Mariya Muzychuk was the Women’s World Champion in 2015-16 and reached the semi-finals in the Women’s World Championship in 2018. She earned her spot for the Women’s Grand Prix 2022-23 thanks to her 4th place in the FIDE Grand Swiss 2021 held in Riga.
Mariya was born on September 21, 1992, in Stryi, Lviv Region, Ukraine. She started her chess career in the village of Ugersko, where her parents used to work at a local sports school for children and youngsters. However, Mariya managed to train at home, too: her elder sister Anna used to help her along with her parents.
Since she was 7, Mariya has participated in the Ukrainian youth championships; in 2002, she won the Ukrainian and European championships for children under 10. At the age of 11, Mariya was shortlisted for the Ukrainian women's championship, then she won the world youth championship for children under 14 and later repeatedly won medals of the European and world youth championships.
Her success at the European women's championships brought Maria the title of women's grandmaster, and in 2008 she was awarded the title of International Master. After taking her first serious steps into professional chess, Muzychuk was admitted to the Ukrainian national team (while her elder sister was playing for Slovenia); as a member of the Ukrainian national team, she was the silver medalist (2018) and a three-time bronze medalist (2012, 2014, and 2016) of the Olympiads, as well as the women's World and European (2013) champion as a member of the Ukrainian team. Moreover, she won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympiad holding the best result on the second board. She is a two-time Ukrainian women's champion (2012 and 2013).
Muzychuk got her moment of glory in the 2015 knockout World Women's Championship in Sochi: after outplaying Yuanling Yuan, Monika Socko, Antoaneta Stefanova, Humpy Koneru, Harika Dronavalli, and Natalija Pogonina one by one, the Ukrainian grandmaster became the fifteenth Women's World Champion. In March 2016, Mariya Muzychuk failed to defend her title in a match against Hou Yifan, China.
In 2014, Mariya Muzychuk won the first women's prize at a prestigious Gibraltar Open tournament. Her beginning of this year has been fruitful: she won the second women's prize in the same tournament, demonstrating an impressive performance with the score of 2718 points.
Mariya Muzychuk holds the honorable FIDE Caissa award as the best women's chess player in 2015.
At the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament 2019 (Kazan, Russia) Mariya Muzychuk was the only woman chess player to defeat the tournament's winner, Aleksandra Goryachkina, with their match game having been awarded the special prize for being the most beautiful game of the tournament.
Like many other Ukrainian players, Mariya had to reallocate abroad since the start of the war, and for the last months she has been living with her sister in Valencia, Spain. Despite the added difficulties, Mariya successfully defended the first for Ukraine at the Chennai Chess Olympiad, leading her team decisively contributing to a historical gold medal.