Person of day   -  28 AUGUST 2023



Elena Tairova was born on 28thAugust 1991. Her short but glorious chess path began in Minsk, where she trained at a Junior Olympians’ Scholl No.11 and where she became a candidate for master. Alas, financing for chess in those difficult times for Belarus left a lot to be desired. As a result, Tairova moved with her mother to Ryazan and then to Moscow, where she became a Russian citizen. 

Elena’s enormous talent was evident: when she was 14, she became an international grandmaster among women and when she was 15- one among men. When she was 10, she won the world championship in her age category; she repeated this when she was 14. At this young age, Tairova also became the champion of Russia among women under 20. 

Under the guidance of her coach Vladimir Belov, Elena Tairova challenged for the highest honours in Russian women’s chess. In 2006 and 2007, she won two silver medals in Superfinals of Russian championships and she was a regular member of the national team. In the Russian team trained by Yuri Dokhoian she won a bronze medal at the 2007 team world championship. However, in 2008 it turned out that the rising star was seriously ill. 

Tairova missed several key tournaments. At one point, it seemed that her illness passed, when Elena confidently won the Higher League of the Russian championship in June 2009. In September, after victory at the Moscow rapid championship, the grandmaster was full of plans for the future, but she did not play in the Superfinal. 

In 2010, Elena Tairova’s FIDE rating was 2455. She was one of the highest-rated players among women under 20. But on 16thMarch 2010, one of Russia’s greatest chess hopes passed away…

“WewereveryclosefriendswithElena. We played together, we lived together when we were Olympic reserves and we were supposed to live together at university. I can say that she was a wonderful friend who was extremely kind. She was also great fun- it was never boring with her around. She was always up to something and she never sat still. And she was always positive- she was very supportive in difficult times. 

For some reason, I remember a very typical scene. Our room was, as always untidy, as it often is with creative people. Meanwhile, the room was subject to regular checks for tidiness. And once, during one such check-up, we walk into the room and it began to smell of some aromatic elements- many can’t tolerate those. It turned out that Elena lit those on purpose, so they would go away quicker. Usually, we covered up the mess. If there was a check, we would stuff all our things into the wardrobe (the administrators thought about buying closets in special cases). And she lit aromatic sticks so the administrators wouldn’t stay long.” (O. Girya)