|Mikhail Chigorin (12 November 1850–25 January 1908) was a leading Russian chess player and the first grandmaster from Russia. He served as a major source of inspiration for the "Soviet school of chess," which dominated the chess world in the latter part of the 20th century. He played two matches against Wilhelm Steinitz for the World Chess Championship; the first in 1889 he lost 10.5–6.5; the second in 1892 he lost 12.5–10.5.|
He placed second, ahead of reigning world champion Lasker and former world champion Steinitz, in the Hastings 1895 chess tournament, in which all the greatest players of the time participated.
Chigorin has several chess openings named after him, most notably the Chigorin Variation of the Ruy Lopez (in algebraic notation, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5). There is also the Chigorin Defense to the Queen´s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6).
Although Chigorin had a negative record against Lasker, he beat Lasker with black pieces several times. The following win was played in Hastings in 1895 (moves given in Algebraic chess notation):
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. c4 Bxf3 4. gxf3 Nc6 5. Nc3 e6 6. e3 Bb4 7. cxd5 Qxd5 8. Bd2 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Nge7 10. Rg1 Qh5 11. Qb3 Nd8 12. Qb5+ Qxb5 13. Bxb5+ c6 14. Bd3 Ng6 15. f4 O-O 16. Ke2 Rc8 17. Rg3 c5 18. Rag1 c4 19. Bc2 f5 20. Bc1 Rf7 21. Ba3 Rc6 22. Bc5 Ra6 23. a4 Nc6 24. Rb1 Rd7 25. Rgg1 Nge7 26. Rb2 Nd5 27. Kd2 Ra5 28. Rgb1 b6 29. Ba3 g6 30. Rb5 Ra6 31. Bc1 Nd8 32. Ra1 Nf7 33. Rbb1 Nd6 34. f3 Nf7 35. Ra3 g5 36. Ke2 gxf4 37. e4 Nf6 38. Bxf4 Nh5 39. Be3 f4 40. Bf2 Ra5 41. Rg1+ Kf8 42. Raa1 e5 43. Rab1 Ng7 44. Rb4 Rc7 45. Bb1 Ne6 46. Rd1 Ned8 47. Rd2 Nc6 48. Rb5 Rxa4 49. dxe5 Nfxe5 50. Bh4 Rg7 51. Kf2 Rg6 52. Rdd5 Ra1 53. Bd8 Nd3+ 54. Bxd3 cxd3 55. Rxd3 Rag1 56. Rf5+ Ke8 57. Bg5 R6xg5 0-1