Aronian, Ter-Sahakyan Win Chess Championships

Armenian Grandmasters Levon Aronian (left) and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan

BEIJING/KOLKATA (Combined Sources)—Armenian Grandmasters Levon Aronian and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan earned top results in two concurrent tournaments over the weekend in Beijing and in Kolkata.

The blitz chess tournament came to an end Monday at the World Mind Games championship in China’s capital Beijing, News.am reports.

There, Grandmaster Levon Aronian—who plays first board for the three-time World Chess Olympiad champions and the previous World Team Chess champions, Armenia, and who is ranked second in the FIDE ratings—won the silver medal in this tournament.

Aronian scored 19 points from a possible 30 points.

In the 28th and the 29th matches, the Armenian grandmaster defeated Grandmasters Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), respectively.

In the final match, Aronian drew level with Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan).

In Beijing, the Armenian grandmaster is competing in the rapid, blitz, and Basque system chess tournaments.

Levon Aronian’s opponents are Grandmasters Karjakin, Grischuk, Mamedyarov, Dominguez, Ponomariov, Radjabov, Lê Quang Liêm, Wang Hao, Wang Yue, Nepomniachtchi, Vachier-Lagrave, Kamsky, Lékó, Ivanchuk, and Giri.

In Kolkata, fifth seed Grandmaster Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia emerged champion with 7.5 points in the SREI International Grandmaster Chess tournament on Dec. 14, The Asian Age reports.

In an intense battle—with a five-way tie for the top spot with 7.5 points each—the 20-year-old Ter-Sahakyan edged out International Master Mihail Mozharov of Russia by half a point in a Buchholz tie-break to bag the winner’s purse of 200,000 rupees ($3240).

Three grandmaster norms and three international master norms were achieved in the 10-round tournament. In the final round, Ter-Sahakyan went all out for an attack against second seed Russian Grandmaster Ivan Popov’s king in a Sicilian defense.

Popov gave his queen to thwart Ter-Sahakyan’s attack and had three pieces for the sacrificed queen, but accepted a draw on the 33rd move as his king was open in the center and subject to perpetual checks.

Requiring half a point for a grandmaster norm, 10th seed International Master Mihkail Mozharov completed the formality to sign truce with Grandmaster Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia as he also finished runner-up. FIDE Master Tigran Petrosyan, who outplayed the Georgian Grandmaster Tornike Sanikidze to achieve his Grandmaster norm, was the find of the meet.

Indian International Master Murali Karthikeyan also achieved his Grandmaster norm by getting the better of top seed Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly who capped a forgettable outing and was placed 30th in the final standings.

The top ten standings in Kolkata were as follows at the end of the weekend: 1. GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM), 2. IM Mikhail Mozharov (RUS), 3. GM Levan Pantsulaia (GEO), 4. FM Tigran Petrosyan (ARM), 5. GM Azer Mirzoev (AZE), 6. GM Ivan Popov (RUS), 7. GM Valeriy Neverov (UKR), 8. IM Murali Karthikeyan (IND), 9. GM R. R. Laxman (IND), and 10. IM Bahruz Rzayev (AZE).

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