It was truly devastating to find out that Sevan Muradian passed away last week. His death came as an absolute shock. He was only 40 years old. Over the years, Sevan has been a mentor, role model and true friend to me and many others.

Since his passing, there have been countless articles and tributes for Sevan across the internet:

I would like to share some of the fondest memories I have of Sevan and thank him for all that he has brought to my life and the chess community.

First encounter

I first encountered Sevan as an opponent over the chess board. The year was 2004 and I was in 5th grade. I don’t remember much about the game other than the fact it ended in a draw. After some extensive digging through my old chess files, I finally found the notation. Sevan had me beat in the endgame but showed some mercy. Perhaps he didn’t want to make an 11-year-old cry.

High Quality Chess Events

Sevan was responsible for a number of my most memorable chess experiences. Without him, I would not have attained the International Master Title. He ran countless norm tournaments over the years and brought in some of the best chess players from around the country.

I recall one of his events when I beat Awonder Liang in the final round to clinch my second IM Norm. Sevan came up to me after the game and said, “Even I could have won in that position!”

Sevan also organized the Chicago Blaze chess team as part of the US Chess League for a few years. Competing for the team was an amazing experience. Below is some raw footage of one of the earliest Chicago Blaze Matches.

Motivation with Sushi

Sevan was a tremendous supporter of the University of Illinois Chess Team. Sevan propositioned that if we had qualified a second time for the Final 4 of College Chess, he would take our team out for Sushi. Despite all odds, we qualified again. Perhaps the prospect of free sushi was a big enough motivation. He also helped us organize and publicize a campaign which raised over $10,000 for the team. He personally donated over $1,000 and a generous amount of chess equipment to the team.


Some other memories

    • About a year ago, Sevan came to my house and provided me with an abundance of information in the field of app development. I still have the two very thick books he gave me on developing iOS apps.


    • Several months ago, I recall telling Sevan that I was considering starting a blog. He said that if I did start a blog I would need to be producing content on a daily basis. I told him that I wasn’t sure if I could find the time in my busy schedule. He responded with something along the lines of, “Of course you have time. Just wake up a half hour earlier.” He proceeded to send me a book on content marketing: Content Inc, which I have yet to read, but plan to!


    • I last saw Sevan in October during the SPICE Cup. I had invited him for Sushi, but he was stuck with TD obligations. I offered to bring him back something and texted him a picture of the menu. He chose the Spicy Lover Tray.



Thank you

Sevan was one of the most selfless, knowledgeable, and hard working individuals I knew. I can’t thank him enough for his incredible generosity. A fund has been set up for his two daughters’ education. To contribute, visit

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