Natalia Pogonina and Peter Zhdanov, the new chess couple
Natalia Pogonina (born on March
9, 1985) is one of the best female chess players in the world, member of the
Russian chess team. Woman Grandmaster (WGM), three-times European champion (U16,
twice U18), bronze prize winner at the World Championship (U18) and European
Women Championship, winner of the gold medal at the 1st International Mind Sports
Games, co-winner of the 2008 Student World Championship, and #1 at multiple
prestigious international tournaments (2006 Bykova Memorial, 2007 Rudenko memorial,
2009 Moscow Open, etc.).
Her current FIDE
rating is over 2500 – a mark that is associated with the title of a male
Peter Zhdanov (born on January,
8, 1986) is a successful IT project manager, leading world debate expert (Expert
of the Year in the CIS-2007 and 2008; author of two books and multiple articles
on debates; winner of many tournaments, chief editor of “Debates in the CIS”
magazine), top blogger and a proficient chess player (aiming at becoming a FIDE
Master). Peter is also Natalia Pogonina’s manager, Pogonina.com
website administrator and Natalia’s co-author of the upcoming book “Chess Kamasutra”
Wedding day album by IM Pavel Lobach
For more photos from Natalia Pogonina
and Peter Zhdanov’s wedding check out the picture gallery at Natalia
Pogonina’s official website.
Chess Kamasutra, women in chess
Natalia Pogonina would like to see women chess players doing their best to
match the best male players. According to her, we might see a female absolute
world chess champion. Apart from chess, Natalia is also widely known as a person
of great physical and spiritual beauty. In this Latest Chess interview
Natalia talks about her goals, chess and education, her Chess Kamasutra book,
etc. According to her, it is possible to apply sex principles to chess. Interesting
interview with lots of pictures.
LatestChess: How do you balance the
competing demands of your multiple professions as a GM, model, practicing
Law? Have you ever considered giving up one to concentrate on the other?
Chess is my primary occupation, so I dedicate most of my time to it. Other
activities that you have mentioned don’t require that much energy, so
I manage to spare some time for them too. One shouldn’t confine himself
to his job, people should develop harmoniously.
Did your chess studies affect your schooling when you were growing up?
When did you decide to become a professional chess player?
I don’t think that studying chess has greatly affected my results in
other subjects. At that time I didn’t spend that much time playing chess,
and was just a regular kid. Some subjects were less challenging, some were more.
When I was about twelve years old I firmly decided that I am going to be a professional
Could you tell un about your new project "Chess Kamasutra",
a very subject for a chess book.
Both chess and the Kamasutra originate from India. In “Chess Kamasutra”
I and my co-author Peter Zhdanov will show that it is possible to apply sex
principles to chess, and vice versa. We will be reviewing the most interesting
openings and middlegame positions, and relating them to positions from Kamasutra.
We surprise our readers by introducing the “love theory”, which
is extremely effective for developing your chess skills and becoming happy in
personal life. We will share unique training methods in “sexchess”,
approbated by ourselves. Chess Kamasutra is going to be a very entertaining
and useful book covering many interesting subjects – we aren’t revealing
most of the secrets yet, but one day you’ll be able to see it for yourself.
Peter Zhdanov and Natalia Pogonina, authors of Chess Kamasutra
Apart from chess, you have snagged attention with your good looks. Do
you think glamour can help in popularizing chess world wide?
Chess is just dying for effective promotion. There are many good-looking women
chess players, so the slogan “Beauty and intellect” may be of great
help in terms of making chess more popular. It’s a matter of smart marketing
– interest towards chess will be growing for sure.
What are your thoughts about the future of women in chess? How do you
feel we could attract more girls to the game?
I believe that women's chess can have a great future. It is more competitive,
unpredictable and exciting. I believe that is possible. Women chess may be attractive
since it’s easier to attain decent results there than in men’s chess.
This is connected with the fact that chess is more popular among men than among
women. Another idea – why not try to catch up and beat the male players?
It’s a great motivator for me, since I believe that top women chess players
should play on equal even with super grandmasters. So far only Judith Polgar
managed to do it, but in the future we might see a female absolute world chess
Who do you consider the best up coming young female players in the world,
aside from yourself? Do you think, any of the current young crop can match
with Judith Polgar?
There are more promising chess players. First of all, I should mention Koneru
Humpy, the only women chess player (except for Judith Polgar) who broke the
2600 barrier, and Hou Yifan. But there are also other gifted players who are
able to reach Judith Polgar’s level. The key thing is to believe in oneself.