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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Olga Rubtsova

In the early years
     Olga Nikolaevna Rubtsova (20 August 1909 – 13 December 1994) was a Soviet player and fourth Women's World Chess Champion. 
     Chess was always the favorite game in her family and her father, a professor at a technical institute in Moscow, had a First Category rating during his student years and often played n Moscow tournaments. A First Category rating was equal to around 2000 Elo. 
     During the Moscow 1925 tournament is when he taught Olga to play chess; afterward she attended the tournament and analyzed the games. Not long after that she was invited to play in her school's championship and made a creditable score. After the tournament, with the help of her father, she analyzed the games she had lost and was determined not to repeat the mistakes she made in those games. 
In the later years
    At the end of 1926 she scored 7–1 to take first place in the women's division of a large youth tournament sponsored by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. At the age of 17 in 1927 she made a brilliant showing in the first USSR women's championship where she demonstrated a good understanding of chess and a lot of tactical skill when she won the tournament.  That was the beginning of many tournament successes. Some highlights: Winning the USSR Womens Championship in 1927, 1931, 1937 and 1949. The last coming 22 years after her first title. She won the Women's World Championship in 1956 by defeating Ludmila Rudenk and Elizaveta Bykova in a match-tournament and did much to promote women's chess in the Soviet Union.  Rubtsova was a foundry engineer by profession. 

     She also played correspondence chess, and became first Women's World Correspondence Chess Champion in 1972 (she also finished second in the next championship, only losing the title to Lora Jakovleva on tie-break, and fifth in the one after that). She is the only player, male or female, to become World Champion in both over-the-board and correspondence chess. Her daughter, Elena Fatalibekova, is also a strong player. 
     In the following game U.S. women's champion Mona Mae Karff plays too slowly and instead of seeking counterplay she resorts to defensive moves and ends up getting a sound whipping. 

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