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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chess trivia answer: She's Sonja Graf

Hello Everyone,

We had asked you this trivia question last week. You had to identify the player on the left in the photo. Indeed she is Sonja Graf.

This photo is of Sonja Graf playing against an unknown player at the Utrecht Chess Club in 1936

Sonja Graf was born in Munich, Germany in 1908. She lived in Argentina and the United States. She was the Women's World Vice-Champion, two-time winner of the U.S. Women's Chess Championship and author of two books which describe her life in chess and otherwise.

Her fame as a coffeehouse player grew and she was introduced to and became a student of German master Siegbert Tarrasch.

She was one of the rare women chess players in the early 20th Century. She had a flamboyant lifestyle and played against the then women's world champion Vera Menchik several times.

One of her most well-known games was against Estonian master Paul Keres. You can read more about her here.

Here is one of her games against Vera Menchik. You can run it in the pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

PGN: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.a3 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O b6 9.Qe2 Bb7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Rd1 Ne5 13.Ba6 Nxf3+ 14.gxf3 Bxh2+ 15.Kxh2 Qd6+ 16.f4 Bxa6 17.Qf3 Bb7 18.Bd2 Qd7 19.Qh3 Qxh3+ 20.Kxh3 d4 21.exd4 cxd4 22.Nb5 d3 23.Be3 Rfd8 24.Nd4 Ba6 25.b4 Nd5 26.b5 Nxf4+ 27.Kg4 Ne2 28.Rxd3 Bxb5 29.Nxb5 Rxd3 30.Kf3 Nc3 0-1

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


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