August 24, 2010 17:47

The forgotten recollections of Chigorin’s daughter

Mikhail ChigorinMikhail Chigorin (1850 - 1908) was one of the founding fathers of Russian chess, and one of the great contemporaries of players like Steinitz, Lasker and Tarrasch. Little seems to be known, however, about his life outside chess. We bring you the translation of a remarkable document that recently appeared: the recollections of Chigorin’s daughter on the 50th anniversary of her father’s death.

Alexander Kentler, who writes a chess column for sportsdaily.ru, was recently sent a remarkable document: the recollections of Mikhail Chigorin’s daughter on the 50th anniversary of her father’s death. She talks of his legendary absent-mindedness, how cigar smoke thwarted his title ambitions, and describes the last moments of his life.

Kentler mentions that in a previous biographical article he had asked a rhetorical question about Chigorin’s two wives and daughter. He was surprised to receive a reply.

In his recent column (which was pointed out to me by Arne) Kentler relates how he was sent an article by Olga Kusakova-Chigorina, Chigorin’s daughter from his second marriage, for the New York-based “Novoye Russkoye Slovo”. The full text of the article, that Kentler says was never published in Russia, is given below.

Olga M Kusakova-Chigorina

My Father, Mikhail Chigorin

On the 50th anniversary of his death (1908-1958)

On the 12 January 1908, Old Style, in the town of Lublin, my father, Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin, a famous Russian chess player, died. This St. Tatiana’s Day exactly half a century had passed since the day of his death. In all likelihood none of his contemporaries are alive, but many admirers of his talent are still scattered around the globe. And while it’s not too late I want to share some recollections of my father, not as a chess player (about Chigorin, the chess master, a lot has been written both in Russian and foreign chess literature). I want to tell you about him as a man and, primarily, to give a brief description of the last days of his life.

He grew up as an orphan, raised in the Gatchina Orphanage. During the holidays he’d go to his two old aunts in St. Petersburg. In general, my father very rarely shared recollections from his childhood. He didn’t suffer from the urge to fantasise. He only laid out true facts and demanded that those around him gave brief and accurate replies. He always told me: “Think first and then answer concisely”. I knew that in talking to my father I had to be thoughtful, clear, accurate and only speak the truth. That’s how he’s been preserved for ever in my memories, wrapped up in that truth.

As a man he was extremely nervous and irritable, and couldn’t stand stupidity in any of its forms. Above all he demanded logic from all around him.

My father kept up an enormous correspondence on chess affairs in Russia and abroad. We saw him for days on end bent over his writing table responding to a pile of mail he’d received, while at night he’d be at his chess table, set up by the bed. He lived only through chess and for chess. There was always total silence in our apartment. If some object or other fell he would shudder, jump up and impulsively head for the scene, but before he got there he’d quickly go back and calm down.

The only maid we had was one who never let plates or knives and so on fall out of her hands. In short, breaking the silence was considered a “crime” of sorts.

I can only picture my father bent over the chessboard or the writing table, or prancing with measured steps around the rooms with a rhythmical nodding of his head, his gaze focused, almost absent, not noticing anything around him.

Chess combinations would often come to him suddenly. In such situations he could leave his guests at the dining table and go off to his study in order to set up the new arrangement of the pieces on the chessboard. We ended up having to apologise to our guests, but the majority of them were chess players and admirers of my father, so it was taken with good grace and not held against him.

It was worse when the three of us were having lunch, as there would be intervals not only between the dishes served, but also between the first and second spoonful of soup. It was rare for a dinner to pass without pauses. The maid would first be sent to inform him that the food was getting cold, then I’d go, and finally, mother herself. So that dinners often took place in a nervous atmosphere.

My father was very picky about his food, and his greatest praise was the phrase: “Not bad, it’s edible.” The table had to be covered with a pristine white tablecloth and well served. The glass had to be delicate. In the flat there should be cleanliness and order. Our home life took place under the banner “all for chess”. It dominated everything: the apartment had a minimum of three chess tables, while the walls had portraits of Steinitz, Lasker, Pillsbury and other chess masters.

In my father’s study there were two writing tables with piles of papers: letters and clippings from newspapers (the chess section). A glass case contained many books of chess literature. Beside the bed there was a small redwood table carved with the initials “M. Ch”. The postman told the servant: “What a strange master you have, why do they write so much to him?” Once a letter was delivered with the address on the envelope: “Chigorin, Russia” and it turned out that address was sufficient.

