Sevan Muradian Passes Away (1975 - 2016)

A tireless supporter of Illinois chess has passed away at a young age. Sevan Muradian, 40, died of a heart attack February 17, according to family. The memorial and funeral were both held February 22, with the burial at Vernon Cemetery in Lincolnshire.

Mr. Muradian was a frequent organizer and tournament director in the Northern Illinois area. He was the creator of the eNotate product which allowed players to capture moves in an electronic format. He was the guiding force behind ChessIQ (formerly North Shore Chess Center) in Skokie, which frequently hosted Grandmasters from far and wide for all-day workshops followed by memorable simultaneous exhibitions.

Within one day, an online support campaign exceeded the $25,000 goal with over 100 contributors towards a college fund for the daughters. Contributions continue to pour in.

Chris Wainscott who blogged for Chess IQ and worked many tournaments with Sevan, has posted a powerful compilation tribute on Chess Life Online.

Pattie Zinski shared in a note to the ICA, "Sevan possessed a driving energy and life force. He gave so generously of his time and talents, especially to the Illinois youth players, providing both chess and life advice.  His clever wit and sharp sarcasm always left me smiling.  Although he left us far too soon, he enjoyed his adventures in chess and touched so many lives.  He leaves a huge void in our Illinois chess community and will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace my friend."

Comments from the US Chess site include this one from National Tournament Director (US Chess) and International Arbiter (FIDE) Ken Ballou of Massachusetts:

"Sevan was personally a good friend and mentor. He guided me through my entire career to date with FIDE, starting with my being a student for the first ever internet-based FIDE Arbiter seminar in July, 2010."

"Sevan had convinced ... the Arbiter's Commission to allow the [FIDE Arbiter] seminar to be given over the internet. Since then, it has been so delivered around the world forty times, most recently by Sevan himself earlier this month...

"I can barely hold back the tears to write this. My heart goes out to his family and to the Chicago chess community. Such an awful loss."

Boyd Reed offers this perspective: "While we didn't agree on everything, Sevan's voice was always one I respected. Sevan was an innovator and a force of nature all his own. 

"Of particular importance to me - and many other prospective arbiters who couldn't get to a live version - was his development of online FIDE Arbiter seminars. I was fortunate enough to attend the first one he organized. I owe my FA title (and, indirectly, my IA title) to him.

"His untimely passing leaves an enormous void in our international representation, US Chess governance, the chess scene in the greater Chicago area and the state of Illinois, and most sorrowfully, with his family and friends.

US Chess Director of Events Franc Guadalupe posted a picture of himself and Sevan toasting with beers in Estonia on the Chicago Area Chess Facebook site, and others are chiming in there.

Said Gaudalupe: "As many others, I was also very saddened by the news. Sevan was devoted to the game we all love and he did a tremendous amount of work to promote it. We shared much, particularly during our trips to the FIDE Congresses. May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with the family."

Brad Rosen says, "Sevan was force of nature on the Chicago, US, and World chess stages. He was a friend of many and will surely be missed."

Gauri Manoj: "Sevan was truly a good man. He always tried to be a mentor to me not just in chess but also for my school and my future. I will miss you and remember you at every tournament. Rest in peace, my friend."

Michael Auger: "I can't believe this. Apart from the incredible things he's done for the chess world, he's been a great life adviser for a lot of us. A number of big decisions in my life can be traced directly back to conversations with him. He was an incredible person, gone way too soon. Thoughts are with his family."

If you have your own thoughts on Sevan you'd like to share with the community, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and I'll be glad to post.

US Chess archives show Sevan serving as chief director of 245 rated events dating back to 2005 when he directed the 2005 Illinois Open.  But he also organized many events where he generously allowed others to take that credit.