Chess tournaments Chess strategy Computer chess Chess players FIDE Chess variants Chess rules and history

Monika Soćko

Soćko in Warsaw, 2013
Country Poland
Born 24 March 1978
Title Grandmaster
Woman Grandmaster
Peak rating 2505 (April 2008)

Monika Soćko (née Bobrowska on 24 March 1978 in Warsaw) is a Polish chess grandmaster (GM). She won the Polish women's chess championship six times (in 1995, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014).

She achieved the title of grandmaster in 2008, the first and, to date, only Polish female player to do so.

In 2007, Soćko won an international women's tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan ahead of former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova. She won the 2009 Arctic Chess Challenge in Tromsø, in spite of being only ranked as number 16 before the tournament, while her top-ranked husband finished in 13th place. In March 2010, she won the bronze medal at the Women's European Individual Chess Championship edging out Yelena Dembo and Marie Sebag on tie-breaks.

In 2014 Soćko won the Erfurt Woman Grandmaster round-robin tournament.

As a member of the Polish team, she won the gold medal at the Women's European Team Chess Championship in 2005, silver in 2007 and 2011, and bronze in 2013 and in the 2002 Women's Chess Olympiad.

She is married to Polish GM Bartosz Soćko.

Rules appeal in 2008

In the 2008 Women's World Championship she was involved in a game which resulted in a dispute about the interpretation of the FIDE rules of chess. In an armageddon game she needed a win to advance to the next round. The position got down to each player having only a king and a knight in which a checkmate position is possible but cannot be forced. Her opponent, Sabina-Francesca Foisor, ran out of time under time control. Since checkmate cannot be forced with this material, the arbiter initially ruled that the game was a draw, therefore her opponent advanced to the next round. Soćko appealed, pointing out that the rules state that what matters is not whether or not checkmate can be forced, but rather it is possible (see Timing). The arbiter compared the possible checkmate position to a helpmate, in which the defender has to cooperate in order to get to the checkmate. Soćko won the appeal and advanced to the next round.