Mikhail Chigorin

In his absentmindedness he forgot my age (7-8 years old) and wanted to get me involved in secretarial work as soon as possible, ordering me to make cuttings from the chess sections of Russian and foreign newspapers.

On many occasions I asked him to teach me to play chess, but he would always observe: “it’s not something for the female mind, lady”. Nevertheless, returning once from England where he’d visited a women’s chess club, he said: “Good stuff, those English women play decent chess”.

He got to know chess himself while he was still a pupil at the Gatchina Orphanage. He was taught by his schoolteacher, while his first serious teacher was the well-known chess player Schiffers.

Chigorin never worked and only contributed to a few newspapers and journals. When he was offered a job in one of the St. Petersburg banks he turned it down due to being overloaded with chess work. He personally considered it unacceptable to receive a salary for only being formally employed, although the Chigorins' material situation wasn’t particularly brilliant. It was rumoured that my father made a fortune from tournaments, but that was a fairy tale.

His talent was at its peak in the years 1891-95. Being a very nervous man, my father could never stand any smells and particularly the smell of cigars, while such serious opponents as Lasker, Steinitz and others wouldn’t let a cigar leave their mouths while they were playing. They enveloped my father in cigar smoke, which he couldn’t stand. He became stressed and made blunders. Someone wrote: there was the impression that Chigorin was almost too lazy to “seize the crown”. He wasn’t lazy, but given his nervousness the cigar smoke simply prevented him from concentrating in the manner required to work out combinations.

Painfully sensitive, he had a “fever” for chess, while in the rest of his life he sought silence. For the sake of that silence we moved to Gatchina for two years as he wanted to complete one of his chess works, but living without Petersburg, without chess society and meetings was something he couldn’t do for more than two years. So we again returned to his native, beloved Petersburg.

Having travelled to many countries and twice visited America, he was always glad to return, stating that there’s no city better than Petersburg.

Chigorin’s internal makeup was of a man with a good heart and crystalline honesty, but with a difficult character. The defining feature of his nature was his anecdotal absent-mindedness: talking to someone he would often unexpectedly list some chess moves, which would confuse his interlocutor. He frequently looked for a missing piece, which he turned out to be gripping in his own hand.

From my earliest years I was told to look after him: had he forgotten to put on his tie, did he take someone else’s hat, and during a downpour did he take a walking stick instead of an umbrella? He often tried to put on two starched shirts at the same time, and not being able to fasten both collars he was all blood and thunder towards the washerwomen. Putting on two waistcoats was a common occurrence for him. Leaving the house with an umbrella he would rarely return with it, having lost it somewhere along the way, though soon afterwards he would bring five of them and put them all down carefully in the correct corner.

At one time we lived on 84 Nevsky Prospekt, where there was a narrow pavement leading from the gate to the house (the same building housed the Chess Society). My father, meeting my mother on that narrow pavement, gallantly stepped aside, making way for her and completely failing to notice that it was his own wife. After the question: “What’s the name and patronymic of your wife?” he’d sink into thought and repeat a few times, “Anastasiya… Anastasiya…”, and confusedly declare: “But I can’t immediately recall the patronymic”.

The examples of his absent-mindedness are legion.

Work on chess really wore him out, but he couldn’t exist without it. He was also worn out by travelling abroad for chess tournaments, but if the interval between tournaments grew too great he’d start to get bored. I recall that once during the period we lived in Gatchina he returned from the station from St. Petersburg accompanied by some sort of dog, and at home there was a tournament invitation waiting for him. Chigorin was so excited that he ordered that the dog be allowed to stay and gave it the name “News”. Among the chess players who visited us I remember Steinitz, Schiffers, General Kovanko, Prince Cantacuzène and others.

In his later years my father began to get ill more and more often. At that time I was living in Lublin with the family of my mother’s sister and studying at the gymnasium there. My parents came to visit me and even thought about moving to Lublin.

Mikhail Chigorin

In 1907 my uncle died, and a year later my father arrived to visit us but was already very sick. He’d only just been discharged from hospital, it seems, as someone incurably ill (diabetes). He arrived on Christmas Eve [this may mean the Orthodox 6 January], lay down and never got up again. I took turns with my mother at keeping watch by his bedside. He would incessantly either move the pieces of his travelling chess set, or hallucinate.

