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Vladimir Bagirov

Full name Vladimir Konstantinovich Bagirov
Country Soviet Union (1957-91)
Latvia (1991-2000)
Born 16 August 1936
Baku, Azerbaijan SSR
Soviet Union
Title Grandmaster
World Champion World Senior Champion, 1998

Vladimir Konstantinovich Bagirov (Armenian: Վլադիմիր Կոնստանտինի Բաղիրյան ; Russian: Влади́мир Константи́нович Баги́ров) (August 16, 1936 in Baku - July 21, 2000 in Finland) was a Soviet-Latvian grandmaster of chess, chess author, and trainer. He played in ten USSR Championships, with his best result being fourth place in his debut in 1960. Bagirov was World Senior Champion in 1998. He died of a heart attack while playing a tournament game.


Vladimir Bagirov was born to an Armenian father and a Ukrainian mother in Baku. He showed chess talent as a youth, and came under the wing of the Master and trainer Vladimir Makogonov. He made his debut in the semi-finals of the Soviet Championship in 1957, but did not advance to the final. Bagirov qualified for the final for the first time in 1960, and made an excellent 4th place at URS-ch27 in Leningrad which was won by Viktor Korchnoi.

He was selected to the Soviet team for the European Team Championship at Oberhausen 1961, and played for the Soviet Student Olympiad team in 1961. Bagirov was awarded his International Master title in 1963, but had to wait until 1978 to be formally recognized as a Grandmaster, although his 1960 Soviet Championship result showed he was clearly at that level.

Bagirov moved into training work in the 1970s, and for a short time in 1975, as Azerbaijan national coach, was the sole trainer of future World Champion Garry Kasparov. Following a dispute with chess officials, Bagirov moved to Latvia in the late 1970s, and coached former World Champion Mikhail Tal, and future Grandmasters Alexei Shirov and Alexander Shabalov.

Bagirov was a well-regarded openings theoretician, with one of his favourites the unusual Alekhine's Defence. He published two books and a CD-Rom from 1994 to 2000.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Bagirov played more tournament chess than he ever had before, taking part in many Open tournaments in Europe. He maintained a good standard, and won the 1998 World Senior Championship at Grieskirchen, Austria, with 8.5/11.

Bagirov played for Latvia in Chess Olympiads:

Bagirov played for Latvia in European Team Chess Championships:

Bagirov played for Latvia in World Team Chess Championships:

Bagirov died while playing a tournament in Finland in 2000. He had started the Heart of Finland Open event with three straight wins to take the lead, and, following a time scramble, was in a winning position in round four against Teemu Laasanen, but suffered a heart attack, and died the next day, on July 21, 2000.


Notable games