Reports | January 12, 2010 6:00

The chess queen's tweets (and videos)

Alexandra Kosteniuk on YouTubeAlexandra Kosteniuk keeps on looking for ways to popularize chess online, while simultaneously working on the "brand Kosteniuk". The reigning Women World Champion (probably helped by her husband here and there) has her own website and YouTube channel and seems to be the most active Twitter user of all chess grandmasters. Update: actually Natalia Pogonina has much more followers.

For quite a while now Alexandra Kosteniuk has had her own website, www.kosteniuk.com, where lots of information can be found about the glamourous World Champion, or "chess queen", as she likes to be called as well. This is also the name of her Twitter account, where she's pretty active as well, as you can see.

Yesterday she tweeted:

My Magnus Carlsen video is ready... processing...then encoding... then soon uploading... You will like it but Magnus won't!

which referred to this video, edited by her sister Oxana, about her win against Magnus Carlsen at the World Blitz Championship in November last year.

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On YouTube, Kosteniuk's account is also chess queen. More of such videos can be found there.

Update: Perhaps we gave the wrong impression that Alexandra Kosteniuk is mainly concerned with her own popularity, but in fact she's also known for popularizing chess, especially among kids.

We haven't come across many chess players active on Twitter yet. Some famous personalities in other sports have been using the new medium, such as Shaquille O'Neal, Lance Armstrong and Nelson Piquet. Except for Alexandra Kosteniuk, the chess world's celebrities don't seem ready for Twitter yet.

Perhaps this will change in 2010. There's already a good way to play chess through Twitter and Dutch GM and ChessVibes commentator Dimitri Reinderman is even using it for book reviews! This site, ChessVibes, automatically posts links to all articles, and I'm still trying to add more "real" tweets on a regular basis, but I must admit that I'm still not used to it yet. But perhaps I can do some more during the Corus Chess Tournament which starts next Saturday.

For a list of chess fans using Twitter, look here.

Update: as David Korn noted, Natalia Pogonina has even more activity and followers than Alexandra Kosteniuk. In fact, Pogonina immediately replied to us with a tweet:

@ChessVibes It looks like you are ignoring the existence of me and a few other grandmasters :-)

Well, what can I say? Clearly I'm still a complete layman as far as Twitter is concerned. And so I'll just ask another question, which can be replied to with Twitter or below: which other GMs are active Twitter users?

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Peter Zhdanov's picture

"Except for Alexandra Kosteniuk, the chess world’s celebrities don’t seem ready for Twitter yet."

This claim is ridiculous since #1 on Twitter among chess celebrities is grandmaster Natalia Pogonina, who (at the present moment) has twice as many followers as Alexandra. Some other notable persons on Twitter include GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Erwin L'Ami and a few more grandmasters.

David Korn's picture

I am assiduous on twitter, and while Alexandra is always a pleasant, engaging, and affable correspondent with her fellow tweeters, including me, and has many, many excellent follows, our mutual friend Natalia Pogonina has even more activity and followers. To be clear, I adore both, and can but congratulate to GM Kosteniuk but as statement of fact, GM Pogonina leads significantly.
*
Thanks Peter, as always, for a great, wonderful blog. dk

crybabe's picture

@ Peter

You say this is modern marketing but the chesslovers dont dig it. Seems to me her modern marketing missed its goal.
We are sincere here so why is your conclusion we dont understand it?

A good marketing nowadays is more than showing successtories. On the internet people are aimed at what they want to c. These kind of videos is only interesting for people who WANT to c the vid. And they know its bullshit. And bullshit wont sell.

So from a marketing point of view i would say its even worse as it already was for a chess-entertaining vid.

Bobby Fiske's picture

Stop. Don't buy the DVD she is advertising on the youtube clip. You will make a better deal if you wait til 2019. Then it will be reissued on Blu-Ray with added bonus material. It will be in 3D (glasses included in the package). Kosteniuk will wear a blue dress and blue make-up. Kosteniuk will be 10 years older, but you won't notice it, because it's digitally edited by her sister.