Once at night he called me and, pointing at his travelling chess set, told me: “burn this chess set immediately”.

I was shocked – his favourite chess set, which he was never separated from – how could I suddenly burn it! His wish could only be carried out in the morning, when the stoves were lit. He became oblivious, fell into a delirium and spoke to someone invisible only about chess.

In the morning my mother and I decided that father might still get better and then he’d reproach us for carrying out his delirious fantasy. We decided first to burn the chessboard, but to retain the pieces for now. In the morning the first thing he did was to ask if I’d fulfilled his request. I paltered and quietly replied: “Yes”, it was a white lie…

Now we come to the last hours of his life: on 12 January, in the evening, the silence in the apartment was pierced by a soul-wrenching scream. We all rushed to the patient’s room. Mother calmed down father, while his eyes, frozen in horror, were fixed on the open door leading to the dark drawing room. It seems that he’d dreamt something, and the dream was connected to the door. When mother, having given him water, laid him down I tried to calm him down, saying: “It’ll all pass now”. But he responded in annoyance: “Yes, it’ll all pass when I die,” and helplessly waved his hand. Closing his eyes he sighed three times and then fell silent for good. The doctor who’d been called pronounced his death. It took place at 9:50 pm on St. Tatiana’s Day, 12 January. What his eyes saw in the dark drawing room will always remain a mystery.

He was temporarily buried in the local Orthodox cemetery and then, before the First World War, and thanks to the efforts and troubles of St. Petersburg chess players, his body was moved to Petersburg, where for a second time it was consigned to the earth in the Novodevichy Cemetery.

In the years that followed various individuals published recollections of M. I. Chigorin, but often inaccuracies would creep into them. Sometimes it was probably the result of false impressions, while at other times it was a product of the human imagination. Once I was sent a page torn out of some book or a small journal, where a certain V. Stachovich ends his article entitled, “From recollections of Chigorin”, with the words: “His, i.e. Chigorin’s personal life didn’t work out for him: he was a loner, although it appeared that he had a family and a daughter. He died among people he didn’t know, almost completely alone, forgotten by the organisation for which he’d worked so hard”. How untrue that all is everyone can see for themselves from my current recollections. My mother, after father’s death, often met with E. A. Znosko-Borovsky, who’s no longer with us. They would both only shake their heads at the fruits of such idle fancy.

In 1928, after I’d already emigrated, I wrote to a companion from my childhood years – a cousin living in Leningrad, with a request to visit my father’s grave in the Novodevichy Cemetery. From the reply I received I learnt that she found the grave covered by dense nettles and neither a cross nor a monument. The gravedigger Andreev said that on one occasion the chess player Fedorov appeared and sought out where Chigorin’s grave should be according to the plan. He said he’d appeal to chess players and remind them of the grave of a man who should be dear to the whole chess world, and that it was essential to take measures to restore the grave. The measures were taken. In 1934 or 1935 I received a letter from Kharkov with a small printed page taken from some journal or book with a photograph of M. I. Chigorin’s grave.

The grave has no cross and the burial mound is ringed by an elongated high wall, probably made of granite, with flowers placed in the middle and a suitable inscription on the gravestone. At the head of the grave there’s a bench and a stone chess table.

Such was the state of the grave 20 years ago, but what happened to Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad and in particular to the Novodevichy Cemetery after the Second World War, I don’t know.

And the thunder and storms died away.
Is your gravestone still intact?
Or, perhaps, your grave
Is overgrown by the grass of oblivion.

“Novoye Russkoye Slovo” No. 16290, 2 February 1958

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Comments

Janis.Nisii's picture

Thank you for publishing this article. So interesting and touching! I'm so grateful to having had the possibility to read this document.
Are there still copyrights owned by someone? I'd like it to be published in Italian too.

I remember I was in St. Petersburg in early 2004 on business (my main job, in the insurance industry) and I couln't convince my boss to go and visit Chigorin's grave, nor I could go by myself because we had to be with out guests all the time. I still regret my lack of either convincing skills or independence/determination. :(

Guillaume's picture

Wonderful article! It was interesting, charming, funny, witty, and even scary!

