Kateryna Lagno was yet another prodigy to roll off the Ukrainian production line. Only a couple of weeks older than Sergey Karjakin, she claimed the women’s grandmaster title as a 12-year-old and soared to a world ranking of 6 a year later. She won the European Individual Championship as a 15-year-old in 2005 and then again in 2008, while in 2010 she became Women’s World Blitz Champion after ending that gruelling event with 20/30. She first played for Ukraine in the Olympiad in 2004, and two years later won team gold and individual silver for her performance on second board. Since 2008 she’s been the team leader, helping Ukraine to silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012.
Lagno kept pace with Karjakin away from the chess board as well by marrying at 19. Her husband is French Grandmaster and journalist Robert Fontaine, making them one of the world’s strongest chess couples.
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