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Vera Nebolsina

Full name Vera Nebolsina
Country Russia
Born 16 December 1989
Tomsk, Soviet Union
Title Woman Grandmaster (WGM)
Peak rating 2388 (January 2011)

Vera Nebolsina (born 16 December 1989, in Tomsk) is a Russian chess player. She earned the title Woman Grandmaster (WGM) at age 17 in 2007.


Nebolsina was raised near Tomsk in western Siberia, and her family currently resides in Novosibirsk. When only four years old, she learned the basic moves from her mother Tatiana, who introduced her to other board games too, such as draughts and Go. Inspired to develop her chess skills further, she was then coached by her father Valery, himself a chess master. By age six Nebolsina was playing in formal tournaments. Comfortably forging ahead of her peers, she regularly played in categories above her age group. This accelerated her progress and subsequent successes included winning the Russian Girls (under 8) Championship (at 7 years), and the World Youth Championship for Girls (under 10) in Oropesa del Mar 1998 (at 8 years).

By the time she was twelve years old, Nebolsina was playing the Russian Women's 1st league - a high standard of competition. In 2004 she earned the title Woman International Master (WIM). There followed her most valuable victory to date, the World Junior Championship for Girls (under 20) at Yerevan in 2007 (at age 17). This result qualified her for the WGM title.

Nebolsina's highest junior ranking was achieved in January 2008, when she was listed by FIDE as No. 13 among the world's top 20 girl players. Statistics for her recent games, however, specifically her record with the black pieces (+30% −42% =27%), show need for substantial improvement to match that of her closest rivals.

Nebolsina describes herself as a positional player who can also be a tactician. The sample game below ably demonstrates her alertness to tactical possibilities.

Personal life

Nebolsina is a vegetarian for ideological reasons, typifying her disciplined and strong-willed approach to life. She is in her final year at Moscow State University, where she studies English and Chinese. Her talent for languages also extends to speaking French.

Notable games

Although the following game is not without errors, Nebolsina's play shows the importance of piece mobility over pawn moves, of which there are few. Despite spirited defence from her opponent, Nebolsina finds a pleasing queen sacrifice to conclude matters.

Vera Nebolsina-Iulia Gromova, Russian Team Championship, Sochi 2007; Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack (B14)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Bb5+ Nc6 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. Qb3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 0-0 11. 0-0 a6 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. Ba3 Be6 14. Qb4 Bf6 15. Ne5 c5 16. Qxc5 Rc8 17. Nc6 Qc7 18. Nxe7+ Bxe7 19. Qxe7 Qxc3 20. Bc5 Rfe8 21. Qh4 Bd5 22. Be7 Qc6 23. f3 Qb6 24. Rfe1 Rc2 25. Bc5 Qc6 26. Rxe8+ Qxe8 27. Re1 Qc8 28. Qe7 h5 29. Qg5 Bxa2 30. Re5 a5 31. h4 a4 32. Qh6 Bb3 33. Be7 Rc6 34. d5 Ra6 35. Ba3 Ra8 36. Bb2 Qc5+ 37. Kh1 Qf8 38. Qh8+ (After 38...Kxh8, then 39.Rxh5+ Kg8 40.Rh8#) 1-0