Alexander Roshal, 1936 – 2007
Alexander Borisovich Roshal was born on August 26, 1936. He was a merited chess
trainer of the Soviet Union when in 1968 he switched to journalism and, together
with world champion Tigran Petroian he founded a chess magazine called "64
– Chess Review". It became the biggest and most influential
chess magazine in the Soviet Union. In 1992 the publication was stopped due
to financial difficulties, but then privatised and resurrected by Alexander
Roshal, who ran it as Editor in Chief until his death.
Alexander Roshal at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, 2005
Alik (as his Russian friends called him) has limited contact to his parents.
His father was arrested when he was one year old, charged with writing the first
constitution for the state of Israel. Soon after that he was shot. Alik's mother
spent 18 years in a prison camp and exile. He got to know her when he was nine,
and lived with her in Kazakhstan until he was 16. He was proud of his heritage
and always said: "I am a Russian Jew".
Alexander Roshal during a postmortem between Kramnik and Kasparov in Linares
seconds GMs Malakhov and Illescas stand behind their man, Kasparov's second
Dokhoian is on the far right)
Roshal arranged himself with the Soviet government and, under Brezhnev, was
allowed to travel all over the world. In 1986 his magazine published excerpts
from Nabokov's autobiography Other Shores, and he was severely punished
for this. But as always he bounced back to gain his previous respect and prestige
as the foremost chess journalist in Russia.
With Igor Botvinnik, nephew of the world champion, in 2006
of a Chess Guru" Vera Tsvetkova wrote: "For many, Roshal embodies
chess journalism, acting as the public voice of chess for the greater masses.
This energetic and sociable person completely belies his age – he is active,
sharp-witted, and talkative – one could listen to him for hours, like
a nightingale. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about –
journalism, chess, or his adored watchdog breed, Cane Corso. He represents the
generation born in the Thirties – yes, that’s how they are."
Handing over the Chess Oscar to Veselin Topalov in 2006
Alexander Borisovich deid on May 21 2007 after a long struggle with pancreatic
cancer, which he called the disease of chess players.
Congratulating Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on his re-election in Turin, 2006
Lunch with Alexander Roshal and his wife Irina in Linares, 2003
Alexander Roshal with Alexander Bakh (left) and ex world champion Vassily
during the Aeroflot Chess Festival in 2004
Staging a press conference in Moscow before the start of the 2004 Super
Press conference participant Kasparov and Karpov, organisers Roshal and
Chatting with GM Artur Jussupow during the match Kramnik vs Deep Fritz in Bonn
last December, where he explained
to us how the world champion could have overlooked a mate in one.
Message from the FIDE president
Alexander Roshal passed away.
FIDE President expresses his sincere condolences
Alexander Borisovich Roshal – 1936 - 2007
On behalf of the International Chess Federation, FIDE Presidential Board
and myself, I wish to express my most sincere condolences to the family,
the Russian Chess Federation, editorial house of "64 – Chess
Review" magazine and numerous fans of the magazine on the unfortunate
passing away of a guru of chess journalism, Honoured Trainer and Honoured
Public Figure of Russian Federation’s Culture Alexander Borisovich
He was known to the entire chess world as Alik, but for me, he has always
been Alexander Borisovich – a personification and symbol of superior
style, wisdom, enormous talent, brilliant professionalism and deep integrity.
He maintained a level-headed attitude and always made faultless moves.
For me, all my activities in the chess world have been inseparably connected
with Alexander Borisovich, starting from our first trip together to Singapore
to the Presidential Board in December 1995 and until our last meeting
this February at the Congress of the Russian Chess Federation.
For me, Alexander Borisovich, you will always remain my closest elder
friend and teacher. During difficult years you succeeded in safeguarding
your child – “64 – Chess Review” magazine.Thanks
to limitless energy and the organising talent of Alexander Borisovich,
the magazine managed to sail over invisible reefs of economic reform and
remain the pride and face of modern Russian chess journalism. I am confident
that the Russian Chess Federation will do its utmost to continue this
noble initiative of Alexander Borisovich.
I join his family, his wife Irina and children in mourning.
You will be much missed but will always remain in my heart.
President of FIDE
Head of the Republic of Kalmykia
All FIDE family unites in expressing its condolences to Mr. Roshal's
you can read Condolences from the FIDE Presidential Board and Secretariat.