Peter Leko leads Karen Asrian Memorial in Yerevan

6/14/2008 – It started as the "Chess Giants Yerevan 2008", but after the sudden and tragic death of top Armenian GM Karen Asrian at the age of 28, the Armenian Chess Federation decided to interrupt the event for a few days, and then rename it to the "Karen Asrian Memorial". This will be the name it will bear in the future. The tournament ends tomorrow. Round twelve report.

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Karen Asrian Memorial – Yerevan 2008

The "Chess Giants Yerevan 2008" rapid chess tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Yerevan, Armenia, from June 9th to 15th, 2008. Due to the sudden and tragic death of top Armenian GM Karen Asrian on June 9th, 2008, at the age of 28, the Armenian Chess Federation decided to interrupt the event for a few days, and then rename it to the "Karen Asrian Memorial". This will be the name it will bear in the future. In addition, the rapid open scheduled to have been played in parallel to the main tournament from June 12-15, was cancelled.

The decision was signed by President of the Republic of Armenia, and President of the Armenian Chess Federation Serzh Sargsyan. He said:

With deep regret I learned about the passing of one of the leading chess players of Armenia – Karen Asrian. The death of the gold medal world Olympiad champion, three time champion of Armenia, grandmaster Karen Asrian is truly a great loss for Armenian chess.

The pain multiplies when we realize what great heights the young chess player could have reached, but did not have time to. Many a time have I witnessed how Karen Asrian devotedly upheld the honor of our country, how willingly he was helping his colleagues and friends, how dedicated he was in developing Armenian chess.

At this moment of grief I extend my heartfelt condolences to Karen Asrian’s family and friends, and to the entire chess community of Armenia.


The open casket funeral of GM Karen Asrian, conducted on June 11, in Yerevan

President of RA Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister of RA Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of Parliament of RA Tigran Torosyan, participants of the GM tournament held in Yerevan, thousands of chess lovers were present at the funeral service conducted in the T. Petrosian Chess House.

Report after round 12

Of the 14 rounds required in this eight-player double round robin twelve have been completed on Saturday night. The final games will be played on Sunday, June 15 at 18:00h local Yerevan time (which is GMT+4 or 15:00h CEST). You can follow the games of the Arsian Memorial on the official website or on Playchess.com. The links are given at the end of this report.


The currently greatest Armenian chess player, Levon Aronian,
honors the memory of the historically greatest Armenian chess player...


... the ninth World Champion Tigran Petrossian (1929–1984)


Sofi and Peter Leko chat with senior Armenian GM Smbat Gariginovich Lputian


GM Michael Adams takes part in the drawing of colours at the opening ceremony


Akopian, Leko and Sargissian in the press conference at the start of the event


Moroz and Bu – two of the participants in the press conference


The playing venue – Yerevan's picturesque Opera House


Boris Gelfand doing what he does best, on the stage of the Opera – thinking


The start of a round in Yerevan


An important game from round nine – Leko won in 62 moves


Another key game in round nine: Aronian defeated Morozevich in 56 moves


Chess fans in the audience...


Amongst them: IM Lilit Mkrtchian und GM Katerina Lahno

Standings after 12 (from 14) rounds

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.



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