Alexander's picture

Brilliantly written!

Arne Moll's picture

Perhaps you're right, Felix. I admit I haven't looked at the position with a computer and I don't think I will. The reason people play the Chigorin is to make their opponent think for themselves, and for me, using a computer spoils all the fun, even if its judgement is of course superior.

Actually 4...e6 is probably better and in fact this is played more often, also by Chigorin. It was also employed by other positional masters like Nimzowitsch, Spassky, Hjartarson and Gustafsson so it is perhaps a bit too early to call this line 'antipositional', wouldn't you agree?

ebutaljib's picture

Mikhail Chigorin - the forgotten World Champion

Felix's picture

The cigar smoke may be a weak excuse, when Chigorin lost against Steinitz, it was also because of the brilliant play by Steinitz, e.g.: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.c4 Nc6 4.e3 e5 5.Qb3! - which kills the Chigorin defense. Somehow that line is not played frequently and only mentioned as a side line, but it's hard to find something against it. One should definetly look at those classic games.

Antichrist's picture

@Felix

4...e6 is more precise.

Felix's picture

Well, yes, but after 4...e6, Nc6 looks quite stupid :)

CAL|Daniel's picture

sorry but I buy the cigar excuse. I would play probably close to 400 pts weaker myself if I had someone blowing cigar smoke in my face.

Arne Moll's picture

@Felix. What's so great about 5.Qb3? It looks pretty harmless.

Felix's picture

Did you look with Rybka at it? What do you want to play? I'm quite sure I get a good advantage in any line :)
E.g.: 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. c4 Nc6 4. e3 e5 5. Qb3 Bxf3 6. gxf3 Nge7 7. Nc3 exd4 8.
Nxd5 Rb8 9. Bd2 and white castles long with a really nice position.

Arne Moll's picture

I don't know by heart, Felix, but for instance instead of 6...Nge7 Black can also try the logical 6...Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nxd2 exd4 9.cxd5 dxe3 10.fxe3 Qh4+ which I'm sure Rybka likes for White but which is in fact very dangerous if you take a closer look...

Arne Moll's picture

@Janis: I visited the Novodevichy Cemetery in 1995 but to my regret couldn't find Chigorin's grave. In fact I remember it was quite a desolate and spooky place with many graves overgrown with plants and most epitaphs and names completely unreadable (which is great for a cemetery of course!).

I'm sure nowadays there's a clear sign directing visitors to his grave.

CAL|Daniel's picture

grave yards tend not to be easy to navigate even when they are famous and well organized. Take for instance perelachaise in Paris - probably the most famous cemetery there is. You can't find Moliere's grave for the life let alone others despite there being a map to the place!

Jurgen's picture

Wonderful article. However I still wonder about Chigorins descendence. He grew up in orphanage but could still maintain household and servant without "making a fortune in tournaments".

Alexander's picture

In pre-Soviet Russia, having a servant was not reserved for reach families.

Felix's picture

Arne, humans scored 62% after 11.Kd1 Nd8 12. Rc1 :) White has an excellent position and I don't know why you think there's any danger. That check is not mate ;)
After 12...c6!? (Rybka) 13.dxc bxc 14.Ne4 I don't see any danger - 14....Qh5 15.Kc2! Qxf3 16.Bd3 and white is safe.

Usually I need to sacrifice material for such nice positions :)

ask's picture

how many correspondence chess games did Alekhine play? where i can download these games?

Janis Nisii's picture

Arne, I did ask our guide and she was ready to detour to get there, so I guess the situation was better 10 years later (from your visit)

Krista's picture

Thank you so much for sharing these reminiscences. I love learning the history of people, it makes them three-dimensional and approachable and human. This was fascinating. :-)

Frits Fritschy's picture

Thanks for the extra information, Colin, hope to see a full translation of the mentioned article somewhere soon.

Cajunmaster's picture

Is Colin McGourty the "Mishamp" of the Chess in Translation website where this same article appeared on August 18th? Or is this nice Chessvibes article a case of internet plagiarism?

