Known for her uncompromising style of play, Tatev Abrahamyan always bring a lot of excitement to the U.S. Women’s Championship. She is the most capable third party with a chance to end the stranglehold that Krush and Zatonskih have had on the U.S. Women’s Championship since 2006.
She is participating in her eighth U.S. Women’s Championship this year and despite never having won a Championship, she has come the closest compared to the rest of the field. She tied for first in 2005, but lost to Rusudan Goletiani in the playoffs. She tied for second with Zatonskih in 2010 and came in clear second in 2011.
Tatev Abrahamyan started playing chess at eight after her father took her to the 1996 Chess Olympiad in Yerevan, Armenia. There she met Grandmaster Judit Polgar, arguably the greatest female player of all time and the only woman in the tournament.
"I was in complete awe," Tatev said. "My first thought was, 'I want to be just like her.'" After, Tatev was soon playing competitively among the top players her age in Europe.
Moving to the U.S. when she was thirteen was a challenge for Tatev. "It was the biggest change in my life, and it happened in a very short period of time. Everything in my life changed in a matter of few months. I had to give up everything I knew and start a new life. Even though I have lived here for some time now, it was a very big adjustment, and I think a continuous one."
But what hasn’t changed is Tatev’s prowess at chess and her drive to improve. Currently the third highest rated female in the U.S., she has represented the United States in four Olympiads and two World Team Championships since 2008.
Tatev lives in Los Angeles, having graduated in 2011 from California State University Long Beach, where she double majored in psychology and political science. When she is not studying or playing chess, she likes to read, play tennis, travel, watch movies, and hang out with friends.