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Monday, July 27, 2009

Lyudmila Rudenko: Happy 105th Birthday

On July 27, 1904 a great Soviet chess player Lyudmila Rudenko was born.

The first women's world champion Vera Menchik died in 1944 during an air raid during the second world war. After the war in the winter of 1949–1950 the World Chess Federation (FIDE) held a tournament in Moscow to determine the new women's world champion. Sixteen women from twelve countries competed, with the four Soviet players taking the top four spots. Rudenko won, and held the Women's World Championship title until losing it to Elisabeth Bykova in 1953 in the next championship cycle. After the war, Rudenko's chess trainers were Alexander Tolush and Grigory Levenfish.

For those of you who know Russian, there is an interesting article about Lyudmila Rudenko here.

Every year in Saint Petesburg, the city where Rudenko lived for a long time, an annual women's tournament is taking place dedicated to the great chess champion. This year it will take place from August 25 till September 3, 2009. The information about the tournament can be found on the official site of the Saint-Petersburg chess federation, here.

Here is a game between Lyudmila Rudenko and Clarice Benini from the women's world championship tournament of 1950.

Black just played 37. ... Nf4. It's white to move. Try to find the continuation that Lyudmila Rudenko chose, later on you can have a look at the whole game, the pgn of which I'm adding below:

[Event "Wch"]
[Date "1950"]
[White "Rudenko Liudmila"]
[Black "Benini Clarice"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "D24"]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4
Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Qe2 Bg4 10.Rd1 Nbd7 11.e4 Nb6 12.Bb3 h6 13.h3
Bh5 14.g4 Bg6 15.Ne5 Bh7 16.f3 Qe7 17.Be3 Rfd8 18.Nd3 Ba5 19.Rac1
Nbd7 20.Qg2 Kh8 21.Ne2 Bb6 22.Qf2 Rac8 23.Nc5 Bxc5 24.dxc5 Ne5
25.Nd4 c6 26.Bf4 Nfd7 27.Qg3 Qf6 28.h4 g5 29.hxg5 hxg5 30.Be3
Nf8 31.Rd2 Nfg6 32.Bd1 Rd7 33.Be2 Rcd8 34.Rcd1 Qe7 35.b4 a5 36.bxa5
Qxc5 37.Kf2 Nf4 38.Nxe6 Rxd2 39.Rxd2 Rxd2 40.Bxc5 fxe6 41.Kf1
Kg7 42.Be3 Rxe2 43.Bxf4 gxf4 44.Qxf4 Re1+ 45.Kg2 Nf7 46.Qd2 Rb1
47.Qc2 Ra1 48.Qb2+ e5 49.Qxa1 Kf6 50.Qb2 Nd6 51.Qb4 1-0

The chessboard is © where you can copy and paste any pgn moves and see the game on the board automatically.

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

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