The 10th anniversary Blu-Ray disk will include sensational bonus material, revealing an acne on Carlsens nose.

Pre-orders accepted on Kosteniuk's homepage starting from today.

Simmillion's picture

@crybabe "It was especially new in chess who did the Women Hype in chess. Calling them babes,,,, calling them sexy bweeeghhh.'

Being a chessnewbie I missed that hype. (not much women in chess anyway, at my patzerlevel especially, so I can imagine some female attention is good by definition) Chessbabes? Doesn't sound too good. Chesschicks would be my preference, nice 'alliteration' as well.

Chichi Get The Yayo

rob j's picture

what a boring and unpopular youtube channel she has.

chessvibes, you usually do a good job - but big snooze on this article.

Radical Caveman's picture

Why is it that when Kosteniuk speaks English, she always sounds like a substitute kindergarten teacher? Nice hairdo, though...

crybabe's picture

Magnus is not bad in loosing. ... Kostiniuk is bad in WINNING. Why playing 5 times the slomotion. Magnus resigned so what is the point???? Yeah you beat someone who is 100 times better than you are lady. Be proud of it bweeeg.

Ps in this video she looks hot. But in real she isnt. At corus i saw here and in that time there was this HUGE women hype on chessvibes about how sexy they were bla bla. She is not.

Judit polgar is hot though ;-)

lol's picture

Lol. Like I care if Kosteniuk promotes herself and gets money for it. And who would not show a video of beating Carlsen? If I was Kosteniuk I would have made an hour long video of this. Every two minutes I would yell yeah yeah die motherfucker die.

Michael's picture

Maybe I'm not looking at it from the right angle, but to me it seems silly to present a weak blitz game full of mistakes as if it were a great masterpiece. Aren't there any better ways to promote chess? These attempts to bring glamour into chess look rather artificial. Call me old-fashioned, but I think our noble game should keep more dignity.

Kazzak's picture

Carlsen got what he deserved in that game. I was watching the live video, and he was uninterested, kept leaning back to watch Kramnik's game as well as others (believe it was Kramnik), yawned, barely bothered looking at the board, yawned again ...

And Karma struck. Kind of fun that Kosteniuk takes him down here - but it wasn't her chess brilliance that gave her the win, but Carlsen's at times fatal indifference to the game. Maybe Kasparov will fix that.

catfishcore's picture

Jealous, jealous, jealous. You're so jealous that you don't even know you're jealous. I'm ordering my DVD today. Lord knows my game needs it.

Viorel's picture

Twitter is a great idea for information in real time, I hope see more GMs twitting.

About the Carlsen's video... Kosteniuk exaggerates what happened that it is just rude by Carlsen. The problem comes when she says that even having played correctly Carlsen was lost and this is completely false because there are many options on the board. Of course not Re1??

Excuse my poor english :)

GuidedByVoices's picture

I laughed out loud watching this video... It only shows how strongly Kasparov is influencing Carlsen in those training camps... Just ask Judit Polgar for Kasparov's move Nd7-c5-f8!! BTW, that one was also recorded in a video, which was sliced down to millisecs I think!

merlin's picture

I think chessvibes should correct the first phrase to " Alexandra Kosteniuk keeps on looking for ways to popularize herself.."

Glossu's picture

Ops for Carlsen. He still has to show better nerves and talent for losing...Kasparov won't be the best coach for that!.

Rini Luyks's picture

Yes really, the "case" between the real Chess Queen Judit Polgar and Garry Kasparov in Linares '94 was much hotter than Carlsen's blitz-fingerfehler.
Feels a bit poor, this exploiting of probably one of the very very few encounters that Kosteniuk will ever have with Carlsen on the chessboard...
And I'm certainly not going to pay for this kind of video-footage :)
But the way: is Carlsen getting his part of the copyright?

