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Mariya Muzychuk in Leopolis Hotel, Lviv, 2016
|Full name||Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk|
21 September 1992|
|Women's World Champion||2015–2016|
|FIDE rating||2533 (September 2018)|
|Peak rating||2563 (March 2016)|
Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk (Ukrainian: Марія Олегівна Музичук; born 21 September 1992) is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster and Women's World Chess Champion from April 2015 to March 2016. She is also a twice women's champion of Ukraine (2012, 2013), World Team and European Team champion with Ukraine in 2013 and bronze medal winner of the 2012 and 2014 Chess Olympiad with Ukraine.
Born in Lviv, Mariya Muzychuk was first taught chess at age two by her parents and at age three she already knew all the chess pieces. At age six, Muzychuk took part in her first chess tournament.
Muzychuk won the under-10 girls' section at the 2002 European Youth Chess Championship in Peniscola, Spain. In November 2010 she was ranked as the fifth highest rated under-20 female player in the world.
She became world champion by winning the Women's World Chess Championship 2015. In the first round, she drew with Yuanling Yuan in the classical games and then defeated her in the tiebreaks. In round two, she drew with Monika Socko in the classical games and defeated her in the tiebreaks. In round three, she defeated former Women's World Chess Champion Antoaneta Stefanova in the classical games by a score of 1½–½. In the quarter-final she defeated number one seed Humpy Koneru in the tiebreaks (2½–1½), and then beat Dronavalli Harika in the semi-final by tiebreaks (3½–2½). In the final she beat Natalia Pogonina with a score of 2½–1½. As a result of her victory, she obtained the Grandmaster title as a direct award, and qualified for the 2015 Chess World Cup which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. In 2015, Muzychuk was awarded the Order of Merit, 3rd Class by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
She lost her title against Hou Yifan in the Women's World Chess Championship 2016 by 3–6. In 2017 she refused to play in the Women's World Chess Championship 2017 in Iran out of protest for being obligated to wear a hijab.
In openings, Muzychuk typically plays King's Pawn Openings as White and the Sicilian Defence and Dutch Defence with Black. Muzychuk has the ability to find unexpected tactical tricks, which sometimes compensates for flaws in her positional understanding. During her World Championship match against Natalia Pogonina, Muzychuk was called "Miss Tactics" by the media.
| Women's World Chess Champion