Arne Moll's picture

Take a wild guess, Cajunmaster ;-)

Thomas's picture
Felix's picture

Arne, sorry, Rybka and I disagree again with your suggestion :)
6. ... Bb4+ 7. Bd2 dxc4 8.
Bxc4 Qe7 9. dxe5 O-O-O 10. Bxb4 Nxb4 11. Nd2 Nc6 12. f4 Na5 13. Qb5 Nxc4 14.
Nxc4 a6 15. Qb3 Qe6 16. Rc1 Kb8 17. Na5 Qxb3 18. Nxb3 Ne7 19. Ke2

Just to give a quick line. White is simply better, even if the King is in the center for some moves, black is not active enough to get compensation for the pawn.

It's really a killer-line, you have to agree ;)

call_me_ishmael's picture

@ ebutaljib

You are absolutely correct Chigorin was World Champion from 1889-1892. A few things you didn't mention though:

- After the 1892 match Steinitz announced his retirement (again!) and the title reverted to Chigorin. Chigorin was then challenged by Tarrasch in 1893. They played a World Championship match in St. Petersburg, first to 10 wins with a 9-9 draw clause (This was the standard rule for all WC matches from 1886-1897). Once again the match ended in a 9-9 draw.
- Steinitz came out of retirement (again!) for a match with Lasker due to the Chigorin-Tarrasch match ending in a draw. However since there was a 9-9 clause in that match the validity of the 1894 match as a true WC match is in question.
- Hastings 1895 was then supposed to decide the new Champion (ala New York 1889). The problem with the Pillsbury victory however and the reason he was not considered World Champion is because he lost his individual game to the reigning champion Chigorin. To settle the issue Chigorin organized the St. Petersburg tournament of 1896 with only the top 5 finishers of Hastings invited. The winner would be World Champion.
- Lasker won and the second place finisher had the right (ala New York 1889) to challenge him to a match, this was Steinitz and the 1897 title match was held with Lasker winning decisively!

Nima's picture

Very nice article - thank you - and a bit sad to see so many great chess players having difficult lives and deaths in those times (Reti, Rubinstein, Lasker...the list goes on).

Arne Moll's picture

@Felix: I can't argue with Rybka. All I know is this line is pretty dangerous for White in practice. It's just one example where Black at least gets dangerous play if White doesn't sit behind a monitor ;-) Actually there's nothing wrong with 4...e6 either, of course. You could argue that while Nc6 looks a bit silly after this, so does 4.e3. That said, I do believe White has an edge in almost every line in the Chigorin, so yeah, this could well be one of them too. Cheers, Arne

Antichrist's picture

Epic. Well done fellas. :D

Felix's picture

Arne, what I say is that this line is not dangerous at all :) I don't know what you are talking about, it looks like a dream position to me (for human play!).
But it's dangerous for black :)

Nc6 looks really stupid, while e3 is ok, you still have Bb2 as a natural square for the bishop while Nc6 is completely antipositional :)

Arne Moll's picture

Everything looks like a dream position if you've got Rybka on your side, Felix. In my opinion it often has nothing to do with real-life chess. Anyway, I'm sure the line is OK for White as are many other lines. The 4.e3 and 5.Qb3 line is nothing special in this respect.

Michael's picture

I happen to know the line that Arne suggested because I lost with it against a German FM. I didn't know any theory, it was just an over-the-board inspiration. It looked interesting from afar but once I got there it dawned on me how bad Black's position actually is. White's king is quite safe, he controls all the central squares and Black's pieces are poorly placed. Don't play like this! Actually I was completely amazed to see that Argentine GM Rossetto had also played this rubbish. He lost, of course.

Felix's picture

Well, yes, I guess Arne needs to have that position on the board before seeing how bad it really is ;)
There may be positions where the computer gives a nice score but things are not that clear, but in this case it's just a bad position for black :)

Btw., one of the guys I played against wanted to look it up in his book (don't remember the exact title) and just found a side note on that line which didn't contain any analysis. So I still think this is a very good way to take out the fun of the chigorin - one doesn't need to learn many variations and gets a very nice position with ease.

ebutaljib's picture

@ call_me_ishmael

Nice follow-up. All things sudenly come into place. With the 2nd Lasker vs. Steinitz match the two "lines" come together and Lasker comes out as undisputed champion - and goes into inactivity, until Tarrasch starts to dispute his title in mid 1900's.

Looks like Steinitz got his title disputed all the time. For example after George Mackenzie won the 1887 DSB congress in Frankfurt, he claimed the title of world champion for himself!