Arne Moll's picture

Quite a nice video. I hadn't seen footage of this incident yet, pretty embarrassing for Carlsen actually. Don't see what's wrong with showing it, Rini, is Carlsen already beyond criticism these days?

Jens Kristiansen's picture

@Merlin: ” Alexandra Kosteniuk keeps on looking for ways to popularize herself..” I agree and back you up!
Come on, what is this? Magnus commits a blunder in a position most favourable for him, perhaps winning (e5-e6 is coming). That does happen in large and tough blitz tournaments. And it is quite common for players to be furious and angry against themself in that situation.
If Kosteniuk believes she should boast of this in a 5 minute long video, she has not got much to boast of at all. And there cannot be much to come forl at her website or twitter.

merlin's picture

@Jens I don't find wrong the fact that she made a video analyzing a blitz game.That's more than ok.It is good for chess.BUT the fact that she titled this as "the video magnus does not want you to see" in facebook she named it "Kosteniuk beats Magnus Carlsen" instead of "kosteniuk vs carlsen", she call her own self "chessqueen", she puts fotos of her and polgar giving hands titled as "polgar resigning in the chessqueen" and so on are really annoying . Giving chess-videos is really magnificent but the way she is doing it is like promoting more herself than chess..

Peter Doggers's picture

It's interesting to see how uncomfortable chess players are with someone who actually understands how marketing works these days. Alexandra's online activities must be generating more simuls, talks and perhaps even tournaments, so she clear "gets" something that may top GMs "just don't get". (And personally I think it's great that we have some glamour - which is always connected with a bit of overexposure of oneself.)

Peter Doggers's picture

Article updated concerning PogoNina. :-)

Jo's picture

Didn't hear her say

"I am the greatest, I move like a butterfly and sting like a Queen Bee"

Sounds like the self loathing set can't see the fun in what she's doing.

Oops I forgot - chess is serious - its where the ego is.

Rini Luyks's picture

@arnemoll@peterdoggers: Carlsen certainly is not beyond criticism and no problem with the showing the video (yes with selling it!) but the whole "chess-queen" marketing is a bit too much for me, simply because Kosteniuk is not THE chess queen (nº 8 on the FIDE-list).
Although cherishing traditional values, I'm not uncomfortable with on-line marketing, as long as it is not based on boasting, people can judge for themselves, I think.

Arne Moll's picture

Quite right, Jo. What's wrong with a little playfulness?
Besides, there are thousands of online chess players with 'macho' nicknames. Why can't Kosteniuk do the same?

merlin's picture

@Arne Moll

She can't do it because she doesn't need it. They r doing it because they do need it.By doing something like that is like expressing your personal "wish" , and it is only a "wish" if you don't have it. But kosteniuk has it.But she still doing it..

octoberowl's picture

wow...taking self promotion to a new level here! Has anybody watched her 'introduction' video?!!!

Well, she is definitely hot and a fine chess player. More power to her.

GuidedByVoices's picture

Kosteniuk is a 2500+ GM, who happens to be the (w) world champion, and she is certainly hot from every angle... Peter Doggers is right that she mostly helps chess by pushing the boundaries of chess-related publicity.

As for Carlsen, he acted like a very sore loser (even rude?), which does not speak well of him. I hate losing, but I always manage to put myself together and extend my hand to resign in a polite way. It's not your opponent's fault that you make a mistake. Chess is basically a struggle against yourself, isn't it?

Anyway, I have seen some other videos from this tournament and Kramnik and Ivanchuk also looked like sore losers to my mind... Could it be that high-level blitz videos are not good to promote chess?

Arne Moll's picture

@merlin, I'm sorry but your argument is deeply flawed.

Just have a look at some handles on ICC by IMs and GMs. To take an obvious example, who is 'blitz-king'? According to your logic, that could only be Magnus Carlsen, the current World Blitz Champion, but instead it's 'just' an IM (but still an IM.) Does he 'need' such a name? Of course not, he just chose a funny name and that's the end of it. Why would this be any different for Kosteniuk?

