|Full name||Lyudmila Vladimirovna Rudenko|
July 27, 1904|
Lubny, Poltava Oblast, Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine)
|Died||March 4, 1986
Leningrad, Soviet Union
|Title||International Master (1950)
Woman Grandmaster (1976)
|Women's World Champion||1950–53|
Lyudmila Vladimirovna Rudenko (Russian: Людми́ла Влади́мировна Руде́нко, Ukrainian: Людмила Володимирівна Руденко; the transcription of her first name may vary in different sources – Liudmila, Ljudmila, Ludmila...; 27 July 1904 – 4 March 1986) was a Soviet chess player and the second Women's World Chess Champion from 1950 until 1953. She was awarded the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman International Master in 1950, and Woman Grandmaster in 1976. She was the first woman awarded the International Master title. Rudenko was also USSR Women's Champion in 1952.
Born in Lubny, in the Poltava region of Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire, she was taught by her father how to play chess at age 10, although at first she was more serious about swimming. After grammar school, she moved to Odessa and took a degree in economics. Rudenko became the Odessa swimming champion in the 400m breaststroke. In 1925, she was the holder of the title of swimming vice-champion of Ukraine (breaststroke). Her professional career would be as an economic planner for the Soviet Union, and chess would remain a hobby.
Rudenko began playing tournament chess in 1925 after a move to Moscow. In 1928, she won the Moscow Women's Championship. She then moved to Leningrad where she met and married scientist Lev Davidovich Goldstein; in 1931 they had a son. In Leningrad in 1929 she began training with chess master Peter Romanovsky. She won the Leningrad Women's Championship three times. She would not reach the peak of international women's chess until she was about 40 years old.
In World War II, Rudenko organized a train to evacuate children from the Siege of Leningrad. She would describe this as the most important thing she had accomplished in her life. Women's World Champion Vera Menchik died in 1944 during an air raid, so after the war in the winter of 1949–1950 the World Chess Federation FIDE held a tournament in Moscow to determine the new women's champion. Sixteen women from twelve countries competed, with the four Soviet players taking the top four spots. Rudenko won (scoring nine wins, one loss, and five draws), and held the Women's World Championship title until losing it to Elisabeth Bykova in 1953 in the next championship cycle. She lost to Bykova by the score of 6–8 (five wins, seven losses, and two draws). After the war, Rudenko's chess trainers were Alexander Tolush and Grigory Levenfish.
- Graham, John (1987). Women in Chess, Players of the Modern Age. McFarland & Company.
- "Chess Goddesses. Ludmilla Vladmirovna Rudenko". Goddesschess. Archived from the original on 2011-10-12.
- E. Bishard about L. Rudenko. e3e5.com.
- Lyudmila Rudenko player profile and games at Chessgames.com
Vera Menchik, then vacant
(no champion from 1944–50)
|Women's World Chess Champion