GM Mikhail I Chigorin

Full name
Mikhail I Chigorin
Nov 12, 1850 - Jan 25, 1908 (age 57)
Place of birth
Gatchina, St. Petersburg Governorate, Russian Empire

Mikhail Chigorin quit his job to play chess and subsequently became one of the best. A leading Russian chess player, he fought for the World Chess Championship not once, but twice! Despite losing to Steinitz both times, he was regarded as a top player and also a major source of inspiration for the “Soviet Chess School”. Through his original talent, animated games and important opening novelties, he left a lasting legacy for students of the game to study today.

Mikhail Chigorin learned how to play chess at the age of 16 but did not start to take the game seriously until after he finished his studies in 1874. Once he caught the chess bug, he quit his day job to become a chess professional. In the great London tournament of 1883 where the top 14 chess players in the entire world played, Chigorin finished fourth. Later he tied for first in the very strong tournament of New York and followed this up with challenging Wilhelm Steinitz for the World Championship. This first attempt finished in a loss and his second attempt in 1892 for the World Championship followed the same result. Despite this, Chigorin never gave up and had one of his best performances in 1895 when he came in second ahead of world champions Emanuel Lasker and Steinitz. Near the end of his life he won the first three All-Russia Tournaments, thus securing his place as Russia’s best player. Chigorin passed away on January 25, 1908.

Best Game

Most Played Openings

White Pieces
Giuoco Piano Game (68) : C52 C50 C51 C53
King's Gambit Declined (37) : C31 C30
Sicilian Defense (8) : B24 B23 B32
French Defense (64) : C11 C00 C01 C12 C15
Bird's Opening (9) : A03 A02
Vienna Game (11) : C25 C29 C26 C28
Four Knights Game (9) : C47 C49
Scandinavian Defense (5) : B01
Ponziani Opening (13) : C44
Scotch Game (7) : C45 C44
Center Game Accepted (5) : C22
King's Gambit Accepted (25) : C36 C33 C38 C34 C37
King's Gambit (1) : C30
Caro-Kann Defense (2) : B18
Petrov's Defense (7) : C43 C42
King's Pawn Opening (2) : B00
Queen's Gambit Declined (1) : D09
Dutch Defense (1) : A80
Colle System (1) : D04
Black Pieces
Vienna Game (5) : C25 C23
Queen's Pawn Opening (27) : D02 D00 A40
Pirc Defense (2) : B08
Bishop's Opening (5) : C28 C24
Indian Game (4) : A46 E00
Queen's Gambit Declined (43) : D30 D31 D52 D35 D07 D37 D50
Old Indian Defense (7) : A54 A53
Three Knights Opening (4) : C46
Colle System (10) : D05 D04
London System (1) : A48
Giuoco Piano Game (27) : C50 C52 C51 C53
Dutch Defense (12) : A83 A84 A82 A80
Semi-Slav Defense (10) : D46 D45
Nimzo-Indian Defense (2) : E51 E48
English Opening (3) : A20 A25 A13
Center Game Accepted (4) : C21 C22
King's Gambit Accepted (19) : C39 C37 C33
Modern Defense with 1.e4 (1) : B06
Queen's Gambit Accepted (4) : D26 D20 D21
Ponziani Opening (4) : C44
King's Pawn Opening (4) : C20
Four Knights Game (7) : C48 C49 C47
King's Indian Defense (1) : E76
Scotch Game (5) : C45
Italian Game (14) : C56 C59 C58 C55
Sicilian Defense (3) : B45 B30 B23
French Defense (4) : C01 C00
Van't Kruijs Opening (1) : A00