Chigorin, Mikhail

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chigorin, Mikhail Ivanovich


(also spelled Tchigorin). Born Oct. 31 (Nov. 12), 1850, in Gatchina; died Jan. 12 (25), 1908, in Lublin, now in Poland. Russian chess player and organizer of the chess movement in Russia.

Chigorin, the son of a master worker at the Okhta Gunpowder Mill, studied at the Gatchina Orphans’ Institute. In the 1880’s and 1890’s he was universally recognized as the chief contender for the chess championship of the world, but in 1889 and 1892 he was defeated by the world champion, W. Steinitz. From 1899 to 1903 he won the first three all-Russian chess tournaments. Victorious in international tournaments in New York (1889), Budapest (1896), and Vienna (1903), Chigorin ranked second in Hastings in 1895, ahead of the world champion E. Lasker. He won a number of two-game telegraph matches: St. Petersburg-London (1886–87) and one with Steinitz (1890–91). He also won a match with Lasker in 1903.

Chigorin pioneered the formation of chess organizations in many cities in Russia. He edited and published the St. Petersburg journals Shakhmatnyi listok (1876–81), Shakhmatnyi vestnik (1885–87), and Shakhmaty (1891–92) and wrote chess columns for the weekly Vsemirnaia illiustratsiia (1881–90) and the newspaper Novoe vremia (1890–1907). He was the author of many theoretical works on openings and endgames.

In 1909, an international tournament was held in memory of Chigorin in St. Petersburg, and tournaments were held in his memory in the USSR between 1947 and 1980.


Tretii vserossiiskii shakhmatnyi turnir: Sbornik partii turnira. Notes by M. I. Chigorina. Moscow, 1904.


Grekov, N. I. M. I. Chigorin: Velikii russkii shakhmatist, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1949.
Grekov, N. I. 120 izbrannykh partii M. I. Chigorina. Moscow, 1952.
Romanov, I. Z. Tvorcheskoe nasledie M. I. Chigorina. Moscow, 1960.
Vasiukov, E., A. Narkevich, and A. Nikitin. Mikhail Chigorin. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.