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Danielian, Elina
Elina photo
: 16 August 1978, Baku, Azerbaijan

FIDE Title: GM
FIDE ID: 13300210
Federation: Armenia
Rating: 2460 (Jun 2014)
Peak rating: 2521 (Jul 2011)
World rank (women): 33

Home is where the heart is and Elina's heart couldn't choose better than Yerevan. Her favourite city, and the place she is always happy to return, kindly paid her affection and efforts back – the Armenian capital set Elina's name on the (not only) chess map forever: she is included in the list of the most famous women of the 20th century in her homeland.

A quick look in Elina's CV is enough to understand how she became a model worth following. The first steps into the limelight were made in the World Youth Championships, when she won convincingly the U14 and U16 sections. But, perhaps, the turning point in her career was the moment she became WGM in 1994, the 1st proud owner of this title in entire Armenia, thanks to her high performance on the 1st board during the Moscow chess Olympiad. Since then she didn't fail to progress smoothly, breaking into top 10 women list in October 2008, with yet another record: 2513 rating became the highest ever for an Armenian woman player.

It was only a matter of time for the, by now, Armenian GM to call the shots in the national team as one of its leaders. Under Elina's command and thanks to her excellent 7/9 score on the top board, the Armenian team got the glory in the European Team Championship from Plovdiv 2003, bringing home the coveted gold. Team achievements are very special for Elina and she didn't hesitate to grab another one: MIKA chess club, which she co-founded, won the European Club Cup gold in 2006 and another bronze medal just one year later.
With the national team this time, Elina enriched her collection with a silver medal on the 1st board in the European Team Championship from Greece, helping at the same time her squad to bronze.

Although being one of the key weapons of the Armenian national team, a beloved and dedicated teammate, Elina prefers the individual competitions more: “There is less pressure, you are responsible only for your own result.” - results which didn't take long to appear on the individual level, either.

It was not for nothing that Elina was awarded by the President of Armenia with two high distinctions: in 2003 she received the State Medal of " Movses Khorentasi" for the high achievements and development of chess in Armenia. And in 2011 she went even further, being decorated with the 1st degree State Medal “For Services Contributed to the Motherland”.

The number one of Armenia has good memories from the previous FIDE GP series, when she finished on the very honorable 2nd position in the first Grand Prix, held in Istanbul 2009. She scored 8/11 which, two years later, was enough to secure the 1st place this time, in the FIDE Women GP from Doha 2011. These results gave her the extra bit of confidence to grab a bronze medal in the prestigious European Women Championship from Tbilisi, Georgia in 2011. Thus Georgia is encrypted in Elina's memory as a happy place which brought her success and, perhaps, history will repeat once again, here, in the same country, during the Lopota FIDE Women GP.

A small example of Elina's strength (Elina Danielian – Erdos Viktor, Cappelle la Grande, 2007):

Danielian-ErdosWhite to play

Black is clearly under serious pressure and the two extra pawns won't be able to justify their lord's extreme vulnerability. The way Elina exploited it is not only eye-catchy but also very instructive:

23.Be7! Inviting the Black king for a...long walk.
23...Kxe7 24.Rd7+ Kf6 25.Rxf7+! The point of the beautiful 23rd move and a nice piece of calculation too! The game ended abruptly soon after:
25...Kxf7 26.Rd7+ Kf6 27.Qxg7+ Kf5 28.g4+ and nothing can be done to save the black king from fire.

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