In Memoriam: WGM Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya
Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya, former Women’s World Championship finalist, passed away on 18th November 2012.
Born Elena Bronislavovna Akhmilovskaya, Russian: Елена Брониславовна Ахмыловская; 11 March 1957 – 18 November 2012 was a Woman Grandmaster of chess. She was been one of the strongest woman players in the world. She won the Woman’s Candidates tournament and in 1986 played a match against Maia Chiburdanidze in Sofia for the Woman’s World Chess Championship, but lost by 8½–5½. Akhmilovskaya was born in Leningrad in a family where all members played chess. In 1969 the family moves to Krasnoyarsk where Elena started playing chess in the local Pioneers Palace chess circle. Since 1979 she lived in Sochi, then in Tbilisi, Georgia, 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 Seattle with her new husband, Georgi Orlov (himself an International Master), and their son since 1990. Her daughter from a previous marriage also lives in Seattle. She won the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in 1990 and 1994 and tied for the championship in 1993. On the January 2009 FIDE list her Elo rating is 2375. Her peak rating was 2430 in 1990. In 2010 she was awarded the title of FIDE Instructor.