Chess pieces adorn Google's homepage today in honor of Lyudmila Rudenko, a celebrated chess player who set the stage for more women to succeed in the game.
According to the World Chess Hall of Fame, Rudenko was born in Ukraine in the early 1900s. She played chess at a young age but was not considered a child prodigy, since she didn't pursue competition seriously until she moved to Moscow in her twenties. In 1927, Rudenko placed fifth in the U.S.S.R. Women's Chess Championship, an event she went on to win the next year.
For three years spanning 1950 to 1953 she was the reigning Women's World Chess Champion, or International Master, a title that cemented her later induction into the World Chess Hall of Fame. She also became a Woman Grandmaster in the 1970s. However, according to Google's Doodle Blog, Rudenko valued her efforts to save children during World War II's Siege of Leningrad as a more significant accomplishment. The siege, which was carried out by German and Finnish troops, took place between 1941 and 1944 and led to the deaths of over one million people.
Today's Doodle recognizes Rudenko on what would have been her 114th birthday. She is positioned in the center of the illustration, looking fierce and focused behind a chess board.