Karen Asrian passed away

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The "Chess Giants Yerevan 2008" website brings the sad news that Armenian GM Karen Asrian passed away today, only 28 years old.

Photo: karpidis, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License From the tournament website:

*** It is with great sadness and difficulty we report to you that today, June 9, Armenian Grandmaster Karen Asrian passed away. He was 28 years old. Details will be forthcoming. Round 1 games started late after a moment of silence in GM Asrian's memory. ***

The death of such a young and talented chess player comes as a shock - we do not know whether Asrian was ill.

Rated 2630, Karen Asrian (born April 24, 1980) was the number 92 in the world and the number four in Armenia, behind Aronian, Akopian and Sargissian. We hope to bring you more details on this tragic news soon.

Update 20:06 CET Several news sources speculate on a possible heart attack. Here's msnbc's version:

Apparently feeling ill, Asrian pulled his car into a court yard in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, early Monday and lost consciousness, the Armenian Chess Federation said. An ambulance crew pronounced him dead at the scene, possibly of a heart attack, it said.


Update June 10, 10:55 CET Some more info about Karen Asrian:

He won the national Armenian Championship in 1999, 2007, and 2008, and the tournaments of Dubai 2001 and Stepanakert 2004. In 2006, Asrian won a Gold medal in the Chess Olympiad in Turin as a member of the Armenian team. He was playing on board three.

He also won a Silver medal in the European Team Championship and also won twice a bronze medal in World Team Championship. GM Asrian had a solid playing style and was an important team member of Armenian team.

(Source FIDE.com)
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