Speed Demon Almost as fascinating as chess is the chess community. In every major city in the
world, you are guaranteed to meet interesting people when you walk into a local chess club or chess
cafe. This book pays homage to one of those characters who gave color to the world of chess, the
Russian grandmaster Alexey Vyzhmanavin.
The best chance to run into Vyzhmanavin in the 1980s and early 1990s was at Sokolniki Park in
Moscow, playing blitz. You might meet him at the 1992 Chess Olympiad as a member of the winning
Russian team. Or in the PCA rapid event finals of the 1990s, frequently outplaying his illustrious
opponents with his fluid, entrepreneurial style. In Moscow in 1994, he reached the semi-final,
narrowly losing to Vladimir Kramnik, having beaten Alexei Shirov and Viktor Korchnoi. Commenting
at a PCA event, Maurice Ashley described Vyzhmanavin in predatory terms: “He’s dangerous, he
looks like a cat, ready to pounce.”
Speed Demon For this book, the great teacher Dmitry Kryakvin has spoken with dozens of people,
which has allowed him to offer a complete picture of Vyzhmanavin’s life. The result is a fascinating
mix of chess, wonderful anecdotes and some heartbreaking episodes. The stories are supplemented
by the memories of Vyzmanavin’s ex-wife Lyudmila. They relive his successes but also reveal the dark
side of this forgotten chess genius who battled depression and the ‘green snake’, a Russian
euphemism for alcoholism. He died in January 2000 at the age of forty, under circumstances that are
still unclear. The stories and games in this book are his legacy.
Dmitry Kryakvinis an International Grandmaster from Russia and an experienced chess coach and
author. For New In Chess, he has written Attacking with g2-g4: The Modern Way to Get the Upper
Hand in Chess.