|Xu Yuhua at the Laureus Awards ceremony. [sina.com.cn]|
At the China Top Ten Benefiting Laureus Sports for Good award ceremony held in Changsha, Hunan Province on May 12 this year, Xu Yuhua, winner of the 2006 Women's World Chess Championship, took the title of Best Non-Olympic Sportsperson of the Year.
At the world chess championship held in March 2006 in Russia, Xu defeated six opponents to become the third women's chess champion from China after Xie Jun and Zhu Chen. Xue was then pregnant with her son. Xu also received the title of Grand Master for men, becoming the 12th woman in history to win the title.
Passion for Playing Chess
"I know that I perform best when I have no pressure to win. I just enjoy playing the game." Xu believes this is the key to her success.
In her final contest with IM (international master) Alisa Galliamova of Russia at the 2006 Championship, Xu won the first round. The second round was a draw. Galliamova started well in the third, but Xu stayed calm and finally turned the tables. She was overjoyed by the unexpected victory, but soon resumed her calmness. .
Xu attributed her success to the support of her coaches who did everything they could to make her feel at home during the game. "I could not have won without their support," she said.
Xu has confidence in herself. "I was ready to win, though I don't set such a goal ahead. In addition, I was pregnant then with my son. I believe he brought his mother good luck as well."
"I loved playing magic cube when I was a girl and won several awards in it. Then my father taught me to play chess when I was six," Xu said. Because her skills improved quickly, she became an International Master at 17.
Xu thinks she is lucky to be a successful chess player, but her coach Ye Jiangchuan says that she has waited long enough for the success she deserves.
"I wasn't able to attend the women's chess Olympiad because I lost in final rounds on several occasions. I was confused then and decided to take a break. So I studied at Peking University in 1999," Xu recalled.
Xu began winning international games in 2000 and became the first female player in the world to win the three top-level international games altogether in a lifetime, namely, the world championship, the world cup and the Olympiad.
However, Xu is not going to stop. "I look forward to take part in the next women's Olympiad. It is challenging to play at the Olympiad because competition is intense. But I love the challenge. I want to lead my team to win. Am I too ambitious?" she said with a smile.
Birthday: October 29, 1976
Birth Place: Jin Hua, Zhejiang Province
Title: Grand Master
Education: Bachelor of Arts
Best performance: winner at the 2006 Women's World Chess Championship
1993 Received International Master title
1998 Winner of the Asian Women's Chess Championship, International Grand Master title
2000 Champion of the first Chess World Cup and team champion of Istanbul Olympiad
2002 Champion of the Chess World Cup and Slovenia Olympiad
2004 Champion of the Mallorca Olympiad
(Source: sina.com.cn / Translated by Women of China)
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