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The Armenian chess grandmaster Levon Aronyan enhanced
his international reputation by grabbing the top prize of 100,000 Euros with
a stunning last-round victory in the Morelia/Linares tournament.
Aronyan, 23, won the highly-rated FIDE tournament of eight leading grandmasters of the world with a victory over Peter Leko of Hungary. The contest was held in two rounds, first in the Mexican city of Morelia and then in Linares in Spain.
Aronyan’s opponents were Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Peter Leko (Hungary), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Pyotr Svidler (Russia), Etienne Bacrot (France) and Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) (listed in order of their final standings).
“All my relatives are happy, all my friends are in exultation, the whole people of Armenia are rejoicing, and it is a pleasure for me that I could give them such enjoyment with my success,” Aronyan told Russia’s Sport-Express newspaper.
“I can’t say that I exceeded everyone at the tournament, simply I managed to make a very important win in the last round.”
Before the 14th and final round four chess-players, including Aronyan and Leko, shared the first spot, with 7.5 points each. Aronyan needed a victory to ensure first place, which he secured playing black, while the other two rivals drew, allowing the Armenian to win overall.
Asked about his objectives for the future, Aronyan said: “I have never set objectives to myself. I have all reasons to consider myself happy. My relatives are proud of me, and my friends are rejoicing. What else does one need for happiness?”
It is the second major success for the promising Armenian grandmaster. Last December he won the FIDE Chess Cup in the Russian town of Khanti-Mansiysk.
Now Aronyan is getting ready for another prestigious chess tournament in Monaco commencing tomorrow, Saturday March 18.
Another Armenian grandmaster, Gabriel Sargsyan, won a nine-round international tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland, which ended this week. Sargsyan gathered seven out of a possible nine points, together with four other chessmen, but was declared the winner by additional coefficients.
During the tournament the Armenian registered five victories and four draws, with no defeats. According to his rating, Sargsyan was only the 8th strongest player among the 102 participants, 30 of whom were grandmasters. As winner of the tournament, Sargsyan landed a check for $6,000.
In women’s chess, in the 2006 world individual chess championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Armenia’s grandmaster Elina Danielya lost 0-2 in the final 16 to Russia’s Alexandra Kosteniuk. She had beaten Romania’s representative Cristina Adela Foisor 2.5-1.5 in the previous round. Armenia’s other representative at the championships, grandmaster Lilit Mkrtchyan, had gone out of the tournament in the final 32, losing to Ruan Lufei from China 1.5-2.5.
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