(20 March 1920 Odessa - 18 March 1973 ibid), Ukraine
Chess player, coach, master of sports of the USSR, Honored Coach of the USSR and UkrSSR.
Ефи́м Ефи́мович Ко́ган,
Efim Efimovich Kogan
Background and pictures (in Ukrainian)
'.. My husband Yefim was born to a Jewish family in Odessa in 1920. His father Yefim Kogan died two months before he was born and his mother named him after his father. His mother Rosalia Kogan was director of a kindergarten. She spent all her time at work and her only son was all by himself. Yefim’s family wasn’t religious. They didn’t celebrate holidays and neither he nor his mother went to the synagogue. Yefim was fond of playing chess and attended a chess club in the house of pioneers and later he became a professional chess player. Yefim studied at the Faculty of History in Odessa University. He had finished four years [out of five] at the University before the war began. According to Stalin’s direction senior students had to finish their studies in evacuation. Odessa University evacuated to Maikop. Yefim graduated from the University in Maikop and then he was sent to an artillery school and after finishing it he went to the front. Yefim was commanding officer of an artillery battery and after the war he returned home.
[In the 1960s] He trained a men’s regional chess team of Odessa and a women’s national chess team of Ukraine. He was an Honored Coach of the USSR [title of honor].
In 1973 my husband fell ill with frontitis and antritis. He went to hospital and then he was appointed as chief judge of a chess tournament in Beltsy, Moldova. Yefim left there before his treatment was over. This resulted in staphylococcal sepsis [secondary infection caused by bacteria]. He died from it at the age of 53. Yefim was buried in the international cemetery without following any Jewish traditions. For a long time it seemed to my son and me that Yefim had left for another tournament and was coming home soon.
from an extensive interview with Remma Kogan, 2003 by Alexandr Tonkonogiy of Centropa (a non-profit, Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans)