Mikhalchishin and the Arkhangelsk Defence

by ChessBase
9/18/2009 – GM Adrian Mikhalchishin is a well-known chess trainer. He has assisted Romanishin, Beliavsky, Anatoly Karpov, the Polgars, the Polish, Dutch and Turkish national teams. He has captained a team with Karpov, Anand, Kramnik, Beliavsky, Short and Gelfand. He is also a leading expert on the Arkhangelsk Variation, and he provides five hours of video lessons on it on this new training DVD.

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World Class Training: Adrian Mikhalchishin

Adrian Bogdanovich Mikhalchishin, 54, is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster now playing for Slovenia and training the Turkish youth. Don't be put off by his surname (originally Mihalcisin or Mihalčišin). It is pronounced Me-hahl-chee-sheen – an hour of practice will make you fluent in it.

Adrian, as we like to call him, started off as a student of the famous chess trainer Viktor Kart, together with Oleg Romanishin, Aleksandr Beliavsky and Iossif Dorfman (later Kart trained Vassily Ivanchuk, Andrei Volokitin, the Muzychuk sisters and other young GMs). The youthful Adrian became USSR Junior Champion and, in 1984, was fourth in the regular Soviet Championship.

First generation of Lviv grandmasters: Mikhalchishin, Romanishin, Beliavsky

Mikhalchishin was also a member of many winning teams: the Soviet Union, Ukrainia, Slovenia and Yugoslavian, all of which won team championships with him on board. His training career began when he was invited by Romanishin to be his second during the Soviet Championships and Interzonals in the middle of the 70s. After that he helped Beliavsky, Anatoly Karpov (in his matches against Garry Kasparov) and the Polgar sisters. It continued with the Polish juniors, Germany's Arkadij Naiditsch, the Dutch National Women’s Team. Adrian was captain of the Agrouniverzal Belgrad team, which had as its players Karpov, Anand, Kramnik, Beliavsky, Short, and Gelfand.

Today Mikhalchishin spends a lot of time with the Women’s Team in Turkey, and also trains the young Turkish talents there as well (picture above). You can read all about his work in the following indepth interview with Özgür Akman: Adrian Mikhalchishin: Grandmaster, author and chess trainer.

Adrian Mikhalchishin: The Arkhangelsk

The Ruy Lopez represents one of the oldest and best openings for the first player, and everyone going for the Spanish game with black faces the question of how he wants to tackle the white ideas. One of the more aggressive fighting methods is the move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7

This line was developed in the early sixties by players from the north Russian town of Archangelsk and has carried this name ever since. Later, the variation was intensively analysed by players from Lvov – among them Mikhalchishin and Beliavsky – and applied in tournament practice. In the second half of the seventies it gained great popularity for the first time.

In the Archangelsk Variation (or Archangel Defence), Black defines the position of this queen’s bishop early on with 6...Bb7 in order to exert pressure against the opponent’s centre, in particular the point e4. White must decide whether he protects this pawn solidly with 7.d3 or goes for the unfathomable complications after 7.c3 Nxe4. Another option is 7.Re1 Bc5 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6, which is closely related to the Moller System. The experienced trainer and Grandmaster Adrian Mikhalchishin is an outstanding connoisseur of these variations, the ideas of which he goes on to explain in nearly five hours video playing time.

System requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, DVD drive, mouse, sound card.

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