Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya

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Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya
ElenaDonaldson0301 012.jpg
Elena Donaldson at the 2003 U.S. Chess Championships in Seattle, Washington
Full name Elena Bronislavovna Akhmilovskaya
Country Soviet Union
United States
Born (1957-03-11)11 March 1957
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Died 18 November 2012(2012-11-18) (aged 55)
Kirkland, Washington[1]
Title Woman Grandmaster
FIDE rating 2375 (March 2010)

Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya (born Elena Bronislavovna Akhmilovskaya, Russian: Елена Брониславовна Ахмыловская; 11 March 1957 – 18 November 2012) was a Woman Grandmaster of chess. She was one of the strongest women players in the world. She won the Women Candidates' tournament and in 1986 played a match against Maia Chiburdanidze in Sofia for the Women's World Chess Championship 1986, but lost by 8½–5½.[2]

Akhmilovskaya was born in Leningrad in a family where all members played chess. In 1969 the family moved to Krasnoyarsk, where Elena started playing chess in the local Pioneers Palace chess circle. She lived in Sochi, then in Tbilisi, Georgia from 1979 until 1988, when she abruptly eloped to the United States by marrying U.S. Team Captain John Donaldson at the World Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Elena lived in the Seattle area with her new husband, Georgi Orlov (himself an International Master), and their son after 1990. Her daughter from a previous marriage also lived in Seattle. She won the U.S. Women's Chess Championship in 1990 and 1994 and tied for the championship in 1993.[3]

On the January 2009 FIDE list her Elo rating was 2375. Her peak rating was 2430 in 1990.

In 2010, she was awarded the title of FIDE Instructor. She died of brain cancer in 2012.


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Preceded by
Alexey Root
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Esther Epstein and Irina Levitina
Preceded by
Irina Levitina
U.S. Women's Chess Champion
1993 (with Irina Levitina) and 1994
Succeeded by
Anjelina Belakovskaia and Sharon Burtman