Person of day - 14 FEBRUARY 2024
Smbat Lputian was born on 14th February 1958 in Yerevan. After 20 years of solid performances in the Union’s qualifying tournament, Smbat became a master of sport. He graduated from the Armenian State University for Physical Culture in 1982. That same year, Lputian was triumphant in the USSR juniors’ tournament for masters - Azmaiparashvili, Vyzhmanavin, Yudasin, Malaniuk and other future stars were left behind.
The young Armenian chess player performed in the premier leagues of the Soviet championship six times. In 1984-1985, he won the first league of the country’s championship. He was the winner of the juniors’ world championship as a member of the Soviet team. As a promising sportsman, he was commandeered to international tournaments in Athens and Berlin in 1983, where he fulfilled the norms of a grandmaster at first attempt.
Smbat Lputian is the four-time winner of the European champions’ cup: as a member of CSKA in 1986 and 1988, Bosna in 1994 and Yerevan in 1995 and he is also the four-time champion of Armenia. In 1990, he split the first place at the Soviet zonal tournament and played in the inters-zonal. Three years later, he won the zonal tournament, which gave Lputian the right to play in FIDE’s qualifying tournament.
He was the winner of tournaments in Sarajevo in 1985, Hastings in 1985, Dortmund in 1988, Yerevan in 1988, Rimavska Sobota in 1991 and the New York Open in 1998.
After the collapse of the USSR, as a member of the Armenian team, he won the European championship in 1999 and the Olympiad in 2006 and he was a regular prize-winner at Olympiads, European and world championships. After the 2006 Turin Olympiad, Lputian was awarded a state honour- the Movses Khorenatsi medal. He played in the FIDE knockout world championship in 2000- the Armenian chess player defeated Rublevsky, but lost to the future champion Anand in the third round. At the world championship in Moscow in 2001, he knocked out Krasenkow, but lost to van Wely. In 2004 in Libya, Smbat only lost to Mamedyarov in round two of Armageddon.
In 2002, Lputian founded the Yerevan Chess Academy. He is the vice-president of the Armenian chess federation and, since 2000, he has been a member of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia.
In 2008, the grandmaster retired from professional chess after choosing to concentrate on training young Armenian chess players and developing a universal chess textbook in the Republic.
Smbat Lputian has four children: three from his second marriage and an elder daughter from his first.