November 25, 1988

On November 25, 1988 American Chess Master William John Donaldson and Soviet Chess Master Elena Akhmilovskaya shocked the Chess world by marrying at the Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece, and immediately eloped to the United States. They divorced approximately one year later after she was approved for residency. Usually when Soviet athletes would run to Americans for asylum Pre-Soviet collapse, they were gold medal winners from sports like gymnastics or one of the winter ones where you ski and then shoot at stuff. But chess? It was good to learn that the brain-aletes were also interested in jumping the border.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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