Varuzhan Eduardovich Akobian was born November 19, 1983 in Yerevan. He began playing chess at age 5 when his family moved to Mongolia. Due to the inordinately harsh weather conditions there, "Var" and his sister were encouraged to stay indoors and play chess. In 1993, Varuzhan defeated every player in his section and earned 1st place in the Armenian Junior Chess Championship. In 1995, he won the Armenian Junior Chess Championship in the under-12 age group. In 1997, Varuzhan played in one of chess’s most prestigious tournaments: the Kasparov Cup in Moscow. Only the top 2 players from any given country may participate in the event. Var took 2nd place, ceding 1st to fellow Armenian Levon Aronian.
In 2000, at the age of 16, he became an International Master. Then in 2001 he moved to the United States where he instantly became one of America's best junior prospects. In 2002, he tied for 1st place in the World Open and was awarded the Samford Fellowship, an honor given annually to the most promising chess player in the USA.
Finally, in 2004 he achieved his long overdue GM title.
2008 turned out to be a turning point in GM Akobian’s career as he recorded a string of major successes that included winning the Doeberl Cup, the Chicago Open and GM Susan Polgar’s second annual Spice Cup. He finished the year with a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympiad (just as he had done in 2006).
In 2010, GM Akobian won a Silver Medal at the World Team Championship in Turkey, becoming the Castle Grand Prix Champion, taking clear first with 4.5 of 5, and finishing second at the US Open with 7.5 of 9. GM Akobian also, for the first time, coached the US Olympic Team at the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Russia.
In 2011, he participated in a massive internet exhibition, the Chessgames Challenge: Akobian vs The World, 2011, drawing against a team of over 1500 players, but the rematch in the latter half of 2012 saw the world score a win in a Caro-Kann.
In July 2013, he won a hard fought World Open played in Arlington Virginia with 6.5/9 ahead of seven other GMs on the same score, including Yuniesky Quesada Perez and Lazaro Bruzon Batista who placed 2nd and 3rd. His first placement was decided by winning an Armageddon tiebreaker against Quesada.
Akobian qualified for the World Cup (2015) via his result at the US Championship (2015). Unfortunately for him, he was eliminated from the Cup upon his first round loss to Czech GM Viktor Laznicka.
Wikipedia article: Varuzhan Akobian