Ukrainian grandmaster Vadim Malakhatko passed away suddenly on Monday, June 6, 2023, at the age of 46. He suffered a heart attack while playing in a rapid tournament in Kyiv.
Malakhatko was born in Kyiv in 1977 and began playing chess at the age of six. He quickly showed great talent for the game, and by the age of 19, he had already won the Ukrainian U20 championship. He went on to become a grandmaster in 1999, and over the course of his career, he won numerous tournaments around the world.
Malakhatko was also a passionate organizer of chess tournaments. He was the driving force behind the Kyiv Spring Festivals, which have become one of the most popular chess events in Ukraine. He also organized several grandmaster norm tournaments, and it was largely thanks to his efforts that chess life in Kyiv continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to his playing and organizing skills, Malakhatko was also a gifted coach. He worked with many young players, including Yan Domin, who won the Ukrainian U14 Championship just two weeks before Malakhatko’s death.
Malakhatko was a true champion on and off the chessboard. He was a kind and generous man who always put others before himself. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the entire chess community.
Rest in peace, Vadim.