Vadim Zvjaginsev, age 33, is a Russian Grandmaster born in Moscow on 18th August, 1976. His FIDE rating was 2635 on July 2009 and Peak rating 2680 on October 2002.
Zvjaginsev graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Moscow State University, in 1996.
Zvjaginsev is a very consistent player and his reputation is growing, but he is less well-known than some of his fellow compatriots as he has not yet broken into the higher elite tournament circuit. But he has still shown a great talent for attacking and effective chess.
He showed his talent early in the FIDE Groningen World Championship in 1997 when he knocked out the majority of the US contingent single handedly. In the following rounds, he defeated Kaidanov, Benjamin and Seirawan, but lost to fellow Russian Grandmaster Alexey Dreev in the 4th round.
Zvjaginsev was first at Essen in 2000, ahead of Bischoff and Dreev, and was victorious there in 2002 again, ahead of Leko this time.
In 2003, at the Mainz Chess Classic, Zvjaginsev finished joint second after Aronian, and repeated his placing the next year. He was placed 3rd at the Kazan qualifier of the Russian Championships in 2005, and jointly finished fourth at the Superfinal. He stood an impressive joint second in 2006 at the Poikovsky (Karpov) Tournament, just behind Shirov.
Zvjaginsev’s worst performance took place in 2002 when he recorded the worst overall performance at the Russia vs Rest of the World match which was held in Moscow.
Zvjaginsev is considered to be a very aggressive and tactical player. In an interview with him, Viktor Korchnoi described him as a highly original player whose unusual view of life is reflected in his chess play. He unleashes an occasional outlandish opening move to throw his opponent off guard and ignore established theories. At some recent events, he rolled out his own surprising antidote to the Sicilian Defence, which turned the game into a battle of wits right from the start. His revolutionary 1.e4 c5 2.Na3!? took the entire chess world by surprise, including the top grandmasters Ponomariov and Khalifman who were both former FIDE World Champions, who were defeated by Zvjaginsev’s creation.
Zvjaginsev took individual and team silver medals at the European Team Championships in 1997. At the Chess Olympiad in 1994, Zvjaginsev, still an International Master only, helped the Russian 2nd team win a team bronze medal. He contributed to the team gold and silver medals in 1998 and 2004 when he played with the full Russian side.