Robert Hovhannisyan wins Armenian Chess Championship

Review of January 27 – February 3 sports events.

Chess: Levon Aronian finished 3rd at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk Aan Zee. Hikaru Nakamura of the United States won the tournament with 9 points, followed by Viswanathan Anand of India. Gabriel Sargissian came 5th in tournament B, which was won by Luke McShane (England).

PanARMENIAN.Net - Meanwhile, Grandmaster Robert Hovhannisyan, the winner of Armenian Chess Championship, was awarded AMD 1.2 mln and included in the Armenian national team. In the 11-round championship, Hovhannesyan won 6 matches, losing only 1 and tying 4. Samvel Ter-Sahakyan finished 2nd, followed by Russian Cup winner Zaven Andriasyan. Arman Pashikyan, Avetik Grigoryan, Tigran Petrosyan, Artashes Minasyan and Hrant Melkumyan were 4-8th respectively. The winners of 1-5th places will take part in the European Championship while those taking 6-8th places will participate in Aeroflot Open tournament.

Grandmaster Tigran Petrosyan became first Armenian Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) champion. Arman Pashikyan and Zaven Andriasyan finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Football: Armenia dropped 2 places in FIFA world ranking, appearing 62nd in the list with 512 points. Armenia’s rivals in European Championship Group stage are listed as follows: Russia climbed to 12th position, Slovakia retained 20th position; Ireland came 35th; Andorra - 202nd. Top three are Spain, Netherlands and Germany with 1887, 1723 and 1485 points respectively.

Armenian national team fullback Robert Arzumanyan signed a contract with Polish Jagiellonia Bialystok FC, where he will play till 2014. Earlier, Arzumanyan underwent casting in Slask FC, but no contract was signed due to financial disagreements.

Armenian youth team fullback Levon Hayrapetyan has signed a contract with Lechia Gdansk FC. The contract is concluded for 6 months with possible prolongation for 3 more seasons. Hayrapetyan played for Hamburg in 2008-2010 and has been a part of Pyunik FC since the middle of 2010. He will for the first time play for the Armenian national team on February 9 in Cyprus.

23-year-old Armenian forward Yuri Movsisyan successfully passed medical examination in Germany, further signing a contract to join Krasnodar FC. In accordance with 3.5-year contract, the forward will leave for Antalya to participate in February 2-16 team practice session.

Shakhtar Donetsk made it to Spain-hosted Copa del Sol tournament semi-finals, having gained a 3:1 victory in a match against Denmark’s Nordsjalland. Shakhtar midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan struck the first goal in a game, further being commended for the best performance.

President of Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan assures that the Federation will spare no effort to strengthen the national team before the EURO 2012 qualifier against Russia. “We are negotiating purchase of Ajax forward Araz Ozibliz. If he accepts our offer, he will play for Armenia in the match vs. Russia,” Hayrapetyan said.

Boxing: 22 Armenian boxers are participating in Abovyan-hosted team practice session in preparation for February 15-20 international tournament in Bulgaria. “The squad to participate in the tournament will be selected based on team practice session results,” the head coach of Armenian boxing team Rafael Mehrabyan told PanARMENIAN.Net As he noted, on March 8-22 the team will participate in the second practice session to get ready for Czechia-hosted international tournament due March 22-27.

Elias Nassar, the manager for Vic Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KO’s), says the World Boxing Council will order a rematch between Darchinyan and Mexican Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KO’s) due to Darchinyan losing a controversial 12 round split decision to Mares in December in Showtime’s four-fighter bantamweight tournament. Darchinyan and his manager filed a protest after the defeat, feeling that they should have won the fight. In the meantime, the loss still counts and Darchinyan will be facing Yonnhy Perez (20-1-1, 14 KO’s) in the next bantamweight tournament fight on April 23rd at the Nokia Theater, in Los Angeles, California.

Nassar also that Darchinyan team is going to sign a contract with another Armenian boxer - Azat Hovhannisyan. “I have gained good results in amateur boxing and decided to compete in professional bouts,” Hovhannisyan said, adding that several companies displayed interest towards him, but he preferred Darchinyan team. “Hovhannisyan has got a killing punch,” Nassar was quoted as saying.

Wrestling: Dynamo sports hall was hosting 140 wrestlers from Armenian and NKR regions for Armenian Wrestling Championships. Mihran Jaburyan (55kg w/c), Ashot Terteryan (60kg w/c), Zhirayr Hovhannesyan (66kg w/c), Musa Murtazaliyev (74 kg w/c), Hajimurad Magomedov (84kg w/c), Edgar Yenokyan (96kg w/c) and Ruslan Basiyev (120kg w/c) were announced as freestyle championship winners.

The winners of Armenian Greco-Roman wrestling championship are: Armen Chomaryan (55kg), Vahan Jugharyan (60kg), Sasun Hambaryan (66kg), Varsham Boranyan (74kg), Artur Shahinyan (84kg), Artur Alexanyan (96kg) and Vachik Yeghiazaryan (120kg). Based on championship results, Armenian team to participate in 2011 World Cup on February 17-20 will be selected.

Judo: Tbilisi hosted Judo World Cup, with 12 judo wresters representing Armenia. Bronze winner of 2009 World Championship Hovhannes Davtyan (60 kg) won 3 out of 4 fights, having gained the 3rd place. Gor Harutyunyan (60 kg) and Armen Nazaryan (66 kg) took 7th and 5th places in their respective weights categories. Upon completion of World Cup, Armenian wrestlers will participate in a number of international tournaments to gain qualification points for London Olympics.

Tennis: Argentina’s David Nalbandian climbed 2 places to find himself 19th with 1655 points in the men’s tennis rankings released by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on January 31, 2011. Spaniard Rafael Nadal (12390 points) continues to top the rankings, followed by Roger Federer (Switzerland) with 7965 points and Novak Djokovic (Serbia) with 7880 points.

Top-seeded Nalbandian advanced, while two-time runner-up Juan Monaco came up an opening-round loser at the $450,000 Movistar Open, the first clay-court event on the 2011 ATP World Tour calendar. The Argentine was a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 winner against countryman Carlos Berlocq.

Hasmik Babayan, Gohar Nalbandyan / PanARMENIAN News
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