Person of day   -  13 SEPTEMBER 2021

FEDOR DUZ-KHOTIMIRSKY

FEDOR DUZ-KHOTIMIRSKY

The notable part of his chess career took place in the pre-revolutionary years. During 1900–1907 Duz-Khotimirsky participated in four All-Russian championships and was a four-time winner of the Kiev championship. In 1907, he played in two tournaments in Moscow, where he won in the first event ahead of Marco and took 3rd in the second event which listed Chigorin among its participants. In the same year Duz-Khotimirsky shared 11-12th with Marshall in the international tournament in Carlsbad, ahead of Spielmann, Tartakower, Chigorin and Janowski.  

In 1908, he drew a match with Frank Marshall (3-3) in Warsaw with two wins, two draws and two losses. In a strong international tournament in St. Petersburg in 1909 he was awarded a special prize for defeating the co-tournament winners Lasker and Rubinstein in their individual games. These wins against the ruling World Champion and the challenger captured a lot of attention both inside and outside of Russia. In 1910, Duz-Khotimirsky shared 7-8th with Alekhine in Hamburg. 

Being the winner of the St. Petersburg Chess Assembly in 1910, Duz-Khotimirsky continued his successful performance later in the 1920s as well as in the first Soviet competitions. He participated in five USSR championship finals, sharing 3-5th in 1923, 3-4th in 1927 and taking 5th in 1925.

Being one of the oldest Soviet masters, he was a genuine chess romantic, a great master of attack. It was for his brilliant wins, including against the most distinguished contemporaries, which earned him the respect of colleagues and popularity among chess fans. As an Honored Master of Sports, Duz-Khotimirsky dedicated a lot of time to coaching, lecturing, participating non-competitively in the championships of the Soviet Union republics, meeting young people and sharing his experience. He went down into the theory of chess as an author of the name "Dragon Variation" in the Sicilian Defense as he was the one who first noted that the configuration of the black pawns resembled the arrangement of stars in the eponymous constellation.


Fedor Ivanovich Duz-Khotimirsky died in Moscow in November 1965.