Meet the Players: GM Melikset Khachiyan

GM Melikset Khachiyan has recently picked up a spate of rating points to earn a wildcard bid to the 2013 U.S. Championship.

By Brian Jerauld

Who helped you prepare for the 2013 U.S. Championships? Could you explain how you use that help in your preparation?

No one helped me prepare for the U.S. Championship; I'm preparing by myself. It's all about going over the games of my opponents and my games with the help of a computer.

Have computers changed your understanding of the game? If so, what adjustments have you made?

Computers have indeed changed the way I prepare, searching for more truth in chess. And obviously today almost every GM needs a strong computer to help, but it's doesn't really affect [a player's] style or anything.

You have recently gained many rating points, from 2534 last October to as high as 2625 this March! What is your secret?

It's all about motivation. Just one day (a special thanks to my students for pushing me), I realized  that ... I just wanted to get back to 2600, without even thinking about playing in the U.S. Championship. I just wanted to prove to myself that I can still do this, that I can compete at a high level. When you play every game full of energy and concentration, then you have a chance to play better and get some good results. And after one of my good events in San Diego, I realized I might have a chance to compete at the U.S. Championship, and that gave me extra motivation as well.

How could chess in the United States be improved?

Chess needs to be more popular. Chess in Schools programs will help continue to improve the situation all around the U.S., but we are doing great now. Look at our growing generation: Kayden Troff and Sam Sevian. It means we are on the right track!

The Veresov has been regarded by some as “incorrect,” yet you still play the opening despite its bad reputation. Do you know something other GMs do not?

The Veresov is risky opening, and I use it mostly in speed chess, or sometimes in Swiss tournaments against weaker opponents to surprise them. But it is an incorect opening. Besides me? I dont' think so! I'm probably most famous one. Haha!