Elena Mikhailovskaya

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Elena Mikhailovskaya
Elena Mikhailovskaya 1974.jpg
Elena Mikhailovskaya in 1974
Personal information
Full name Elena Konstantinovna Mikhailovskaya
Nationality Soviet Union / Russia
Born (1949-11-21)November 21, 1949
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died February 4, 1995(1995-02-04)
Moscow, Russia
Sport draughts
Club Lokomotiv Moscow
Achievements and titles
World finals

Elena Konstantinovna Mikhailovskaya (Russian: Елена Константиновна Михайловская; November 21, 1949, Moscow, USSR — February 4, 1995, Moscow, Russia) was the first female World champion in international draughts. She won this title five times in a row (1973—1977). Before that she was four-times champion of the Soviet Union in Russian checkers (1969—1972). Later she was coaching and heading the Moscow draughts federation.


As a child, Elena Mikhailovskaya was enjoying active sports, but at the age of 15 health issues forced her to settle down. She intended to start playing chess seriously but ended up in a draughts club. In about a year she won a personal-team youth championship of the Soviet Union with the Moscow team, and in 1968 she won the individual championship as well. Starting from 1969 she was playing for the Moscow club Lokomotiv Moscow, and the same year she won the senior title of the Soviet Union champion in Russian checkers, defeating in the last game of the tournament the previous holder of the title Iraida Spasskaya and then winning the gold medal barrage against Janina Augustinaite. She then went to hold the title for three more years in a row, establishing the all-time Soviet record.[1]

In early 1970s, Mikhailovskaya switched to the international draughts and in 1973 won a prestigious international tournament in Amsterdam which was later considered to be first unofficial World female championship. In the next four years she won four official World champion titles. Among these, 1975 victory was the most special since Mikhailovskaya has finished it with a nearly perfect score, drawing only the last game against Lenie Toonen-Geurts after winning eight in a row. Only in 1979 did she concede the world crown to Ludmilla Meijler-Sochnenko.

When Elena Mikhailovskaya retired from active play, she continued coaching. She also was the president of Moscow draughts federation till the day of her death. She died in February 1995 in Moscow and was buried at the Vagankovo Cemetery. Ten years later, the Moscow Draughts Federation decided to proclaim 2005 the Year of Elena Mikhailovskaya.[2]

Record and statistics in the World female championships in international draughts[edit]

Year Venue Result Place
1973[Note 1] Amsterdam, Netherlands 8+1=1- 1
1974 Amsterdam 6+4=0- 1
1975 Amsterdam 8+1=0- 1
1976 Amsterdam 7+3=0- 1
1977 Amsterdam 5+5=0- 1
1979 Sneek, Netherlands 6+3=2- 3[Note 2]
1980 De Lier, Netherlands 6+4=1- 3
  1. ^ Unofficial world championship
  2. ^ Shared 3–4 place with Netherlands Petra Polman


External sources[edit]

  • Profile at the Dutch Draughts Union tournament database