Gabriel SargissianMonday, June 22, 2020
Gabriel Eduardi Sargissian (born 3 September 1983) is an Armenian chess grandmaster. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Armenian team at the Chess Olympiads in 2006, 2008 and 2012 and at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011. Sargissian was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi medal in June 2006 and awarded the Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia title in 2009.
Sargissian was born in Yerevan on 3 September 1983 and was taught to play chess by his grandfather when he was 6. He won the World Youth Chess Championship (under 14) in 1996 and the European Youth Chess Championship (under 16) in 1998. In the same year he became an International Master.
Sargissian won the Armenian Chess Championship in 2000 and 2003. He took part in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004, but was eliminated in the first round by Sergei Tiviakov. Sargissian was victorious at Reykjavík 2006 and Dubai 2006. At the 8th Dubai Open in 2006, Sargissian scored 7/0 points, sharing first place with Sergey Fedorchuk and compatriot Tigran L. Petrosian. In 2007 he won the Ruy Lopez Festival (Zafra, Spain, March 16–25) finishing with 6.5/7, a point-and-a-half above the rest, including in particular players Ponomariov, Sasikiran, I. Sokolov. Sargissian won the Ruy Lopez Memorial 2007 in Zafra by an enormous 2½ point margin and with a 3021 performance rating. He came in third place at the 2008 Second Ruy López International in Mérida with 4.5/7 points. In 2009 he came first in the 18th Annual Chicago Open. He qualified for the Chess World Cup 2009 and was knocked out by Li Chao in the first round.Sargissian won the Annual Chicago Open 2012 with 7.0/9 points.
Armenia won its first ever Chess Olympiad at the 37th Chess Olympiad. Sargissian played on board five for the Olympiad. The Armenia national chess team won gold ahead of China and the United States.
Sargissian won the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden with the Armenia national Chess team, winning gold for the second time in a row at a Chess Olympiad. He played on board three and defeated Alexander Grischuk, the only win in a game with Russia, putting Armenia in the lead. Armenia ended up winning by one point ahead of Israel. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan attended the Olympiad to support the team. After the Olympiad, they flew back to Armenia with him on the presidential plane, Air Force Armenia One.
The Armenian national chess team won the World Team Chess Championship for the first time in 2011. Sargissian played on board four.
Armenia and Sargissian regained their Olympiad title at the 40th Chess Olympiad. This was the third time Armenia won gold at the Olympiad. As the players were awarded their gold medals, the Armenian national anthem Mer Hayrenik was played and the Armenian flag was raised in Istanbul. Levon Aronian was also holding an Armenian flag as he and his team were standing on the first place podium. Upon returning to Yerevan, the players were welcomed back with a ceremony by many people in the city the moment their airplane touched down in Zvartnots Airport.
In 2014, Sargissian tied for 1st–2nd with Priyadharshan Kannappan in the 23rd Annual Chicago Open. In 2015 he tied for 1st–3rd with Pentala Harikrishna and Laurent Fressinet at the 2nd PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament in Douglas, Isle of Man. In November 2017, Sargissian won the silver medal for individual performance on board 3 with a 2797 TPR, 6.5/9 score (+4, =5) in the European Team Chess Championship. In December 2017, he shared 1st–3rd places with Hrant Melkumyan and Sebastien Maze in 9th CSC London Chess Classic FIDE Open.
In February 2018, he participated in the Aeroflot Open. He finished eighth out of ninety-two, scoring 6/9 (+3–0=6).
In 2012, together with Levon Aronian, Sargissian founded a chess school in Yerevan, where the most talented chess players between the ages of 10 and 18 can study.