As anyone who has spent time talking to Ukrainian ladies knows, they are as beautiful as they are smart. Recently, two of the country’s top female chess players went head to head to test their skills in the game. The Women’s World Chess Champion, Anna Ushenina, took on Olena Boytsun in the country’s first official advanced chess competition.
Part of what makes advanced chess so interesting is that each player played with the assistance of a computer chess program. While the program would make suggestions, the ladies each ultimately decided on the moves. They were not allowed to see each other’s screens. The result was a flawless 40-move draw that left chess audiences on the edges of their seats.
Advanced chess was first introduced after international chess champion Garry Kasparov lost to IBM’s computer Deep Blue in 1997. The first match was held in Spain in 1998 and it’s been played all over the world since.
Ukrainian player Anna Ushenina won the World Chess Championship in November 2012. She became the under-20 Ukrainian girls’ champion at the age of 15. She is mostly self-taught. When she isn’t playing chess, she’s a normal Ukrainian mid-20s lady. She says she likes to listen to pop and classical music and read detective novels.
Olena Boytsun, who is also from Ukraine, holds the title of women’s international chess master. She runs the charity Chess for Children, and writes about chess and economics online.
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Photos: KyivPost and Facebook