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In Memoriam: WGM Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya

Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya, former Women’s World Championship finalist, passed away on 18th November 2012 after a long and serious illness.

She was born on 11 March 1957 in Leningrad, USSR, and later became one of the strongest woman players in the world. She won the Women’s Candidates tournament and in 1986 played a match for the title against Maia Chiburdanidze in Sofia, Bulgaria. Chiburdanidze won by 8½–5½.

Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya won two team gold medals in the Chess Olympiads with Soviet Union – in 1978 (individual score 10/10) and 1986 (8,5/12).

At the 1988 Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki she scored 8,5/9 and took silver team and individual medal (Judit Polgar was gold on 2nd board with 12,5/13).

In Thessaloniki she married U.S. Team Captain John Donaldson and moved to USA. She proceeded to represent the new country in five more Chess Olympiads.

From 1990 Elena lived in Seattle with her new husband IM Georgi Orlov. She won the U.S. Women’s Championship in 1990, 1993 (shared) and 1994.

Our condolences to the family

Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya

Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya (photo by James F. Perry)

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