If I'm not mistaken, Alexander Grischuk is 'depressnyak' on ICC. Shouldn't he be allowed to keep that name even if he's not 'depressed' in real life? Come on ...

Peter Doggers's picture

My point is that there's nothing wrong with promoting yourself more than chess in general. (In fact I think Kosteniuk is doing a fine job combining the two, but that's another matter.) If you don't like her way of making headers or choosing nicknames, well, don't follow her. But you can't deny that by using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube she's using excellent marketing channels, unlike many others who could use a little positive pr here and there. And re your earlier post: please give the hyperlink to "At corus i saw here and in that time there was this HUGE women hype on chessvibes about how sexy they were bla bla" because I can't remember we really did that.

Jens Kristiansen's picture

Well, after all Alexandra Kosteniuk is the current Woman World Champion, so in a way she is entitled to name herself the "Chess Queen".
She is promoting herself in many of these modern ways, and it is quite likely it pays off for her. And it is quite likely that many other chess masters can learn from her in that aspect.
But personally I think there is a little too much hype in her videos etc., especially in the one in question. After all, she is not THAT strong as a chess player. But for sure she is pretty.

Peter Doggers's picture

A small addendum: in fact Kosteniuk is known for popularizing chess especially among kids.

Mulde's picture

Both main sites [ http://pogonina.com/ and http://www.kosteniuk.com/ ] include several pictures but not too much chess-games.

This points out that both ladies may be look fine but don't have too much to do with really good chess games.

So this ain't any support to chess but just for a lady ... on the other hand, just to watch nice pics there are thousands of other sites available in the internet.

They should analyze and comment more chess-games, and one could take this for serious.

Hortensius's picture

I like how Carlsen doesn't seem to concentrate on this game at all, spending most of the precious time looking at other games...

... and Kosteniuk... she's HOT. But it kind of turns me off to hear her speaking about the cold and rational game of chess... Too bad...

Hortensius's picture

By the way, she's not the "Queen of chess". Judith Polgar is... Kosteniuk is the promoted pawn...

ceann's picture

Kosteniuk ia an ABSOLUTE MILF. The Runt showed what kind of player he was in this game...

aniladavally's picture

"By the way, she’s not the “Queen of chess”. Judith Polgar is… Kosteniuk is the promoted pawn…"

absolutely hilarious

Bobby Fiske's picture

The game Carlsen – Kosteniuk is old news. The video was published and debated heavily during and right after the Tal Blitz in November. Carlsen made an illegal move and resigned. He learned his lesson, for sure. Kosteniuk won a lost game. She should be happy.
Editing and re-entering this video on YouTube with slow motion graphics 2 months later, is disgraceful. Kosteniuk’s remark about Carlsen’s body language is also tendentious.
Kosteniuk might earn some fast money from this stunt, but in the long run it only discredits her reputation.

hansie's picture

World Champion Vishwanathan Anand has also started tweeting recently as 'vishyanand'. Obviously, he has few followers so far. His latest tweet ten hours ago: 'Playing at Corus after a year's gap and pretty excited abt it. Carlsen n Kramnik are in fine form but I must show them who is the boss here'.

Rob Brown's picture

Forget Alexandra, Susan, and Natalia. When it comes to Chess Queens, Rachel is the real deal! ; 0)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep7LTCfEqjI&feature=player_embedded#

Arne Moll's picture

Well Michael, she's quite objective about the course of the game isn't she? At the same time, who can blame her for being proud of a victory, even if only in blitz, against the World's number one? We are all human, and nobody is immune to pride.

Jo's picture

As for the whining about whether or not shes the Chess Queen.

She was the Queen at least for one day. (For those who dis her World Champion title). The Carlsen match was just an appetizer

Heres a report from Chessvibes the following day.

