|Born|| 6 April 1985
Jinan, Shandong, China
Woman Grandmaster (2001)
|Peak rating||2579 (September 2013)|
Zhao Xue (Chinese: 赵雪; pinyin: Zhào Xuě; born 6 April 1985 in Jinan) is a Chinese chess player. In 2008, she became China's 24th Grandmaster.
Zhao won the World Under-12 Girls Championship in 1997 and the World Under-14 Girls Championship in 1999.
In 2002, she won the World Junior Girls Chess Championship in Goa, India, edging out defending champion Koneru Humpy on tie-break. This victory qualified her to the Women's World Chess Championship 2004, in which she knocked out Shadi Paridar in the first round, then lost to Elisabeth Pähtz and therefore was eliminated from the competition.
Zhao qualified thanks to her rating to the Women's World Chess Championship 2006, in which she lost in the first round to Maria Kursova. Later in the same year, she took part in the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha and won the silver medal in the women's individual chess rapid tournament.
In July 2007, she won the Queens Woman Grandmasters tournament in Bad Homburg and tied for first place with former women's world champion Zhu Chen in the women's supertournament North Urals Cup in Krasnoturinsk, Russia after both finished on 6/9, but placed second on tiebreak.
Zhao competed in the Women's World Chess Championship 2008, in which she was knocked out in the second round by compatriot Shen Yang, after defeating in the first one Marisa Zuriel. In the following month, in October 2008, she won the silver medal in the women's individual rapid tournament at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games, which took place in Beijing.
Zhao took part in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2009-11, for which she qualified via rating. In November 2010, she took part in the 2010 Asian Games, held in Guangzhou, and managed to win the silver medal in the women's individual rapid chess tournament.
In December 2010, she participated in the Women's World Chess Championship and this time she managed to reach the semifinals, where she lost by 1½-2½ to her compatriot and eventual runner-up Ruan Lufei. This result enabled her to qualify for the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2011-2012. In the Shenzhen leg, Zhao scored 6/11 and finished in joint 5th-6th place along with Ruan Lufei, earning her 75 points in the Grand Prix. In October 2011, she won the Nalchik stage, with a score of 9.5/11. In July 2012, she finished seventh in Jermuk on 5.5/11. In the Ankara event, she placed third with 7.5/11. In the Grand Prix overall standings Zhao placed fourth with 345 points.
In April 2012, Zhao won the 2nd China Women Masters Tournament in Wuxi. In the following month, she won the Asian Women's Blitz Championship, held in Ho Chi Minh City, on tiebreak over Wang Jue and Tan Zhongyi. At the Women's World Chess Championship 2012 she made it to the quarterfinals, where she lost to Dronavalli Harika.
In January 2013, Zhao won the prize for best female player at the Gibraltar Chess Festival scoring 7.5/10. She finished second, behind Hou Yifan, in the women's standard tournament at the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Soon after she won the women's chess tournament at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, contributing to China's team gold.
Zhao competed in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2013-14.
In January 2015, she won the New Zealand Open with a score of 8/9. Zhao took part in the Women's World Chess Championship 2015, where she reached the quarterfinals, losing to the eventual runner-up Natalia Pogonina.
In 2008 she gained the Grandmaster title. Her GM norms were achieved at:
Zhao Xue has played an important part in the last two victories of China in the Women's Chess Olympiad.
She as a first reserve scored 11/12 (performance rating of 2723) on board 4 in the 35th Chess Olympiad in Bled in 2002. She has lost just one game (to Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant) on that occasion and that remains the only Olympiad game she has lost in her three Olympiad appearances.
She scored 10/12 on board 3 (TPR 2603) winning an individual gold in 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià in 2004; and scored 10/13 on board 1 (TPR 2615) winning an individual gold at the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006.
Zhao played first board on a slightly weaker Chinese women's team in the World Teams Championship held in Beersheba, Israel in 2005.
She led China to victory in the 2007 Women's World Team Championship with 6½/8 (TPR 2693).