North Urals Cup – Ladies super-tournament

by ChessBase
7/29/2004 – One of the strongest women's tournaments of all time is being held in the central Russian city of Krasnoturinsk, with the current and former world champions, and chess legend Boris Spassky speaking at the openings ceremony. We bring you games, results and a spectacular picture report.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The North Urals Cup 2004 is the second international super-tournament – for female chess players! it is being held in Krasnoturinsk. Pictures...

The city is located in the north of Sverdlovsk area in 426 kms from the regional center Ekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg). It is the cultural center of Northern Ural and the home of a number of outstanding Russian scientists. More...

The tournament is a nine round round robin with ten very strong female chess players, amongst them the current women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova (2527, BUL), five times world champion Maia Chiburdanidze (2498, GEO) Russian women's champion Alisa Galliamova (2490, RUS), two-times women's champion of the USSR Svetlana Matveeva (2482, RUS), European women's champion 2000 Natalia Zhukova (2475, UKR), US women's champion 1998 Irina Krush (2459, USA) and 2001 European women's champion Almira Skripchenko (2453, FRA). Data of all participants...

After five rounds we have Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Almira Skripchenko in the lead with 3.5 points, followed by Maia Chiburdanidze and Irina Krush.

Standings after five rounds

Picture gallery

The beautiful lakeside hotel where the players are staying

The Palace of Culture where the tournament is being held

All the ladies together at the openings ceremony

A pop group in an astonishing array of costumes

Acrobatic performances for the participants and visitors

Alisa Galliamova, Almira Skripchenko and the guest of honour Boris Spassky

Boris said that his passion for chess was born when at nine he had seen a sign saying "Chess Club" in a magnificent summer garden. He joined and started to play. Boris spoke about the first game, the first defeat, the first tears in his life and the decision never to lose. The 67-year-old veteran cannot imagine life without chess. He keeps up with all chess events and is interested in women chess. The 10th world champion thinks that the present champions neglect work with sparring partners and are too dependent on computers. Boris Spassky considers training with the computer rather superficial. He spoke about his own concept of training, which is centered around ideas – idea of game, idea of move. If Boris Spassky teaches, he teaches ideas. However he admits that he is not a good trainer.

Chess legend Boris Spassky talks about his life at the press conference.

The playing area in the Palace of Culture

Top seed and women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova

Natalie Zhukova (and Alisa Galliamova in the background)

Almira Skripchenko vs 18-year-old Maria Kursova in round one

Svetlana Matveeva

Ekaterina Polovnikova

Five-time world champion Maia Chiburdanidze

Former US Champion Irina Krush

Maria Kursova

Boris Spassky analyses with players and visitors


  • The official web site
    There are literally hundreds of pictures, many with captions in Russian and English, excellent English language reports, results, games, live coverage. An excellent web site with exemplary navigation. You can spend a few hours going through everything.

    Contact: Press officer: Elena Adrianova
    Tel: +7 (34314) 3-55-40
    Tel: +7 (34314) 3-55-41

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register