Obituary: Elena Donaldson, Chess Champion and Instructor

Donaldson, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, lived in Redmond and ran Orlov Chess Academy with her husband.

Former chess champion and Redmond instructor Elena Akhmilovskaya Donaldson died Nov. 18 of complications from brain cancer, according to an obituary in The Seattle Times. She was 55.

Born in the former Soviet Union in 1957, Donaldson was once ranked the second-best female chess player in the world. She moved to Seattle in 1988 and subsequently won U.S. championships in 1990 and 1994.

Donaldson and her husband, Georgi Orlov, lived in Redmond and together ran Orlov Chess Academy, which has locations in Seattle and on 152nd Avenue Northeast.

In addition to her husband, Donaldson is survived by a daughter, Donna Van Zandt; a son, Nicholas Orlov; and a sister, Tatiana Resnianskaya.

More information about Donaldson's life and chess career can be found in The Seattle Times obituary.


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