour videos or by buying courses or books like “ultimate…”, “how to beat…”, “secrets…”, “grandmaster over-night”, “quick…” and so on. NO, chess improvement means high-quality chess lessons, professional written courses, individual work, positional training …and a bit of talent.

    1. Dear Andrei >> You are wrong…and GM Igor Smirnov ..didn’t say his courses make you legend in chess history ,but he said if you studied his courses very well and did practical part very hard …and by some real practice you will become a good player…Please some grateful>>Thanks>>

  13. dear mr Igor

    thank you very much for your lessons and tips that you give to me. I start play chess since 2000 but until now I am is bad in middle and end game I would like to study my middle game of my opening but how ? should I study the example games of the opening laboratory that you give or play against fritz 13 ?

    1. Middlegame/endgame SKILLS are not about knowledge. It’s about your general skills, which is based on your chess understanding.
      You may study some typical games/positions that arise from your openings. However, this is an auxiliary thing. The main factor is your overall chess power.

      I would recommend that you study “The Grandmaster’s Secrets” or “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” course. This is fundamental knowledge. If you have watched these courses already, you need to STUDY them again.

  14. Please help me! from White ‘Closed Sicilian’ or ‘Open Sicilian’ which is the to start as 1600 rated player?

  15. Sir,

    i went through your course opening games, and I’m lacking a bit of information. A lot of players choose d4 to avoid the Sicilian with the loads of theory lines. As you suggest to play e4, I’m missing the white counterplay in your description of the openings. Open is probably better, but closed has less theory, and uses less sharp theoretical lines. Still hungry for some more in depth thoughts about this

    1. I am basically expecting

      1. replies against 1.d4 where black cannot play benko (which is not included in previous course ) . As adun said 1.d4 Nf6, 2.Nf3 and also 1.d4 Nf6 2. Bf4/Bg5 lines .

      2. An alternative to benko against 1.d4. ( I am not fully comfortable about playing a pawn down game. )

      3. Replies to 1.c4 1.Nf3 etc.

      4. Expansion of current repertoire lines for both black & white (At some place you mentioned keep two repertoire against strong and weak opponents)

      Thank you !

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