On November the 29th of this year, the Armenian Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan wowed audiences when he won the American Open. This was the 48th American Open, and was held in the delightful enviorns of the City of Orange, California. Khachiyan was an absolutely uncontested winner, achieving sole leadership over all other players. With 25 players in the mix, including Russian IM Roman Yankovsky, Khachiyan’s overall win of 6.5 put him right above all of the rest.
Kachiyan is an exciting player to watch as he arguably does not have a trademark opening that he plays on a regular basis and has made his own. On the contrary, he has mastered a number of openings, and seems to vary them depending on his opponent. Notable games include his use of the Ruy Lopez formation against Vladimir Savon at Sochi in 1997.
Khachiyan had recently announced that he wanted to step away from high level competition in chess, as he wanted to end his career on a high. He claims that he wants
to focus instead on working as a chess coach and instructor, helping to encourage new talent in the game. However, after his amazing win at the American Open, many chess fans are surely hoping that Khachiyan will continue to compete.
Whatever Kachiyan does next, whether he decides indeed to concentrate on coaching, or whether his recent win will encourage him to enter some of the bigger competitions in the future, he will always be remembered for this great 2012 victory.