Born in Kiev, USSR, I started playing chess at the age of 6.
At 10 my father bought me my first chess book. The book inspired me to play more seriously and I joined a local chess club. I became an Expert at the age of 15 and represented the republic of Ukraine in national youth competitions and championships.
It took me 11 more years to reach the level of Master. I was always .5 or 1 point away from the Master title, and kept falling just short until a chance encounter with the late GM Leonid Stein got me over the hump. He pointed out what was holding me back in my game, and I attained the Master title in 1974.
I decided to fully immerse myself in chess and began teaching soon after I gained the title. At the same time I entered into the prime of my chess playing career, highlighted by top placements in the Ukraine Championships, earning trips to USSR Nationals Semifinals in 1979 and 1980. After that I largely moved away from competition due to family life and new bureaucratic restrictions, and further concentrated on coaching. I also began playing by mail, and became International Master of Correspondence Chess.
In the late eighties, during the Perestroika era, I finally got the chance to participate in international tournaments. Despite having been away from professional competition for almost a decade, I was successful playing in tournaments throughout Eastern Europe.
I immigrated to US in 1991 and continued playing, winning many open tournaments throughout New England. I became Champion of Massachusetts in '92, '97, '00, '01, '05 and most recently in '10, and New England champion in '07 and in '09. In January 2003 I competed in my second US Championship, completing my qualification for the International Master title.
the course of my career I have played extensively and held my
own against strong grandmasters like V.
Ivanchuk, V. Tukmakov, L. Psakhis, M. Gurevich, J. Dorfman, A. Goldin,
S. Kudrin, and A. Ivanov.
You can check my current US and FIDE ratings below:
© 2000-2008 Igor Foygel