Niemann, Martirosyan and Tabatabaei top seeds at Jermuk youth event

by Klaus Besenthal
6/25/2022 – In the small Armenian town of Jermuk, a round-robin tournament with a strong field of ten young participants is currently taking place. Among them are Hans Moke Niemann (photo), Nihal Sarin and Alexander Donchenko. After five rounds, these three players are only among the chasers with 2½/5 points each. At the top of the standings is a quartet with 3/5 points each: Armenians Haik Martirosyan, Shant Sargsyan and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan and the Iranian Amin Tabatabaei. Daily rounds will be played until Tuesday. | Photos: Official website

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Stepan Avagyan Memorial

The 19-year-old US grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann has been touring European and Asian countries for some time now, as his name appears in the participant lists of important tournaments almost every week. On his travels, Niemann has achieved great successes: for example, he won the TePe Sigeman in Malmö, while at the Challengers in Prague a few days ago, he only lost to tournament winner Vincent Keymer in a blitz tiebreaker.

On a trip like this, you can probably develop quickly: the experience gained should have a long-term effect. And a few extra Elo points are of course also likely to boost your career. On the other hand, you should not underestimate the stress: after all, you don’t just sit down at the chess table every day — you have to take care of visas, flights and hotels, laundry, a proper diet and health insurance. All this and much more is involved in living out of a suitcase.

You can’t win every game on such a trip: in round 4 of the tournament in Jermuk, Niemann did not show his best side against the Armenian Samvel Ter-Sahakyan.


Samvel Ter-Sahakyan is now 28 years old — in 2011, he won the U18 World Championship

German grandmaster Alexander Donchenko also travelled to Armenia. He managed a beautiful attacking win against the Armenian Mamikon Gharibyan in round 5. Donchenko calmly prepared his forthcoming attack — but his opponent failed to notice what was about to come his way.


Alexander Donchenko

Standings after round 5


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.