My Biography

By GM Melik Khachiyan


I was born on July 6, 1970, in the former Soviet Union. At the age of eight, I started playing chess and progressed rapidly. By the age of ten, I won the Baku Junior Championship and achieved a First Category in Chess. This ranking corresponds roughly to the USCF 2000 (Expert) rating. (Baku, by the way, is the motherland of Garry Kasparov and Teimur Radjabov.) Two years later, at twelve, I became a Soviet Candidate Master, which corresponds to USCF 2200+. The road to becoming a master took me another six years...

Along my way, I was lucky to meet a lot of famous and outstanding people. First of all, I would like to mention my teacher, the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian, whose chess school I attended in 1983-1984. Also, such great coaches as A.S. Nikitin and A.I. Shakarov, whose chess lessons were unforgettable and made a huge impact on my chess career. Both coaches are most known for their coaching and analytical work with the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov.

It so happened that, at some point I had a break in my chess tournament play. Thus, I unexpectedly began coaching, very early in my chess career. Practically form the time when I became a Soviet chess master in 1990, I started my coaching activities. So far, I brought up four Junior World Champions:

While coaching, I continued playing in different tournaments, as I believe that a coach should also play in order not to lose the practical strength. In 1995, I achieved the International Master Title. In 1996, I played in the World Chess Olympiad in Erevan, Armenia. In 1997, I played on the Armenian National Team in the World Championship that took home the bronze medal. In 1995, I was awarded the title of Honored Chess Coach of Armenian Republic. Also, in the same year, I was awarded the title of Honored Chess Coach of Moldova Republic.

In 1998, I started an experimental chess school, in order to prepare a number of new strong chess players. As a result, one of my recent coaching successes became the preparation of T. L. Petrosian who has achieved the Grand Master Title. These days, he still consults me for advice over the Internet.

In 2001, I immigrated to the US. My first tournament in the US was the National Open in Las Vegas where I scored 4 points out of 6 and was able to beat a very famous GM Alexander Shabalov. Only the loss in the last round from GM Baburin deprived me of any chances to win the first prize. In the same year, I won a number of prestigious tournaments.

Currently, I continue doing a lot of coaching. I am very glad to be helping some very talented players, including Eugene Yanayt, Joshua Gutman, Mike Zalozny and Nathaniel Lagemann. In February of 2003, I played in the Amateur West Championship on the team with my students, and we took the 3rd place, which I consider to be a successful performance.

Now I live in Glendale, California, and dedicate my heart to my wife and my family. In 2008 my parents were finally able to leave Russia and join our family here in Glendale. My father, Zaven, and my older son, David, often enjoy competing in the local tournaments with me.

Come to my school for lessons, and you will not regret it.

--Grand Master Melik Khachiyan, last revised November 2010

Special thanks to Mike Zaloznyy for translating this from Russian and Joshua E. Gutman, the original webmaster.