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My Great Predecessor: Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin

Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin was a Russian chess player. He played two World Championship matches against Wilhelm Steinitz, losing both times. The last great player of the Romantic chess style, he also served as a major source of inspiration for the “Soviet chess school”, which dominated the chess world in the middle and latter parts of the 20th century. His playing style featured a well-honed tactical ability and an imaginative approach to the opening.

Chigorin has several chess openings or variations of openings named after him, the two most important being the Chigorin Variation of the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7) and the Chigorin Defence to the Queen’s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6). Whilst the former has remained popular through the 1900s, the latter struggled to attract a great many devotees until relatively recently. Igor Miladinović has used the Chigorin Defence with great regularity, but its current revival owes much to the efforts of Alexander Morozevich, who has championed the opening both in play and in his book – The Chigorin Defence According To Morozevich (published 2007).

Another opening line invented by Chigorin is 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 in the French Defence. It is now generally regarded as a forerunner of King’s Indian setups, but Chigorin also played it with other ideas (such as b2–b3) in mind.

Below are few puzzles named after Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin

Ans: 1….. Q×g2 2. K×g2 Bf3 3. Kf1 Nh2#

Ans: 1.Ne7+ R8×e7 2. Rd8+ Re8 3. Qf8+

Ans: 1…. Rh1+ 2. N×h1 Bh2+ 3. K×h2 Rh8 3. Bh6 R×h6 + 4. Kg3 Nf5 + 5. Kf4 Rh4#

Ans: 1Q×e7+ R×e7 2. R×e7+ Rf7 3. Ne6+ kg8 4. Re8+ Rf8 5. R×f8#

  1. And: 1.Be6+ kb8 [ (1….B×e6 2. Q×h5), (1…. f×e6 2. Qe7+ kb8 3. Q×e8+ Nc8 4. Nd7#) ] 2. Nd7+ kc8 3. Nc5+ kb8 4. Na6+ b×a6 5. Qb4#

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