Top Armenian Chess Grandmaster Dies at 28

YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — Karen Asrian, Armenia’s current national chess champion, died suddenly on Monday, June 9 at the age of 28.

Asrian, born on April 24, 1980, won the national Armenian Championship in 1999, 2007 and 2008, and the tournaments of Dubai 2001 and Stepanakert 2004. In 2006 he won a gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006 as a member of the victorious Armenian national team.

His fellow teammates in this win were Vladimir Akopian, Gabriel Sargissian and Levon Aronian, Artashes Minasian and Smbat Lputian.

Asrian was ranked 92nd by the World Chess Federation, or FIDE.

He had been competing in the “Chess Giants Yerevan 2008” rapid chess tournament, which is being held here June 9 to 15.

According to MSNBC, Asrian, apparently feeling ill, pulled his car into a courtyard early Monday and lost consciousness. An ambulance crew pronounced him dead at the scene, possibly of a heart attack. A moment of silence was held in his memory before the opening of a speed-chess tournament in Yerevan on Monday. Later, the games were suspended for three days, and restarted on June 12.

According to the FIDE website, he also won a Ssilver medal in the European Team Championship and also won twice a bronze medal in World Team Championship. Asrian had a solid playing style and was an important member of the Armenian team.

Asrian was extremely well liked for his personality and humor.