WGM Katerina Nemcova is a Prague-born, Czech chess champion who attends the University of Texas-Brownsville as a senior in Communications. Learning 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 since 2007, 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. There, she earned 7.5 out of 9 points, the highest score of the event and her highest performance rating ever: 2548.
Individually, Nemcova found her international stride after a second-place showing in the 2007 World Youth Championship (Kemer-Antalya, Turkey), following up with a win at the 2008 European Youth Chess Championship after entering as the highest-rated girl U18. She also earned her WGM title in 2008.
Nemcova joined the chess team at UT-Brownsville in 2011 where she has since competed as a collegiate player. She switched federations in 2013 and enters the 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship as the 11th-ranked female player in the nation. The 24-year-old is a dangerous addition to the field: With six norms already collected toward her IM title, but struggling to find the consistency to surpass the 2400 rating barrier, Nemcova is a consistent lurker who several times in her career has exploded out of plateaus with dramatic performances. She is currently attending Webster Universtiy where she is a member of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence program.