Steinitz replied:
"In regards Mackenzie I have made him an offer which I consider a very safe compromise namely that he may declare himself the tournament champion but he should acknowledge my being the match champion. If he does not accept such an offer which I have only made for the sake of peace there will a bitter journalistic fight."

You can read it here on page 90

I think it is only in 2nd decade of Lasker's reign that the title of world champion stopped being desputed after every strong tournament. It was only then being acknowledged that you can only become champion by defeating the previous holder in a match. Before that, everytime someone won a strong tournament, he claimed of being the best in the world (some pushing the claim more than others).

Arne Moll's picture

Yeah, this line is probably only suitable for blitz and rapid. However, Black has many other options. One of them is the pawn sac 7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 Qe7 9.dxe5 0-0-0 with interesting play. Black's king is safe and all his pieces are centralized. I'm sure even Rybka agrees Black has compensation in this position.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Jurgen asked a question that doesn't get the attention it deserves, with all this discussion about a Chigorin side line (and the article is about his personal life).
Anyone (in possesion of a good Chigorin biography?) knowing more about his early years? All I found on the internet is that he only became an orphan at the age of 10 and his father was working in a gunpowder factory. Did his father had a position there that he could leave him some money?
As Olga Kusakova relates, their "material situation wasn’t particularly brilliant", but you don't get the impression they were really destitute; she seems to have got a decent education and had the means to immigrate.
I can't remember where, but I once read the prizes in top events in the 19th century weren't too bad, inflation taken into account. So it seems you could sustain a middle class family life as a (top) professional chess player, with only a few tournaments a year and some writing work. Chigorin could even turn down a bank job that wouldn't require much of him!
No mention is made of chess teaching jobs or playing for money, or a consistent supporter from the nobility (or was that Prince Cantacuzène - colourfull character, see Wikipedia - acting as such?).
Anyone knowing more?

Arne Moll's picture

Frits, Chigorin worked as a government officer until he quit and started life as a chess professional. This is a quote from the book "Soviet School of Chess" by Kotov and Yudovich:

"Maintaining lofty principles in his efforts to advance chess, Chigorin fought against the profanisation of the art by 'magnanimous' patrons. A few clubs with several dozen members, less than 200 subscribers to the chess magazine, public collections in order to finance Chigorin's chess trips abroad - these examples should give an idea of the unenviable position of the game in Russia in those days."

Frits Fritschy's picture

Thanks, Arne
But this makes this article even more interesting. I quote: "Chigorin never worked and only contributed to a few newspapers and journals. When he was offered a job in one of the St. Petersburg banks he turned it down due to being overloaded with chess work." He never worked [in a job] - you don't say that about a beloved father if it wasn't exactly so, I would say.
The Soviet School of Chess was published in ... 1958! I wonder if Mrs. Kusakova's article was written prior or after the publication of the Kotov-Yudovich book. If it was after that, I wonder if she hints at it with "In the years that followed various individuals published recollections of M. I. Chigorin, but often inaccuracies would creep into them".
Kotov isn't the most trustworthy person when it comes to chess history. After all, he had a bigger objective than the truth: "The rise of the Soviet school to the summit of world chess is a logical result of socialist cultural development" - see the mentioned book.
So maybe Mrs. Kusakova wanted to give truth a chance, without jeopardising the chance that his grave would be attended to, as she probably wouldn´t have any possibility herself (anymore) to do so - but I might be romanticising a bit too much, now.

Colin McGourty's picture

I managed to find Kentler's previous biographical article on-line (i.e. the one that provoked someone to send him the memoir by Chigorin's daughter): http://www.e3e5.com/article.php?id=1548

A few details from it:

Chigorin was 8 when his father died and left him an orphan (his mother had died 3 years before that).

He seems to have had to leave the orphanage early after having been part of (or at least taken some responsibility for) a rebellion that took place there.

He was given a job working for the police, where he stayed for 11 years before asking to be allowed to leave. Kentler provides original documents to back up his biography and thinks previous biographers left out the information about the police as it was something of a tabu - though he only worked as a clerk (there are notes preserved asking for leave to travel abroad, but not mentioning that it was to play in chess tournaments!).

I guess it's an open question whether Chigorin's daughter simply didn't know about his earlier work (before she was born), or whether she decided to present a different picture to the world.

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