Chess: Armenia hosting two major tournaments

Chess: Armenia hosting two major tournaments


Two major international chess tournaments are underway in Armenia’s resort towns, with the head of international chess’s governing body, FIDE, arriving in the country to attend the opening of one of them over the weekend.

FIDE Women’s Grand Prix opened on Sunday in Dilijan and will continue until June 28. The participants of the tournament are World Woman Champion Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Humpy Koneru, Harika Dronavalli (India), Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia), Nana Dzagnidze, Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), Tatiana Kosintseva, Olga Girya (Russia), Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania), Elina Danielian (Armenia), Tuvshintugs Batchimeg (Mongolia).

Addressing the participants, officials and guests of the tournament in Dilijan, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov praised the level of chess development in Armenia, noting the contribution of the country’s president Serzh Sargsyan, who also heads the Armenian Chess Federation. The victories of the Armenian chess team at World Olympiads, said Ilyumzhinov, prove that chess is on the rise in Armenia. The FIDE president also praised the country’s government for including chess in school curricula as a subject.

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan also attended the Dilijan tournament opening event. He stressed that Armenia owes its special attitude to chess to its great compatriot Tigran Petrosyan who became the 9th world champion half a century ago thus managing “to enthuse and consolidate the Armenian people.”

Meanwhile, a tournament held in memory of an Armenian grandmaster and Olympic champion who died young five years ago opened in another resort town of Jermuk.

A total of 55 chess players are taking part in the 6th Karen Asryan Memorial. Among them are
GMs Evgeny Postny (Israel), Alexandr Fier (Brazil), David Arutinian (Georgia), Hrant Melkumyan, Zaven Andriasian, Robert Hovhannisyan, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Hovhannes Gabuzyan, Tigran Kotanjian, Artashes Minasian, Hovik Hayrapetyan, Levon Babujian, Artur Chibukhcian, WGM Lilit Mkrtchian (all representing Armenia).