Person of day - 10 JANUARY 2020
A graduate of Lviv’s famous “Kart school”, Oleg Romanishin became not only a strong grandmaster in the 1970s but also one of the most original Soviet chess players. He often performed strongly in Soviet championships but he was famous mainly not for sporting results but for interesting ideas at the match’s debut and middle periods. Romanishin’s signature moves were a sacrifice of a pawn for eventual long-term compensation and fianchetting a knight on a white square while playing white. USSR had many formidable grandmasters but not many had their own, recognised playing style.
A famous chess poet Evgeny Ilyin devoted the following words to him:
It is not easy to have a fighting character
And to defend one’s style
Some are amazed by a side attack
Others outraged by a winding one.
In his long career, Romanishin won multiple tournaments, starting with the junior European championship in 1972. On his count are victories in Dortmund, Biel, Reggio Emilia, Gausdal, Polanica-Zdrój, Moscow and other chess cities. He played in zonal and inter-zonal tournaments and, according to the PCA, he made it to the candidate’s match against Anand.
Romanishin played for the Soviet Union in team junior World Championships, European Championships and against the “Rest of the World” in London in 1984. Later, Oleg defended Ukrainian team colours for many years. He is a strong and experienced grandmaster, who not only trains but continues his chess career and remains a dangerous opponent for any grandmaster.