Born into a Russian family of an Army officer, he studied in Paris where he met Emmanuel Schiffers, and also learned about the Spanish–American War preparations and decided to join the Volunteers and crossed the water to fight for the United States.
In 1896, he lost a match to Frank James Marshall (+2 –7 =2) in New York. He played at Ostend 1906 (elim.), took 19th at St Petersburg 1911 (Stepan Levitsky won), and tied for 14–15th at Vilna 1912 (B tournament, Karel Hromádka won).
After World War I, he tied for 5-7th at Atlantic City 1921 (the Eighth American Chess Congress, Dawid Janowski won), took 9th at Lake Hopatcong 1923 (the Ninth ACC, Marshall and Abraham Kupchik won), and took 7th at St Louis 1929 (Hahlbohm won).
He was the Washington D.C. champion in 1932 and 1933, with a comeback in 1938 when aged 63.
- ""Captain Vladimir Sournin: A Russian Chess Player's Exploits in America" by Olimpiu G. Urcan". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Name Index to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Tournament Crosstables, An Electronic Edition, Anders Thulin, Malmö, 2004-09-01
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