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Women chess composers - Part 2

women(13.03.2014) The article Women chess composers published on 08.03.2014 and dedicated to the International Women's Day was nice accepted by our community and I received information about many more ladies which deserve to be honored. It was enough for me to prepare this second part of the article which included also some famous women composers from the past.

Zuleykha Eyvazova (Azerbaijan)

   Zuleykha was born on 01.04.1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has published about 200 compositions and has 0.50 FIDE Album points. She is titled national master of Azerbaijan for chess composition in 1992. Zuleykha is the author of the unique book "Queen of a chess composition" (1986). In 1982 she has offered "the Ladies' theme".


Here is her last published problem (a join selfmate with Ilham Aliev):






Bulgarian women composers:

Svetla (Besheva) Yordanova

Svetla was born in 1976 in Pleven (Bulgaria). She is titled Woman International Master and International arbiter.


Petrana Staykova

Petrana was born in 1958 in Lovech (Bulgaria). She is the only one bulgarian woman composer author of selfmate. I met her about 10 years ago when I was guest at home of the late IGM Venelin Alaikov. 


 Famous women composers:

Susan Polgar (Hungary / USA)

Grandmaster Susan Polgar (born on 19.04.1969 as Zsuzsanna Polgar – also commonly known as Zsuzsa Polgar) is a Hungarian - American chess player, and one of the strongest female players in history. She was born and brought up in Budapest, Hungary and lived in New York for 13 years, in Texas for 5 years and now lives in St. Louis, MO. 

In 1996 Polgar won the classical Women's World Championship, her 4th World Championship title. She is the only World Champion (male or female) to win the triple-crown in chess (World Blitz, Rapid and Classical World Championships).


 From the past:

Edith Elina Helen Baird (1859 - 1924)

She was born in 1859. At the age of 21, in 1880 she married to W.J.Baird. Her only child Lilian Edith was born the following year.

She composing since 1888 and her problems rapidly become very popular and successful. In 1893 she entered The Hackney Mercury 3-mover tournament, with a limit of 6 pieces. Most of the great composers of the time had entered - B.G.Laws, P.H.Williams and James Raynor among them, but she won 1st prize! As one American critic observed, "The fact that the tourney assumed an almost international character rendered the triumph of the distinguished lady victor as noteworthy as it was creditable".

She went on to compose over 2000 problems which were always very popular, though, judged by the highest standards of today, are not felt to be very profound, although they were noted for their soundness. She published two notable books of her compositions - in 1902 the King's printer, Henry Sotheran, published her Seven Hundred Chess Problems, to be followed in 1907 by The Twentieth Century Retractor.


If you want to see the book "700 chess problems" click HERE. 



+2 #1 Steven Dowd 2014-03-13 06:29
What about Sophie Schett from the past? She had some very good ideas (not always well executed) in selfmates. Henry Tanner wrote an article on her in ST some time back.
-1 #2 Diyan Kostadinov 2014-03-13 20:36
Thanks Steven. Well, in the history there are many women composers and I can not mention all here. My initial idea was to find and present all currently active women composers, because will be interesting to know how many they are.

But after that I received many emails and comments and realized that also some ladies of the past should be presented, because they are important part of chess composition history.

Thanks to all composers for their help! I hope that these articles are interesting (I learned so many new things when writing them)
Of course - part 3 comming soon ;)
+2 #3 Vidadi Zamanov 2014-03-14 13:41
Lady's theme (offered by Zuleykha Eyvazova in 1982)
+1 #4 Vidadi Zamanov 2014-03-14 22:06
Dear Diyan, Thank you very much!
+4 #5 Luke Neyndorff 2014-05-25 04:04
Dora Nesbitt of the U.S.A. composed a chess problem in the 1860s(!)
She may well be the first American female to do so. She was NOT one of the pseudonyms used by Samuel Loyd. Very little is known about Nesbitt.
Sadly, female chess problem composers seem almost non-existent in the U.S.A. at this time.

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