We would also like to mention Alexandra Kosteniuk, who did very well today. In the overall standings she’s still 20th, but over rounds 15-28 she ended on a fine 12th place, beating Morozevich, Grischuk, Tkachiev, Anand, Polgar and Aronian today (after e.g. Carlsen yesterday).

Maybe they were all looking around seeing what was happening in other games too ( one of the oldest pshyco- domination tricks in the book).

Her self promotion may not have been polished by handlers but I like the raw enthusiasm - if you listen carefully to some of her commentaries you might occasionally get an alternative perspective of what a position contains.

As for Dignity - noble- old fashioned: its a game for heavensake.

Psychological mindgames, Deviousness, sleight of hand, gambling sharks are attributes often ascribed to early world champions at the board.

Let alone the games played off the board from at least Botvinnik on.

Though I must admit the word "Toiletgate" - takes the game places it doesn't need to go,

Michael's picture

Arne, I didn't mean to say she isn't objective. I just wondered how one can seriously produce such an overlong video on such an irrelevant game, showing the final moves way too many times in slow-mo. It's not my taste at all. Everyone knows that in blitz you can sometimes beat much stronger players. So what, it doesn't mean anything. Carlsen lost to other players too, but they don't feel the need to brag about it to the whole wide world.
I agree with Bobby Fiske, and lol's post, though eccentric, has something to be said for it too (it certainly made me laugh).

catfishcore's picture

OHHHH boy, many of you sound like jealous high school girls, who don't like the new pretty rich girl in class.

crybabe's picture

@Peter

Dont worry. Chessvibes always has good news. Thats why i watched this video and got dissapointed. Not by watching it or chessvibes showing it, but cause of Kostinuks way of profiling herself.

Concerning the hyves, facebook etc, I got them all as I'm an artist myself. Its not the medium wich is wrong but what you do with it. Kostinuk failed this time.

It was especially new in chess who did the Women Hype in chess. Calling them babes,,,, calling them sexy bweeeghhh.

Cajunmaster's picture

OK little boys, you got one of you as your new hero (finally there is one, by the way!) But please grow up and do not feel ever so threatened by fabulous lads such as Alexandra, Natalia, et al. Hasn't chess become ever so much more enjoyable these days?
And please note, daddy Henrik, it is granted that Kasparov was an ogre but every one else ought to learn good manners...
GENS UNA SUMUS - applies to all genders ;-)

Greg's picture

Well, speaking of manners, I totally agree that it applies to all genders...
However, after watching the video I don't see anything wrong with Magnus's behavior, he tried to correct a blunder through inertia and immediately resigned the game, so what's the big deal?
As for Kosteniuk, I just removed her as a friend from facebook :D

Johan's picture

This video would never been made if Carlsen hadn't tried to correct his move and resigned with dignity and a handshake. I found it funny to watch and it hasn't changed my opinion on both Carlsen and Kosteniuk. It just shows that also the top players are only human and the whole thing is rather innocent.

Reading about Kosteniuks activities I think she does a good job. Personally I would never visit her page or follow her on twitter but it can't be denied that she attracts attention and thus popularises chess which is a good thing.

Glossu's picture

Oh my. What a bunch of machos jaelous of Kosteniuk. Go Alexandra!

Invicta's picture

Chess is all about making less mistakes than your opponent. However, in this case Carlsen made a huge blunder and even saw it himself. Unfortunately, after great protests from the ---deleted--- of chess, he was unable to correct it. And so, fueled by his frustration and loss for words, he immediatly resigned and left, which I must say was justified under the circumstances.

Alexandra, appearntly not completely satisfied, further tears her image apart by making some sort of childish, selfboasting, ridiculous video of the match. The fact that she doesn't seem to see that this was caused by an accident, not her self-proclaimed supreme intelligence and dazzling beauty, is really, really sad.

This is not us being jealous, it's her being a total primadonna - And you being a ---deleted---
/Rant

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