William John Donaldson

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William John Donaldson
John best (Holly)TURIN1~2.jpg
Donaldson in Turin
CountryUnited States
Born (1958-09-24) September 24, 1958 (age 62)
Los Angeles, US
TitleInternational Master (1983)
FIDE rating2412 (April 2021)

William John Donaldson (born September 24, 1958) is an American chess player, author, journalist and chess official. He was awarded the title of International Master by FIDE in 1983. Donaldson was captain of the US team in six Chess Olympiads from 1986 to 1996.

At the 1988 Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Donaldson married Elena Akhmilovskaya, a member of the Soviet team. Afterwards, while the tournament was still going on, the couple immediately travelled to the United States. They divorced approximately one year later.

In 1990, Donaldson was elected to the Policy Board of the United States Chess Federation. He also became an editor of the magazine Inside Chess, published by Yasser Seirawan. After the magazine folded, he moved to San Francisco, where he became chess director of the San Francisco Mechanics Institute. He is constantly writing and producing chess books, mostly biographies of historical chess figures. He qualified to play in the 2002 and the 2003 U.S. Chess Championship. He has achieved two norms for the title of Grandmaster, at Lindsborg 2002[1] and at Stratton Mountain 2003.[2]

On December 9, 2006, Donaldson was named US zone president in FIDE, replacing Robert Tanner, who resigned on December 4, 2006.[citation needed]


  • The Life and Games of Frank Anderson.Moravian Chess, 2009 ISBN 978-80-7189-608-1
  • The Unknown Bobby Fischer. ISBN 1-879479-85-0
  • Alekhine in Europe and Asia. ISBN 1-879479-12-5
  • Elmars Zemgalis: Grandmaster without the title. ISBN B0006RZ3N6
  • Olaf Ulvestad: An American original. ISBN 1-888710-11-X
  • Legend on the Road (about Bobby Fischer's 1964 simul tour) ISBN 1-879479-15-X
  • Donaldson, John; Minev, Nikolay (1994), Akiba Rubinstein: Uncrowned King, International Chess Enterprises, ISBN 1-879479-19-2 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  • Donaldson, John (1995), Essential Chess Endings for Advanced Players, Chess Digest, ISBN 0-87568-263-4
  • A Strategic Opening Repertoire, I.C.E. Publication


  1. ^ Crowther, Mark (2002-12-30). "TWIC 425: Lindsborg Rotary Open". London Chess Center. Retrieved 10 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Crowther, Mark (2003-06-16). "TWIC 449: CCA International". London Chess Center. Retrieved 10 May 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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