Elisaveta Ivanovna Bykova

logo-home-womElisaveta Ivanovna Bykova (born on November 4, 1913 in Bogolyubovo, Russian Empire – died on March 8, 1989 in Moscow, Soviet Union) was a Soviet chess player and the third Women’s World Chess Champion, from 1953 until 1956, and again from 1958 to 1962. She was awarded the title of Woman International Master in 1950, International Master in 1953, and Woman Grandmaster in 1976.

Elisaveta Ivanovna Bykova was born in 1913 in Bogolyubovo. Her family moved to Moscow when she was twelve and she began to play chess with her brother. Her talent became apparent in 1927, when she won her school’s chess championship.

In 1938 she won the women’s Moscow championship and after the second world war she was a three-time winner of the women’s Soviet Championship (1946, 1947 and 1950).

In 1952 after her victory in the women’s candidate tournament in Moscow, she defeated the reigning champion Lyudmila Rudenko in 1953 in Leningrad (with seven wins, five losses, and two draws). She lost the title to Olga Rubtsova in 1956, but won it back two years later, becoming the first woman to do so.

In 1960 she defended successfully the title against Kira Zvorykina (+6 -2 =5), but in 1962 she lost the title to 21-year-old Nona Gaprindashvili (+0 -7 =4).

She worked as an engineer in a large Moscow printing house, and was also an author and chess columnist in the USSR. Passionate about women’s chess, Bykova also wrote three books about Vera Menchik, Soviet women chess players, and the Women’s World Championship