|Full name||Вадим Звягинцев|
August 18, 1976 |
|FIDE rating||2660 (May 2015)
(No. 60 in the January 2012 FIDE World Rankings)
|Peak rating||2688 (January 2012)|
He graduated from Moscow State University (Faculty of Economics) in 1996.
A mostly consistent performer with a growing reputation, Zvjaginsev is less conspicuous than some of his compatriots, not having yet managed to break into the elite tournament circuit. Nevertheless, he has thus far shown a great propensity for effective, attacking chess. In 1997, at the Groningen (FIDE) World Championship, he gave early notice of his chess talent by single-handedly knocking out most of the U.S. contingent. In consecutive rounds, he dispatched Benjamin, Kaidanov and Seirawan, before losing to fellow Russian GM Alexey Dreev in round 4.
In 2000, he was first at Essen (ahead of Dreev and Bischoff) and triumphed there again in 2002 (this time ahead of Leko). At the Mainz Chess Classic in 2003, he finished joint 2nd behind Aronian, repeating his placing the following year. At the Russian Championships of 2005, he took 3rd place at the Kazan qualifier and finished (joint) 4th at the Superfinal. In 2006, he had an impressive joint 2nd finish at the Poikovsky (Karpov) Tournament (behind a rejuvenated Shirov).
One blemish to his record occurred in 2002, when he registered the overall worst performance of the Russia vs Rest of the World match, held in Moscow.
In team chess, he took team and individual silver medals at the 1997 European Team Chess Championship. At the 1994 Chess Olympiad, while still only an International Master, he helped the Russian second team obtain a team bronze medal. With the full Russian side, in 1998 and 2004, he contributed respectively to team gold and team silver medals.
Zvjaginsev has been described as a very aggressive, tactical player. Viktor Korchnoi in an interview described him as a very original player, with an unusual view on life, which is reflected in his chess. He has been known to unleash the occasional outlandish opening novelty in order to catch his opponent off guard and avoid established theory and home preparation. At a number of recent events, he even rolled out his own startling antidote to the Sicilian Defence, which renders the game a battle of wits from the very start. The revolutionary 1.e4 c5 2.Na3!? surprised the entire chess world, not least top grandmasters Khalifman and Ponomariov (both former FIDE World Champions), whom Zvjaginsev defeated with his creation.
|This section uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
The following game demonstrates Zvjaginsev's opportunistic, tactical style. White probes black's defences on the kingside, the queenside and ultimately in the centre, forcing a series of weaknesses that spell disaster.
Zvjaginsev (2635) – Seirawan (2630) [D63] FIDE WCh KO Groningen NED (3.4), 16.12.1997 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 h6 6.Bh4 Be7 7.e3 0-0 8.Rc1 a6 9.b3 b6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bd3 Bb7 12.Bf5 g6 13.Bh3 Re8 14.0-0 Nf8 15.Ne5 N6h7 16.Bxe7 Rxe7 17.g3 Qd6 18.Bg2 Rd8 19.Qc2 Ne6 20.Rfd1 Kg7 21.Qb2 f6 22.Nd3 Nhf8 23.b4 g5 24.Nc5 bxc5 25.bxc5 Qc6 26.e4 Red7 27.exd5 Rxd5 28.Nxd5 Rxd5 29.Rb1 Nd8 30.Qe2 Qd7 31.Rxb7 Nxb7 32.c6 Qxc6 33.Qe7+ Kg8 34.Qe4 1–0
In the following game Zvjaginsev unleashes a stunning sacrificial attack:
Cifuentes-Parada – Zvjaginsev, Wijk aan Zee Open 1995 
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 b6 7.Be2 Bb7 8.0-0 Be7 9.Rd1 0-0 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Qc7 12.Nc3 c5 13.d5 exd5 14.cxd5 a6 15.Nh4 g6 16.Bh6 Rfe8 17.Qd2 Bd6 18.g3 b5 19.Bf3 b4 20.Ne2 Ne4 21.Qc2 Ndf6 22.Ng2 Qd7 23.Ne3 Rad8 24.Bg2? (see diagram)
- Sacrificing a knight, an exchange, and his queen to force mate against White's king on the sixth rank.
24...Nxf2! 25.Kxf2 Rxe3! 26.Bxe3 Ng4+ 27.Kf3 Nxh2+ 28.Kf2 Ng4+ 29.Kf3 Qe6! 30.Bf4 Re8 31.Qc4 Qe3+!! 32.Bxe3 Rxe3+ 33.Kxg4 Bc8+ 34.Kg5 h6+ 35.Kxh6 Re5 0–1
- Black threatens 36...Rh5# and 36...Bf8#, and White cannot stop both. This was voted the best game of that volume of Chess Informant.
Malakhov (2700) – Zvjaginsev (2654), 5th Karpov Tournament, Poikovsky 2004 
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 e5 7.d4 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 a5 10.a3 Bd7 11.b3 c6 12.Bb2 Qb6 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.c5 d5 16.Nb6 Rad8 17.Bc3 Nxe4 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Bxa5 Nf5 20.Nc4 Qb8 21.Bxd8 Rxd8 22.b4 Be6 23.Qe1 Nd4 24.Na5 Qc8 25.Rd1 Bh6 26.Kh1 Bf4 27.a4 Bd5 28.Bc4 Nf3! 29.Qe2 Nxh2 30.Bxd5 cxd5 31.f3 Nxf1 32.Rxf1 e3 33.c6 d4 34.Rd1 Bg3 35.f4 e4 36.Nb3 d3 37.Qxe3 Qg4 38.Rb1 Qh4+ 39.Kg1 Qh2+ 40.Kf1 Qh1+ 41.Qg1 (see diagram) 41...e3!! 42.Qxh1 e2+ 43.Kg1 d2 0–1
- White, a queen up, is helpless against Black's two connected passed pawns, e.g. 44.Nxd2 Rxd2 45.Rel Rd1! This was voted the fourth best game in Volume 90 of Chess Informant.
- Korchnoi Interviewed about 'Genii and Wunderkinds'
- Olimpbase – Olympiads and other Team event information
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