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Vladimir Akopian

Vladimir Akopian
Full nameՎլադիմիր Հակոբյան
Born (1971-12-07) December 7, 1971 (age 52)
Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
TitleGrandmaster (1991)
FIDE rating2586 (June 2024)
Peak rating2713 (July 2006)
Peak rankingNo. 11 (January 2003)

Vladimir Akopian (Russian: Владимир Акопян, Armenian: Վլադիմիր Հակոբյան; born December 7, 1971) is an Armenian-American chess Grandmaster.


Akopian was born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. He won the World Under-16 Championship in 1986 at the age of 14 and the World Under-18 Championship at 16. In 1991 he won the World Junior Chess Championship.[2]

He won the Armenian Chess Championship in 1996 and 1997.[3] In 1999 he made his way through to the final of the FIDE knockout World Chess Championship, but lost to Alexander Khalifman by 3.5-2.5.[4]

At the Russia vs the Rest of the World 2002, Akopian defeated FIDE #1 ranked Garry Kasparov in 25 moves in the final eighth round.[5]

Akopian defeated World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in the first round of the Corus chess tournament 2004 and was in the lead for the beginning of the tournament.[6] He finished the contest in tenth place.[7]

He made it to the quarterfinals in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004, where he lost to eventual tournament runner-up Michael Adams.

In 2005 he tied for 1st–5th with Emil Sutovsky, Andrei Kharlov, Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Motylev at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Akopian had a score of 6.5 at the Aeroflot Open 2005 and took part in a five-way tie. After the tiebreaker, he came in fifth.[8]

It was reported that Akopian had to withdraw from the 2005 Dubai Open when he was arrested at Dubai airport having been mistaken for an individual of the same name wanted by Interpol for murder.[9]

Early in 2007, Akopian won the Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar with a score of 7.5/9 ahead of a group of players tied at 7/9 including Michael Adams.[10]

Akopian came in third place at the Fourth FIDE Grand Prix in April 2009 with a score of 7.5/13, one point behind compatriot Levon Aronian. He lost to Peter Leko, who had the same score, in a tiebreaker.[11]

In December 2009, he was awarded the title of "Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia".[12]

On the May 2013 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2705, making him number 39 in the world and Armenia's number two player, behind Levon Aronian.

In 2021, Akopian switched federations to represent the United States of America.[1]

Team competitions

The Armenia national chess team made its Chess Olympiad debut at the 30th Chess Olympiad in 1992 and won bronze. Akopian played on board two for the Olympiad, behind Rafael Vaganian.[13]

Vladimir Akopian (3rd left) with his 2008 Olympiad teammates on a 2009 stamp of Armenia

Akopian was one of the contributing players on the Armenian chess team which won gold at the 2006 Chess Olympiad ahead of second placed China and third placed United States.[14] Akopian played on board two for the Olympiad.[15]

Akopian won the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden (2008) with the Armenia national Chess team, winning gold for the second time in a row at a Chess Olympiad.[16][17] 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.[18]

Armenia and Akopian regained their Olympiad title at the 40th Chess Olympiad (2012). This was the third time Armenia won gold at the Olympiad. Akopian played on board two at the previous two and board three for the latest. 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 holding an Armenian flag up as he and his team were standing on the first place podium.[19][20] 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.[21]

Akopian revealed after the 40th Olympiad that he is unsure if he will ever compete at the Chess Olympiads again.[22]

He was a member of the gold medal-winning Armenian team at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011. It was the first time that the Armenian team won this tournament. Akopian played on board three.[23]

Notable games


  1. ^ a b "Transfers in 2021". FIDE.
  2. ^ "Pähtz-Korbut, Harikrishna-Zhao poised for victory". 2004-11-29. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  3. ^ "All Champions of Armenia". Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  4. ^ Crowther, Mark (1999-08-30). "TWIC 251: Alexander Khalifman, FIDE World Chess Champion". London Chess Center. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  5. ^ "What is wrong with the great Ks?". ChessBase. 10 September 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Corus Round 1: Akopian beats Kramnik and leads". ChessBase. 10 January 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Corus Round 13: Anand Anand! Wins 2nd straight Wijk aan Zee". ChessBase. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Aeroflot Open: Sutovsky winner on tiebreak". ChessBase. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  9. ^ - Chess News - News and views from the world of chess
  10. ^ - Chess News - Akopian wins GibTel Masters in Gibraltar
  11. ^ "Nalchik R13: Levon Aronian wins Fourth FIDE Grand Prix". ChessBase. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  12. ^ "High Titles of Olympic Champions". Armchess. 2009-12-19. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  13. ^ "30th Chess Olympiad: Manila 1992". OlimpBase. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Olympiad R12: Armenia leads, China or Russia for Silver". 4 June 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Olympiad R13 Armenia and Ukraine take Gold". ChessBase. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Olympiad Dresden 2008 Open". 2009-02-05. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Olympiad R11: Armenia wins Gold, Israel second". 25 November 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Olympiad in Dresden: Closing ceremony and prize giving". 29 November 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  19. ^ "2012 Chess Olympiad Istanbul: Armenia, Russia win Gold". 9 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Ստամբուլում հնչեց Հայաստանի հիմնը, բարձրացվեց հայկական եռագույնը". Sport. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013. (in Armenian)
  21. ^ "2012 Chess Olympiad: a hero's welcome for the Armenian team". ChessBase. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  22. ^ "Վլադիմիր Հակոբյան. Միտք կա այլեւս չխաղալ օլիմպիադայում". Sport. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013. (in Armenian)
  23. ^ "World Team Ch. – Armenia gold, China silver, Ukraine bronze". 2011-07-27. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
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Vladimir Akopian
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