She’s the undisputed Queen of Chess. Alexandra Kosteniuk is the reigning Women’s World Champion. Wife, mother, chess prodigy turned legend, Model, Internet icon, Alexandra is also a high performance runner. I sat down with her last week to talk Chess, running, and how she manages it all. Alexandra, what is your favorite Chess opening and why?
I used to always play the Sicilian defense as it fit my attacking style very well, but then I matured and now prefer the Ruy Lopez. The Ruy Lopez helped me become Women’s World Champion last year, I played it very often with both the white and black pieces.
I also use Ruy Lopez although I like to call it Spanish Torture. Tell me Alexandra, you are also famous for your running accomplishments. You have a 5K PB of just over 21 minutes. How does running influence your chess?
Running is very important for my overall well-being. I try to run every morning, regardless of where I am and whatever the weather is. After I run I feel good and it puts me in a good mood, I’m ready for my chess training or anything else I have to do.
Do you set goals for running like you do for chess?
Yes I always set goals when I run. But since I am not a professional runner, my goal is simple, always to run faster than the day before 🙂 Of course I set a base time at the beginning of the training season, and a deadline day, for example the day before an important chess tournament.
You have a family, are the best female chess player in the world, you run very fast, you have a successful website and podcast… how do you manage your time?
I just don’t waste time doing useless things. To be serious I also have the help of my family, my husband for the web and my Mom for helping with the baby, without them everything would be much harder.
By useless things I hope you are not referring to the hours I spend cutting and pasting our heads onto chess pieces. Tell me Alexandra, who is your chess idol?
I don’t have any chess idol, I admire all world champions and try to learn from all of them.
Thank you for your time. And thank you dear readers. I would like to recommend Alexandra’s podcast to you. You can find it at www.chessiscool.com