November 21 - Russia's Alexandra Kosteniuk, whose motto is "chess is cool", was today unveiled as one of six ambassadors for next month's SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing.
The 29-year-old in Perm, a two-time world champion, is set to be one of the main attractions at the event due to be held in the Chinese capital between December 12 and 18.
At the age of 20 she became only the tenth woman in history to be awarded the International Grandmaster title, the highest title of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
But she is just as well known for her efforts to promote chess off the board, appearing as a fashion model, including on the cover of the Russian edition of Cosmopolitan,and has even trademarked the nickname "Chess Queen".
Kosteniuk was unveiled today alongside China's Ju Wenjun, a 22-year-old who holds the FIDE title of Woman Grandmaster and who, at the age of just 13, had come runner-up in the Asian Women's Championships.
The World Mind Games, being held for the third time, will also feature bridge, draughts, Go and Xiangqi, also known as Chinese chess.
Alongside the competition will be held a social and cultural programme involving Beijing schools and universities where students will be given the opportunity to interact with the world's top Mind Sports players and learn from them.
Each of the participating sports will be represented by ambassadors who will promote their sports and be involved in the programme.
Besides chess, the ambassadors were announced for bridge and draughts.
The World Bridge Federation have nominated Fulvio Fantoni, Italy's six-time world champion, who will promote the World Mind Games alongside China's Wang Wenfei, who has been competing internationally since 1993.
Draughts, meanwhile, be represented by Ukraine's four-time world champion Darya Tkachenko and China's Zhao Hanqing, the junior girls world champion.
Ambassadors for the remaining two games are due to be announced next week.
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