The Chess Queen Becomes Champion for Peace
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 07:38
MONACO, MARCH 3, 2010 – WOMEN'S WORLD CHESS CHAMPION ALEXANDRA KOSTENIUK TODAY JOINED "CHAMPIONS FOR PEACE", A CLUB OF TOP INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES COMMITTED TO SERVING PEACE IN THE WORLD THROUGH SPORT.
Champions for Peace, an initiative from "Peace and Sport, l'Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport" is now delighted to count 39 heroes from the winner's podium who actively or symbolically help to create a genuine culture of peace throughout the world using sport. They represent 24 nationalities, 25 Olympic and non-Olympic sports disciplines, 49 World Champions, 20 Olympic Champions and more than a hundred national and regional titles.
At 25, reigning women's world chess champion Alexandra Kosteniuk brings her international reputation and her numerous victories to promote this noble cause. Initiated to the game of chess at 5 years old, she started collecting international awards from the age of 10, became world champion Girls U-12 in 1996, Women’s European Champion in 2004, Russian Champion in 2005, before winning the supreme women’s world title in 2008. The same year she won the first-ever gold medal in ‘Mind Sports Games'. Alexandra holds the highest title available to men and women chess players – Grandmaster.
Beyond her talent and performance, through her leadership in chess education excellence, Alexandra brings unprecedented experience and motivation to the Champions for Peace initiative. For over 10 years, her high moral standards, ethics and charisma have made her an inspiration and role model for her generation and for millions of fans all over the world. A true ambassador for chess worldwide and on the web, Alexandra has always worked to ensure that her favourite sport serves peace, human development and social progress.
In her role of "Champion for Peace", she will travel to Colombia in the near future to launch a program for peace and social cohesion, initiated by Peace and Sport in partnership with the NGO Colombianitos and the International Chess Federation (FIDE). This program will over time enable 4,000 children living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in cities in Colombia to learn chess.
"I am very pleased to be part of the Peace and Sport movement," declared Alexandra Kosteniuk. "I want to give back to the world the love and happiness that I have received through the wonderful game of chess. I firmly believe that chess serves the cause of peace by improving the lives of young people. I have seen firsthand how chess helps students to develop the skills they need to be successful in life."
Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, himself a World Champion and Olympic Medallist, added: "We are deeply honoured that the Chess Queen has joined the Champions for Peace family. Alexandra has proved to the world that "Chess is Cool". It’s a real pleasure to be able to count on her enthusiasm, determination and intelligence to inform new audiences and convince policy-makers that sport can and must contribute to sustainable peace."
Other Champions of Peace include such sporting legends as SERGEY BUBKA (Olympic Champion and six-times World Champion, Pole Vault, Ukraine); FRANKIE FREDERICKS (double World Champion, 100 and 200 metres, Namibia); CATHY FREEMAN (Olympic Champion and double World Champion, 400m, Australia); YELENA ISINBAYEVA (double Olympic Champion and double World Champion, Pole Vault, Russia), CHRISTIAN KAREMBEU (World Champion, Football, France) BRADLEY MCGEE ( Double Olympic Champion, World Champion, cycling, Australia), PAULA RADCLIFFE (World Champion, Marathon, United Kingdom) as well as many more.
PEACE AND SPORT