I was born on August 16, 1978, in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the former USSR.
My father introduced me with chess when I was 5 years old. My first chess achievement came at the age of 7. I took 2nd place in Championship of Baku for girls under 14. During my youth I had chess successes in different youth competitions as well.
In 1988, due to well-known history, my family was forced to move to Yerevan.
In 1991, at the age of 13, I became Champion of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) under 18 in Simferopol, though in fact this was the last USSR Championship, which had a strong participation list and it has always been a big achievement to win such a championship.
The desintegration of USSR made the participation of former USSR countries possible in several big chess events such as Youth World and European Championships and of course Chess Olympiad. In my opinion it had a good effect on the chess development in the world. So our country took part in the 30th Chess Olympiad, which took place in Manila (Philippines). That was my first Olympiad, I scored 5 points out of 9 on 3rd board.
Right after the Olympiad I took part in World Championship for girls under 14 in Duisburg (Germany) and I managed to win the title.
In 1993 I became World Champion again, this time in category girls under 16, in Bratislava (Slovakia). In the same year, I took bronze medal in European Championship under 20 in Litomysl (Czech Republic).
In 1994 I became vice European Champion under 18, which was held in Chania (Crete, Greece), but my big success was in Chess Olympiad in Moscow (Russia), where I showed high result on 1st board and I fulfilled my WGM-norms and became the 1st Woman Grandmaster in the whole Armenian nation.
After that I have been leading the Armenian team in several team competitions.
In 2001 I had big success, when I won the title of 1st Women European Rapid Champion in Minsk (Belarus).
In 2003 I was awarded with the title of International Master and in October of 2003 our team (me, Lilit Mkrtchian and Nelly Aginian) became Womean Team European Champion. I showed fantastic result on 1st board, scoring 7 points out of 9 and I took gold medal on first board and for best performance overall. That was a very big success for our country and I am very proud that I had a big contribution in making our country European Champion. br>
In the same year, I was nominated for the best Sportsman of the Year and after voting by journalists I became "Best Sportsman of the Year" and I was awarded by the President of Armenia with State Medal "Movses Khorenatsi" for high results, Contribution and Development of chess in Armenia.
Since 2005 in cooperation and support of Mikhail Bagdasarov (businessman, well-known public figure) and Ashot Vardapetian (international chess arbiter) we founded "MIKA" chessclub. In September 2005 we were able to take part with our new club "MIKA" at European Women Club Cup. We reached to 8th place.
Success for "MIKA" team came in 2006, when I together with the legendary Maia Chiburdanidze, Nino Khurstidze, Nelly Aginian could win the title of European Women Club Champion.
In 2007 I had several successes in international tournaments. One of my achievements was my success in Kavala (Greece), where I got my first GM-norm. In October "MIKA" team took bronze medal in European Women Club Cup in Antalya (Turkey). Then in November, Armenians women national team won bronze medal at European Team Championship in Crete (Greece), where I scored 6,5 out of 9 and took silver medal on 1st board.
At the end of 2007, I was nominated in the 10 best sportsmen of the year and I was awarded by the President of Olympic Committee with Medal for Merit and Contribution in National Sport.
I joined the "Hotels.nl" team from Groningen, including some topplayers, in the season 2008-2009. Our team became 2nd in the Dutch National Competition.
In October of 2008 with a rating of 2513, I was on 10th place in FIDE ratinglist. It was the highest ranking in the World ever for an Armenian woman chessplayer.
In 2009 FIDE started to organize Women Grand Prix tournament series and the first tournament of the series was held in Istanbul (Turkey), where I was invited by personal nomination of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I am very thankful to Kirsan Nikolayevich for such a big honour, in which I had a big success scoring 8 out of 11, winning silver medal and getting my 2nd GM-norm.
In August 2010 in the tournament of Kavala (Greece) I got my 3rd and final GM-norm. At the 81st FIDE Congress in September in Khanty-Mansiysk during the Olympiad, I will got my GM-title.
I was joined winner of the last tournament in the Women's Grand Prix Series 2009-2011, which was held in Doha (Qatar), with a score of 8 out of 11. About 2 months later, I managed to take the bronze medal at the European Championship in 2011, was was played in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Due to my recent results, I reached an all time high on the FIDE July Rating List with 2521, which gives me the nr. 12 spot in the World at the moment.
In 2008 a big and happy change happened in my personal life. I got married to Alexander van Pelt in July in Yerevan. Since that period my new residence is in Winschoten, a small beautiful town in the region Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands, but of course I also spend time in Yerevan.
My husband Alexander is webmaster of my site and also helps me in every my beginning.
Finally, I want to mention, that I am very proud to be included in the list of the most famous Armenian women of the 20th century.