NAME: Zhu Chen
BIRTHDATE: March 16, 1976
BIRTHPLACE: Zhejiang, China
CREDENTIALS: Won the under-12 age group during the World Junior Championships in Romania in 1988, making her the first Chinese girl to win a championship in an international chess competition. Chinese Women's Champion in 1992, 1994, and 1996. Won the 2001/2002 Women's World Chess Championship.
MODUS OPERANDI: Known for her ability and confidence in speed chess. Solid positional player. Her style at the board and in daily living is marked by courage and insight. As she writes in her autobiography, Lay Piece Without Regrets -- Waits and Dreams of A Mermaid, When you put down a chess piece on the chessboard and withdraw your hand from it, you will never have the chance to regret. The same is true of your life.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: First began playing chess when she was seven and quickly developed a passion and skill for the game. Became the Women's World Chess Champion by defeating Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia, in a match that helped propel Alexandra's rise as a major celebrity in the world of chess. In addition to her Women's Chinese and World Championship titles, Zhu Chen also had the best overall performance at the 2000 Olympiad in Istanbul. She is married to a grandmaster from Qatar, Mohammad Al-Modiahki. Since she is a citizen of a communist country, Chen does not control the prize money won by her through international competition. Instead, she receives a salary from the Chinese government to continue her career in chess. The Chinese system also meant her life changed dramatically when she won the World Junior Championship at age 12. A result of this early display of special talent was that she was sent to Beijing to receive formal chess training. Among her other interests are literature, music, sports, and computers.