Women's chess in Australia

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Daniela Nutu-Terescenko (Nutu-Gajic) of Adelaide, South Australia (originally from Timişoara, Romania), at the Chess Olympiad 1982 in Lucern, Switzerland

Women in Australia participated in chess. They were participating by the 1940s. Competitive tournaments were taking place on a state level by 1934.


During the 1930s, women were encouraged to play chess because the sport was not seen as a bridge to gambling.[1] In 1940, a study of 314 women in New Zealand and Australia was done. Most of the women in the study were middle class, conservative, Protestant and white. The study found that 183 participated in sport. The ninth most popular sport that these women participated in was chess, with 3 having played the sport. The sport was tied with croquet, billiards, chess, fishing, field hockey, horse racing, squash, table tennis and shooting.[2]

Competitive chess[edit]

There were chess championships for women being organised by the 1940s.[3] A New South Wales's women's championship was held in 1936,[4] 1939[5] and 1941.[6]

Since 2013, the Australian Women's Masters tournament has been held in Melbourne during January each year.


As at January 2015, the following players are the top FIDE rated Australian female players:[7]

  1. Giang Nguyen, WFM
  2. Irina Berezina, IM is an Australian Women's Chess Champion, and has represented the country in international competitions.[8]
  3. Heather Richards, WIM
  4. Arianne Caoili, WIM
  5. Biljana Dekic, WIM

Other top Australian female chess players, who are no longer regular tournament competitors, include Katrin Aladjova, Laura Moylan, Daniela Nutu-Gajic, Ngan Phan-Koshnitsky, and Anastasia Sorokina.

Australian Women's Champions[edit]

The Australian Women's Chess Championship has not been held since 2003 due to insufficient numbers of players taking part.


  1. ^ "WOMEN CHESS PLATERS.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 1 January 1926. p. 4. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Stell 1991, p. 75
  3. ^ "WOMEN'S CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 15 October 1941. p. 11. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "CHESS.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 29 October 1934. p. 15. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "CHESS.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 19 September 1939. p. 11. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "WOMEN'S N.S.W. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 14 October 1941. p. 7. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  7. ^ FIDE Australia Active Women Country Top chess players, www.fide.com
  8. ^ "about us". Chessmasters.com.au. Retrieved 2012-01-13.