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Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908), the father of modern Russian chess, belongs to that select group of exceptionally strong players who never succeeded in winning the World Championship. The defining moment for Chigorin came when he blundered away a winning position in the final game of his second title match against Steinitz.
This book provides a vivid account of the life and times of Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin: his rise to chess fame after a difficult childhood, his unfaltering commitment to the promotion of the game in 19th-century Russia, his friends and enemies, and his chess exploits in many countries.
Chigorin remains universally admired for his creative and courageous style of play. He always played to win, preferably with dashing attacks. His games consistently featured precise calculation, purposeful manoeuvring, patient exploitation of positional weaknesses, artful defence and even refined endgame play.
Today Chigorin's contributions to opening theory remain significant. He was the finest gambit player of his generation, but it is his pioneering work in the Ruy Lopez, the Queen's Gambit as well as various King's Indian formations that has been the most enduring.