Sport Digest: Bottom in football, tops in chess . . .

Football

Hayastan left chasing Andorra: Armenia has slipped to the bottom in World Cup 2006 qualifying Group 1 after losing to two favorites, at home to the Netherlands 0-1 and away to the Czech Republic 1-4 on Saturday and Wednesday respectively, while their main rival for the sixth spot, Andorra, managed to snatch a point in a goalless draw against Finland over the weekend and take over Armenia’s place with five points.

Now Henk Wisman’s company are heading for an away clash for the sixth spot. In a match due to be take place on October 12 they will need a victory not to finish last in the group.

Armenia U-21s also lost to their coevals from Holland and the Czech Republic – 1-3 and 0-6 respectively.

Futsal (mini-football)

Maybe in mini? This week Armenia’s futsal champion Tal Grig from Yerevan left for London, UK, where they will participate in the 2005/2006 UEFA Futsal Cup group stage qualification tournament on September 10, 11 and 13.
The Yerevan team will play against France’s Roubaix, England’s White Bears and Albania’s Dinamo Tirana. The team, according to its coach Ruben Nazaretyan, will aspire to finish first or second, which will entitle it to continue its performances in the Cup. (Armenpress, www.uefa.com)

Tennis

Armenia’s Number One calls it a day: Armenia’s all times best tennis-player, 33-year-old Sargis Sargsyan officially declared the end of his professional career in tennis in New York on September 6, during the U.S. Open, in which he did not participate.

Sargsyan, who has won prizes at numerous international tournaments during his career, had reached the 33rd position in professional tennis according to ATP rankings.

Armenian Tennis Federation Vice-Chairman and Sargsyan’s coach Alexander Tsaturyan says that the player’s future plans will become known after he returns to Armenia. (Armenpress)

Chess

Recognition for Nelli: The World Chess Federation, FIDE, has officially awarded Armenian female chess-player Nelli Aghinyan with the rank of grandmaster. Aghinyan is the third Armenian female chess-player to have managed to earn the rank of grandmaster. Before that, Armenia’s Elina Danielyan and Lilit Mkrtchyan deserved this honor.

Aghinyan has distinguished herself with successful performances throughout this year. Last month’s European team championships became the zenith in her chess career. Playing at the third table she beat nearly all her opponents. (A1 Plus)