Person of day   -  27 NOVEMBER 2023



Vladimir Malakhov is the strongest chess player of the Moscow Oblast. He was born on 27th November 1980 in a family of physicists. A few years after the birth of their son, the Malakhov family moved from Ivanovo to Dubna. Vladimir began to play chess at 5 and his trainers were Popelyshev and Bodisko. From childhood, Malakhov was noted for a thorough construction of the match, a subtle understanding of positioning and a virtuoso endgame technique.

Malakhov won the national championship before the age of 12, later coming second at the juniors’ World Championship and winning the gold medal two years later. Alongside his successes in chess, Vladimir was an excellent student, winning the first round of the Russian Mathematics Olympiad for schoolchildren. After school, he enrolled and graduated from the physics faculty at Moscow State University cum magna laude.  

A grandmaster from 1998, he achieved the greatest results at the start of the new century: in 2003 and 2009 he was the vice-champion of Europe in individual competitions. He was the bronze medallist of the Russian Championship in 2003, a semi-finalist of the FIDE World Cup in 2009 and he became the European champion for speed chess in that same year. In 2010, as a member of the Russian national team, he became the world champion, winning 5 out of 7 and taking a gold medal on his board. He is the silver medallist of the 2010 Olympiad as a member of the Russian team. At the peak of his career, Malakhov’s rating reached 2732 on the Elo system.

He is the winner of the European Cup as member of “Norilskiy Nickel” and “Ural”. He is also the prize-winner of the European League, playing for “Ugra” and “Malachite”. He won multiple Russian team championships.

The life of Vladimir Malakhov is not limited to chess- he works as a junior research assistant in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna. In 2003, he was on the federal list of candidates for the State Duma; he was nominated by the voting bloc “The Party for the Revival of Russia- the Russian Party of Life” for the Moscow Oblast.

By decree of the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth politics, Vladimir Nailyevich Malakhov was awarded the title of “Recognised Master of Sport of Russia”.

 “When you play classical chess, it’s true, you try to create something noticeable specifically at the chess board- something about which a book could be written later, as some sort of masterpiece. When you play speed chess, it is, in essence, pure action. So while it’s possible to perform some sort of miracle while playing rapid chess, it is extremely difficult. And what should we do about problems in the classical game- the problems of deathly draws, of super-powerful computers, which force us to give up…I’ve already said that we are witnessing tournaments at the highest level. Right now, there are few people left- literally, a select few- who manage to win in the current situation. I mean Carlsen, Kramnik, a few others. But while they are able to do, I wouldn’t bury classical chess like this. When we see that Carlsen, in optimal condition, plays a super-tournament and, let’s say, drawn ten matches out of 10 with positions where it’s impossible to defeat a strong opponent- then we can say that we should change something. Or we really should try to transition to Fischer’s chess or something else.” (V.Malakhov)  

He is married and has two daughters.