Katerina Nemcova has been a dangerous competitor in the U.S. Women’s Championship from the moment she changed her federation in 2013. This marks the third year in a row that she has played in the Championship and she has proven that she is capable of fighting for the title.
Last year, she led the field for most of the tournament but ultimately tied for second with Nazi Paikidze. She played Irina Krush in the final round and a win would have forced a playoff but they drew the game and Krush became the Champion.
Nemcova is a member of the prestigious Webster University chess team where she majored in public relations. Coached by Susan Polgar, Nemcova has shown rapid improvement in recent years and enters this year’s Championship nearly 50 points higher-rated than she was a year ago.
Nemcova is a Prague-born, Czech chess champion who learned to play at age four. She won her national youth championship in eight different age categories on her ascent, topping out in 2008 as the Czech Women’s Champion and earning the title again in 2010.
Nemcova is the product of a complete chess-playing family, the third of seven siblings, all of whom were taught chess and fueled by chess-playing parents. Four Nemcova girls, including Katerina, have earned Czech youth champion titles.
“My father always had us all practice together, it was always a nice family moment - not just like ‘practice,’ but always a lot of fun with my siblings,” Nemcova said. “I’ve always had my best performances in team events - I just feel like more people is more fun, the collectiveness of the whole event. I’m used to fighting together with my siblings; I like people around.”
She has represented the Czech Republic in a team event every year from 2007 to 2012 and was a three-time Olympic (2008, 2010, 2012) player and a gold-medalist as the second board at the European Women's Team Championship in 2007 with a score of 7.5/9 points.
Individually, Nemcova found her international stride after a second-place showing in the 2007 World Youth Championship (Kemer-Antalya, Turkey), followed up with a win at the 2008 European Youth Chess Championship after entering as the highest-rated girl U18.