Xie Jun

Xie-JunXie Jun (born October 30, 1970) is a chess grandmaster from China. She had two reigns as Women’s World Chess Champion, from 1991 to 1996 and from 1999 to 2001.

In 1991, Xie became China’s second Grandmaster, after Ye Rongguang.

At the age of six Xie began to play Chinese chess, and by the age of 10 she had become the girls’ xiangqi champion of Beijing. At the urging of government authorities, she soon began playing international chess. In 1984 Xie became the Chinese girls’ chess champion. In 1988 she tied for second–fourth places at the women’s world junior championship.

At the age of 20 Xie won the right to challenge for the women’s world title, and in 1991 she defeated Maya Chiburdanidze of Georgia, who had held the title since 1978, by a score of 8½–6½. In 1993 she successfully defended her title against Nana Ioseliani (winning the match 8½–2½). She lost the title to Susan Polgar of Hungary in 1996 (8½–4½) but regained the title in 1999 by defeating another championship finalist, Alisa Galliamova (8½–6½), after Polgar refused to accept match conditions and forfeited her title. In 2000, FIDE changed the format of the world championship to a knock-out system, and Xie won the title again, beating fellow Chinese player Qin Kanying 2½–1½ in the final.

A hero in China, Xie became widely known for her optimism and vivid attacking style. Her success played an important role in popularization of international chess in her country and the rest of Asia. Since 1988, she has represented China in many team events and won gold medals with the Chinese Women’s Team in the Olympiads in 1998, 2000 and 2004.

Xie has been the number 2 or number 3 among highest rated women players for most of her career.

Around the end of the 1990s, Xie became a doctorate in psychology at Beijing  University.

Best results: Borzhomi 1990, 1st; Groningen 1997, 1st; Cannes 1999, 1st. Since she married and became a mother, she left active chess in 2004. In 1998, she published her autobiography in The Life and Games of Xie Jun.

Xie Jun now spends most of her present time working as an official at the Beijing Sports Commission, taking care of chess and other sports.

In July 2004, she gained the titles of International Arbiter and FIDE Senior Trainer.