Aronian Headlines 2014 MetroChess and ACA Summer Chess Camp

This summer, Metropolitan Chess will be partnering with American Chess Academy to run the 4th edition of their yearly summer camp. The camp will take place July 9th-13th at the Glendale Hilton Hotel, in Glendale, CA. World #2 Levon Aronian will be joined by several prominent instructors, including GM Melikset Khachiyan, GM Dejan Bojkov, IM Andranik Matikozyan, IM Armen Ambartsoumian (President of American Chess Academy), WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, and Jay Stallings (founder and director of the California Youth Chess League).

The idea to invite Aronian developed organically, as Khachiyan (Aronian’s childhood coach), Ambartsoumian, and Matikozyan were very familiar with the Armenian superstar, having known him for many years. Selecting Glendale as a location was also very natural, since the city contains one of the richest Armenian communities in the world! Indeed, with a population of about 200,000, it is estimated that 33% of Glendale’s population is Armenian. This makes Glendale the largest Armenian diaspora outside of Moscow, and is home to many Armenian businesses, schools, churches, and organizations. Several Armenians have also sat on Glendale’s city council, and have even served as mayors.

The venue this year will be the lovely Glendale Hilton, a four-star hotel with several meeting/conference rooms that will be turned into chess classrooms! The location will also be suitable for parents, as within walking distance are a variety of shops, restaurants, and theaters. Worth noting is the Americana at Brand, an outdoor shopping center that is considered one of the finest malls in Los Angeles, located just minutes from the Hilton.

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!”

An important organization located in Glendale is the American Chess Academy, founded by IM Armen Ambartsoumian in 2008. Armen is a FIDE Senior Trainer and has had a long and successful career coaching, dating back to 1991 when he was named First Head Coach of the Armenian National Team. He immigrated to Glendale in 1998 and continued to work as a chess trainer. About a decade later he founded the ACA, which now runs weekly classes in Glendale, as well as afterschool chess programs.

When asked for his thoughts, Aronian had this to say: “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”!”. Aronian also mentioned that he was excited to take part in the chess camp and teach alongside his former trainer Khachiyan.

Like in previous years, the students will be divided up into groups by rating, and a rotating schedule over the course of five days will allow each group to spend time with each instructor. A similar schedule will be in use for this year:

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Instruction

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch (provided)

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Training games & review

3:00 PM – 5:30 PM Instruction

After 6:00 PM Evening Activities

The evening activities include casual blitz and bughouse tournaments, as well as simultaneous exhibtions performed by the instructors (last year Khachiyan decided to try his luck in a 40-board clock (!) simul).

For full details/registration, please visit Metropolitan Chess. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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