Kazakh Zhansaya Abdumalik named best under-20 female chess player in the world

ASTANA – Kazakh chess player Zhansaya Abdumalik was named the world’s best female chess player under 20 in three variants, reported the Kazakhstan Chess Federation (KCF).

Zhansaya Abdumalik

As of January, Abdumalik’s Elo rating is 2,468 in standard chess, 2,490 in rapid chess and 2,368 in blitz chess. She is the first Kazakh chess player to top the world ranking in three variants simultaneously.

“I am proud of my daughter,” said her father, Daniyar Ashirov, to KCF. “She works hard to continuously improve on her skills. This achievement is the result of her rigorous and productive work.”

Playing chess from an early age, Abdumalik won her first title at six. She has since performed impressively at the ASEAN+ Age Group Championship, Asian Women’s Blitz Championship, Asian Youth Chess Championship, Brno Open, Kazakhstan Women’s Championship, Women International Chess Memorial of Krystyna Hołuj-Radzikowska, World Junior Girls Chess Championships and World Youth Championships. She also earned the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) Woman Grandmaster (GM) and International Master titles in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

“I always try to give my all [at competitions] and draw on my skills to the fullest, which I owe to my parents and coaches,” said Abdumalik to KCF. “This is a good achievement, but no reason to rest. I have areas to work on and grow and the most important outcome for me is to play better every day than I did yesterday.”

She earned her first GM norm at the 2017 World Open and her final two at the 2018 Karpos Open and Budapest Spring Festival. A norm is a high level of performance in a chess tournament and one of the requirements for the GM title awarded by FIDE. With three GM norms and a rating of 2,468, she needs to achieve a rating of 2,600 to qualify for the GM title.

Abdumalik also established the Zhansaya Abdumalik Chess Academy in 2014 as a platform for developing Kazakh chess talent. Recently, academy student Dinmukhamed Tulendinov won the under 7 category at the 2018 FIDE World School Chess Championship.