For the 4th year in a row, Metropolitan Chess has attracted yet another huge star to Southern California. This year's star will be World #2 GM Levon Aronian!
Aronian has been named the official lead instructor of the 2014 Metropolitan & ACA Summer Chess Camp, where he will teach all ages and levels from July 9-13th, at the Glendale Hilton Hotel in Glendale, CA.
Aronian will be joined by several top instructors, including Chess.com stars GM Melikset Khachiyan & GM Dejan Bojkov, as well as IM Andranik Matikozyan, IM Armen Ambartsoumian, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, FM Aviv Friedman, and Jay Stallings (founder of the California Youth Chess League). Another Chess.com video author, FM Kostya Kavutskiy, will also be on-site handling the organization & day-to-day activities of the camp.
In this article for Chess.com we'd like to provide a detailed preview in what lies in store for this summer.
Metropolitan Chess, Inc. was founded in 2010 in an effort develop and create more opportunity for chess growth in Southern California. After running a series of norm events Ankit Gupta, President of Metropolitan Chess, decided to start running yearly summer chess camps, starting in 2011. Previous editions of the MetroChess Camp were headlined by GM Michael Adams in 2011 and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand (!) in 2012 & 2013. The camps were attended by many people from all over the U.S. and worldwide, who likely never before had such an opportunity to meet and learn from world-class talent.
The American Chess Academy was founded by IM Armen Ambartsoumian in 2008. It provides weekly chess classes for scholastic players and runs several afterschool chess programs in Los Angeles. Armen is a FIDE Senior Trainer, with a long and successful career of coaching, dating back to 1991 when he was named the First Head Coach of the Armenian National Team. The ACA has done wonders for scholastic chess in Southern California, introducing chess to and training hundreds of kids yearly, while also running several popular scholastic tournaments.
The idea to invite Aronian to teach at this year's camp developed organically, since Khachiyan, Matikozyan, & Ambartsoumian have all known the Armenian superstar for many years, and also the location of Glendale was a natural fit as it has one of the largest Armenian communities in the world.
Can you guess which one Aronian is in the photo below?
He is on the far right, joined by Andranik Matikozyan (far left), and future GMs (late) Karen Asrian & Gevorg Harutjunyan (left-middle)
Ardashes Kassakhian, Glendale’s City Clerk, was very enthusiastic about Aronian’s upcoming visit:
”Levon Aronian has become an icon for chess enthusiasts worldwide. But being from Armenia, representing the Armenian national team, and elevating the game to new heights has secured him a particular place in the pantheon of Armenian chess greats alongside such legends as Tigran Petrosian and Garry Kasparov. Glendale has one of the largest populations of Armenians in the United States and Aronian’s visit will truly be a special occasion unlike any other. It is a great honor and we are very excited to welcome our champion to our city!”
Aronian posted the following on his Facebook page:
Some great news! Going to be the lead instructor for the 2014 Metropolitan Chess & American Chess Academy summer camp in LA. Very excited to be going to Glendale, CA in July! Despite being a major Armenian hub, I've never actually been. Lots of people to meet up with, but I might need to brush up on my "Armglish"!
A serious change over previous camps is the new location of Glendale, CA. Not only is the Glendale Hilton a very fine hotel, but the surrounding area offers many attractions for both youth and adults alike. The hotel is within easy walking distance of various shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. Notable is the Americana at Brand, which is a wonderful outdoor shopping community that is considered to be one of the finest malls in Los Angeles.
The lovely Americana Mall
As in previous years, the camp participants will be divided up into groups (by rating). With a rotating schedule of instructors, each group will then get a chance to learn from & work with each coach. While Aronian will spend most of his time training the higher level groups, he will also spend some time with the lower groups, hoping to inspire and spark an interest in chess for the younger participants. A typical day in the camp will look like this:
|9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
|12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
|1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
||Training Games & Review
|3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|After 6:00 PM
The evening activities are designed to give students a chance to have fun and socialize while playing chess. Typical activities include casual blitz & bughouse tournaments, as well as clock/tandem simuls with the instructors. In 2013, GM Melik tried his luck in a 40-board clock simul, which eventually ended with him running from board to board trying to checkmate before his time ran out! Aronian is also known to be a big fan of bughouse, so students may even get a chance to face off against the World #2!
2013 Camp - GM Vadim Milov giving some last minute tips before the clock simul
(Photo Credit: Kele Perkins)
For full details/registration, please visit Metropolitan Chess. For any questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.