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Pia Cramling

13th ECC, Kallithea, 2008
Country Sweden
Born 23 April 1963
Stockholm, Sweden
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2550 (October 2008)

Pia Cramling (born 23 April 1963 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish chess grandmaster (GM). Since the early 1980s, she has been one of the strongest female players in the world. She has been ranked No. 1 woman in the FIDE World Rankings on three occasions (January 1984, July 1984 and January 1985). In October 2007, well into her forties, she still held the third highest rating among all females. Cramling regularly plays on the Swedish open team in the Chess Olympiads, one of only three women to do so. In 1992, she became the third female to earn the (FIDE) GM title through conventional tournament play (sixth woman overall).

Competing for International titles

Cramling is beside Judit Polgar (who elected to not play in women events) the only woman who earned her GM title before 2000 who has never won the Women's World Champion crown. According to herself, one explanation for this is that the World Championship is a team effort and that more prominent chess nations are able to give their players better support in important events. Nevertheless, Cramling has been in reasonably close contention for the crown on four occasions (all in different decades). In the 1986 and 1996 Candidates cycle she came in fourth and third respectively, while she reached the semifinals of both the 2008 and 2015 Championships. She's had greater success in Europe where she's won the women's European Individual Chess Championship in 2003 and 2010.

In 2006 she won the Accentus Ladies Tournament in Biel.

Personal life

Cramling, married to the Spanish grandmaster Juan Manuel Bellón López, lived in Spain for a number of years but recently moved back to Sweden. Together they have a daughter named Anna, who also plays chess.