The kick boxing women's chess champion

by ChessBase
12/13/2006 – The winner of the Ukrainian Women's Championship 2006 was not one of the very strong top seeds, but WGM Oksana Vozovic, a law student who is also a kick boxer and karate champion. Oksana, who won the women's chess title on tiebreak points, is still trying to decide which area of expertise she will pursue professionally. Illustrated report by GM Mikhail Golubev.

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The kick boxing women's chess champion

By GM Mikhail Golubev

The Ukrainian Women's Championship took place in Odessa from 26 November – 6 December 2006. It was all-play-all with 12 players. The organisers from the Bank Pivdennyi (who will also host the ACP Rapid World Cup in January) hoped that all the strongest country's female grandmasters would compete. One of them, Katya Lahno, preferred to take part in the men's knockout championship in Poltava. (She was defeated in the first round by GM Drozdovskij in tiebreak games, despite winning the first of two classical games).

Thus, main favourites in Odessa were three other champions of the 2006 Olympiad, i.e. Natalia Zhukova, Inna Gaponenko and Anna Ushenina. Surprisingly, none of them won the championship. WGM Oksana Vozovic from Nikolaev, who is now studying in the Kharkov Law Academy and is also a kickboxing fighter (a medalist of the country junior championship in karate) took the gold medal. Oksana scored the same number of points as Ushenina, but the tiebreak parameters favoured Vozovic.

The new champion has taken silver medals three times at the European and world junior championships. She won several international tournaments, including the Rector's Cup in Kharkov earlier this year. Vozovik's coach in Nikolaev is IM Andrei Rakhmangulov, but she also mentioned the directors of her Nikolaev and Kharkov chess clubs and the rector of the Kharkov Law Academy as those who are also responsible for her successes.

Vozovic still did not make a professional choice between chess, laws and kickboxing. As she said, she is trying to be successful at everything. The third place was taken by WGM Natalja Zdebskaja, while the favourites Gaponenko and Zhukova finished only fourth and fifth, respectively. The latter, however has a reasonable excuse for her mediocre performance...

The winner: Oksana Vozovic from Nikolaev

The 50 years jubilee of the Ukrainian women's team coach, the Odessa GM Viacheslav Eingorn was celebrated during the tournament. Eingorn, who led the Ukrainian team to the victory in Torino, received gifts from the tournament organisers, the federation officials and from the players of his team as well.

GM Viacheslav Eingorn is congratulated on his 50th birthday by the Ukrainian women's team during the opening ceremony in the Mozart Hotel

The organisation of the championship was assessed by its winner, Vozovic, as excellent. She nevertheless added that there was not enough food in the sanatorium Belaya Akazya, where the participants lived, because she is using to eat as much as two men combined.

The main awards – with money prizes added on

The President of the Ukrainian Chess Federation Viktor Petrov

The Chairman of the Bank Pivdennyi, Vadim Morokhovskiy and the President of the Ukrainian Chess Federation posing together with the winner Oksana Vozovic

Top seed Natalia Zhukova, 2456, finished fifth

Vadim Morokhovskiy prepared many special prizes

Closing ceremony, during the playing of the Ukraine National Anthem

All of them – the participants of the Ukrainian Women's Championship

At the center of attention: the winnesr, Anna Ushenina and Oksana Vozovic

The official tournament cake, which reads "Ukrainian
Women's Chess Championship. 13 years of Bank Pivdennyi"

Natalia Zhukova seals the fate of of the cake

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