Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Danielian is an Armenian Grandmaster currently resident in the Netherlands. She learned to play chess at the age of 5, earned her FM title in 1992, the WIM title in 1993, her WGM title in 1994, her IM title in 2003 and her GM title in 2010. She earned her 3 GMs norms at the 2007 Greek Open Championships, at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2009), and at the International Open at Kavala in August 2010.
She has long been Armenia's top female player.
<Age> In 1991, at the age of 13, Danielian won the CIS (former USSR) Girls U18 Championship. She also won the U14 Girl Championship of the World in 1992 and the U16 Girls World Championship in 1993. Also in 1993 she came third in the U20 Girls European Championship held in the Czech Republic. In 1994, she was runner up in the U18 Girls European Championship.
<National and Continental> She won Armenian Women’s Chess Championship in 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004 and came =3rd in the Individual Women’s European Championship in 2005, half a point from the lead. She also placed =5th in the European Individual Women's Championship (2014), 1.5 points from the lead.
<World> Danielian participated in the 2001 Knockout Championship for the World Women’s Championship, defeating Tatjana Shumiakina in the first round before losing to semi-finalist and future World Champion Yuhua Xu. In 2004, she beat Elena Sedina in round one, before again losing to Yuhua Xu in the second round. In 2006, she beat Sabina-Francesca Foisor in round one, this time bowing out to Alexandra Kosteniuk in round 2. She contested the Women's World Chess Championship (2010) , on this occasion being eliminated in the first round by Tatiana Shadrina. She made it to the second round of the FIDE Knock-out Women's World Championship (2012) by defeating Georgian IM Sopiko Khukhashvili, but bowed out when she lost to Indian GM Dronavalli Harika.
In the 2013-14 Women's Grand Prix series, Danielian scored 4.5/11 at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Dilijan (2013) to earn 30 GP points and 5/11 at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Tashkent (2013) to earn another 40 GP points, all but eliminating her from contention for first place and the right to be the Challenger in the Women's World Championship match to be held in 2014. Nevertheless she placed =2nd with 7/11 at the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014), 2 points behind the winner, Yifan Hou.
In 2002, she played in the Aeroflot B Division, finishing with 6.5/9 and =6th, 1 point behind the leader Viktor Kupreichik. She was outright 2nd in the International Acropolis Tournament in 2006. In 2007, she placed =3rd at the Kavala Open 2007, =7th in the Cappelle la Grande, half point behind the six joint leaders on 6.5/9. In 2008, she came =1st at the International Women’s Open in Stockholm, =3rd at the Acropolis International in Athens 2008, and =3rd at Kavala Open 2010. In February 2011, she scored 6/9 in the OP Carnevale d' Europa in Italy and in March she came =1st (2nd on count back) to Koneru Humpy at the 6th FIDE Women Grand Prix (2011) with 8/11 (+7 -2 =2). Danielian came =3rd with 8/11 at the 2011 European Women Individual Championship held in Tbilisi in May and scored 5/11 at the 7th FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011) in August. In March 2012, she scored 7.5/11 to place =5th (8th on tiebreak) at the European Individual Women's Championship (2012). In June 2012 she scored 6/11 in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix Kazan (2012) to place =5th and add 75 points to bring her Grand Prix points total to a final total of 170, as her result in the Women Grand Prix Jermuk (2012) held in July was not high enough to displace any of her other scores in the Grand Prix; overall she came 11th in the 2011-12 Women's Grand Prix cycle.
Danielian started 2013 strongly with 6/9 (+4 -1 =4) at the 29th Cappelle-la-Grande (2013), 1 point from the lead and enhancing her rating by 21 points. She followed up with a relatively rating neutral 5.5/11 in the European Individual Championships (2013).
Danielian has played on the Armenian women’s team in every Olympiad since 1992 through to 2012, usually playing first board. Her results in the 1994 Olympiad earned her the 3rd WGM norm and the WGM title, the first by an Armenian woman. She also played top board on the Armenian Women’s Team that contested the World Women’s Team Championships of 2007, 2009 and 2011. She has played for the Armenian team in every edition of the European Women's Team Championship since 1997, barring 2001; in 2003, she won individual silver and gold, and team gold, playing board 1. In 2007, her Armenian team won bronze medal at the European Women’s Team Championship in Crete where she took silver medal on 1st board.
She has played with the MIKA Yerevan club in the European Women's Club Cup every year from 2005 to 2013 inclusive, winning team gold in 2006, team silver in 2012, and team bronze in 2007, 2010 and 2011, as well as individual silver in 2013, and individual bronze in 2007, 2009 and 2012. In the Dutch League, she is a member of the "Hotels.nl" team from Groningen which came 2nd, and has also played in the women’s club competitions in Armenia and Romania as well as in the Chinese Chess League. Also in China, in July 2015, she played in the "Chinese chess team tournament" in Zhong Shan, and scored 9.5/10 although the details of team structures and results are yet to be ascertained.
Danielian won the 1st Women European Rapid Championship in Minsk (Belarus) in 2001.
Danielian has been in the women's top 50 continuously since April 2002. Her highest standard FIDE rating of 2521 was reached in July 2011 when she was ranked #12 woman in the world, her highest ranking so far.
In 2003 Danielian was awarded the Khorenatsi medal and was named best sportsman of Armenia of 2003. She is married to Alexander van Pelt and is currently residing in Winschoten in the Netherlands.
Sources and references
Personal website: http://www.elinachess.com/
Wikipedia article: Elina Danielian
1 January 2016