Gabriel is one of Armenia’s leading players, and a member of its acclaimed national team. He is returning to Wijk aan Zee for the second time – last year he was in a big tie for second, with 8/13. Sargissian was perhaps better known as Aronian’s second while the latter rose meteorically, and credited Gabriel as a big asset.
He had a series of ‘plus 2’ events: Aeroflot in Moscow, in the European individual championships, and the Bundesliga. In the latter months of the year Sargissian shifted to high gear: 6/9 at the strong Aratovsky memorial in Russia, shared first in the Politican cup in Sweden, and a scintillating 6.5/7 in Zafra, Spain, versus a solid list of strong players.
This year Gabriel is closing in on 5 years as a grandmaster, who is still rising up the ranks. His best gift for himself would definitely be a ticket to the A group in 2009, and that is not out of the question.