Goryachkina’s whirlwind progress through the ranks of junior chess makes the young Russian an obvious future World Championship contender. At the age of nine she was able to beat her Candidate Master mother and it only took a while longer until she was beating her FIDE Master father, who was also her first coach. The family moved over 2000 km north to the edge of the Arctic Circle so Aleksandra could study at the Anatoly Karpov Polar Chess School in Salekhard, while she now works with GM Vladimir Belov.
Among Aleksandra’s many youth titles scoring a perfect 9/9 at the Girls U14 World Junior Championship in 2011 stands out. During that year her rating climbed almost 300 points from 2045 to 2333. 2012 was another annus mirabilis, with the 13-year-old becoming the youngest player after Hou Yifan to claim the WGM title, winning both the World and European U18 Championships and finishing runner-up in the Russian U20 Championship. She ended the year by winning the Women’s Russian Cup knockout competition. Although her appearance in the C Tournament in Wijk aan Zee in early 2013 proved she wasn’t quite ready to take on the male chess world (7 losses, 5 draws, 1 win) she won the Girls U20 World Junior Championship later that year. It’s not hard to predict Aleksandra has a big future ahead of her.
Photo: Russian Chess Federation
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