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OlimpBase: Men's Chess Olympiads
Rafael Vaganian (15 October 1951) is an Armenian Grandmaster of chess (1971).
In 1971, he came 4th at World Junior Chess Championship. He was a world championship Candidate twice, losing out to Andrei Sokolov in 1986 and to Lajos Portisch in 1988. Vaganian is the winner of the 56th Soviet Chess Championship (Odessa 1989). He played for USSR in the Chess Olympiads of 1978 (team silver medal), 1984 (team gold medal), 1986 (team gold medal), and for Armenia in the Chess Olympiads of 1992 (team bronze medal), 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004 (team bronze medal). He also played for USSR in the World Men's Team Chess Championships of 1985 and 1989 (both team gold medals) and for Armenia in 1993, 1997 (team bronze medal), 2001 (team bronze medal), and 2005 (team bronze medal). In 1974, Vaganian was board one for the USSR team at the World Student Team Championship at Teesside, scoring 10/11 and taking the board one prize. In 1984, he played in the "USSR vs The Rest of the World" match (team gold medal) and in 2004, he played in the "Armenia vs. the Rest of the World" match. Played in the FIDE World Chess Championships of 2000, 2002 and 2004.
In 1990, he started to play for the German club SG Porz in the Bundesliga, and became German champion several times. Vaganian regularly achieves very good results (in season 1996/1997 14.5 out of 15) for his club and therefore has been nicknamed "Mr. Bundesliga".
Other results include: 1st at Vrnjacka Banja 1971; 1st at Kragujevac 1974; 1st at Rome 1977; 1st at Sao Paulo 1977; 1st at Kirovakan 1978; 1st at Las Palmas 1979; 1st at Manila 1981; 1st at Moscow 1982; 1st at Hastings 1982/83; 1st at Biel 1985 (Interzonal); =1st at Naestved 1985; 1st at Sochi 1986; 1st at Leningrad 1987; 1st at Marseille 1987; 3rd at Rotterdam 1989; 1st at Toronto 1990; 1st at Ter Apel 1992; 1st at Reggio Emilia 1992/93; 1st at Reggio Emilia 1993/94; =7th at Mainz 2003; =1st at Moscow 2004; =4th at Antwerpen 2008.
On the September 2009 FIDE list, Rafael Vaganian has an Elo rating of 2568.
In 2011 Vaganian was awarded the 1st degree Armenian State Medal.