He was the son of Svyatoslav Ol'govich, appanage prince of Chernigiv and
a daughter of Petril, posadnik of Novgorod. He married a daughter of
Yaroslav Vladimirovich Osmomysl, appanage prince of
Galich. Their sons were Vladimir, appanage prince of
Putivl; Roman, Svyatoslav, Oleg,
Rostislav, prince of Chernigiv and they had a
daughter who married her cousin,David Ol'govich,
prince of Chernigiv. Igor was appanage prince of Novgorod-Severia from 1178 and
then appanage prince of Chernigiv from 1199. He appears on this family
chart. and on this chart.
Igor became one of the most famous of all Rus Princes due to his being the
subject of the great epic poem (Lay of the Host of Igor) which describes
his losing campaign against the Polovtsi in 1185. He undertook this rash
campaign without prior coordination with most other princes, especially
Svyatoslav, prince of Kyiv. Igor's son, Vladimir, went on the campaign and was
captured along with his father. Vladimir married a daughter of the Polovtsi
Khan, Konchak. His brother, Vsyevolod joined him enroute. They also had a
detachment of Torks sent by prince Yaroslav
Vsyevolodovich of Chernigiv. They were successful at first and captured the
Polovtsi camp when the latter executed their usual retreat. But the following
day they found themselves surrounded. They fought their way out for three days.
At that point the Torks began to retire. Igor was captured along with his
brother and son and a few other survivors. Eventually Igor escaped and his son
was released two years later.