Zigurds Lanka started to play chess when he was 6 years old. In 1987 he achieved the International Master title. Zigurds Lanka won the Latvian Chess Championship in 1993. His Elo rating peaks were 2575 in 1997 and 2531 in 2005. Zigurds Lanka is considered to be an excellent theoretician and trainer. He assisted Alexei Shirov. Zigurds Lanka graduated from the Latvian University and is a journalist by profession.
- In 1983, at the third board in the 16th Soviet Team Chess Championship in Moscow (+1, =0, -0).
- In 1979, at the seventh board in the 14th Soviet Team Chess Championship in Moscow (+2, =2, -1);
- In 1992, at the reserve board in the 30th Chess Olympiad in Manila (+5, =4, -1);
- In 1994, at the third board in the 31st Chess Olympiad in Moscow (+2, =9, -1);
- In 2008, at the fourth board in the 37th Chess Olympiad in Dresden (+2, =2, -4).
- In 1993, at third board in Lucerne (+3, =2, -2).
- Lanka played for Latvia in all of these Championships
- Schach-Nomade auf Europa-Tour. TeckBote (2016-02-13). Retrieved on 2017-03-11.
- Wojciech Bartelski. "European Men's Team Chess Championship: Zigurds Lanka". OlimpBase. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Wojciech Bartelski. "World Men's Team Chess Championship: Zigurds Lanka". OlimpBase. Retrieved 2011-10-20.