- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
March 12, 2004

Sports: International chess tournament underway in NKR

Ten chess players from Armenia, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia and Iran are participating in the Tigran Petrosyan 75 th Anniversary Memorial Tournament taking place in Stepanakert, Karabakh. The tournament began March 8 and will finish March 18.
The year of Tigran Petrosyan is celebrated in Karabakh.

It is the first international sporting event organized in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The matches are played at the Officers' Club Auditorium in Stepanakert.

Five chess players represent Armenia . There are seven-time champion of Armenia and a two-time champion of the Transcaucasus grandmaster (GM) Ashot Anastasyan, grandmaster Karen Asryan, three-time junior champion of Armenia national master (NM) Arman Pashikyan, International Master (IM) Tigran Petrosyan as well as under-14 world champion, under-16 European champion and two-time champion of Armenia grandmaster Gabriel Sargsyan.

According to FIDE rankings for January 1, 2004 Gabriel Sargsyan holds 78th place in the world.

Five other participants were invited from different countries to participate at the tournament. They are: four-time champion of Iran grandmaster Ghaem Ehsan Maghami, grandmaster Bartlomiej Macieja from Poland (40th place in FIDE rankings), three time champion of Switzerland grandmaster Yannick Pelletier, grandmaster Yevgeny Sveshnikov of Latvia and grandmaster Mikhail Kobalia from Russia (48th place in FIDE rankings).

(Grandmaster is the highest title in chess followed by international master and then national master.)

The round robin all-play-all tournament is divided into nine rounds. All chess players will be playing against each other and the winner will be determined as a result of points collected in the matches.

After three rounds, the results are:

Round 3 (March 11)

IM Tigran Petrosyan 1 – 0 GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami

GM Mikhail Kobalia 1 – 0 GM Yevgeny Sveshnikov

GM Ashot Anastasyan ½ - ½ GM Karen Asryan

GM Gabriel Sargsyan ½ - ½ GM Bartlomiej Macieja

NM Arman Pashikyan ½ - ½ GM Yannick Pelletier

 Round 2 (March 10)

GM Yannick Pelletier ½ - ½ GM Gabriel Sargsyan

GM Bartlomiej Macieja ½ - ½ GM Ashot Anastasyan

GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami 1 – 0 NM Arman Pashikyan

GM Karen Asryan 1 – 0 GM Mikhail Kobalia

GM Yevgeny Sveshnikov 1 – 0 IM Tigran Petrosyan

Round 1 (March 9)

GM Gabriel Sargsyan 0 – 1 NM Arman Pashikyan

GM Yevgeny Sveshnikov 1- 0 GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami

GM Mikhail Kobalia ½ - ½ GM Bartlomiej Macieja

GM Ashot Anastasyan 1- 0 GM Yannick Pelletier

IM Tigran Petrosyan ½ - ½ GM Karen Asryan

One point is given for victory and ½ point for draw.

The tournament is dedicated to the memory of legendary Armenian chess player, the 9th World Chess Champion ( 1963 - 1969 ) grandmaster Tigran Petrosyan (1929-1984) . Petrosyan became World Chess Champion in 1963. In 1966 he defeated Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky to remain World Champion. However in April 1969 Petrosyan lost the crown to Spassky, who became 10th World Chess Champion.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) declared 2004 as the year of Tigran Petrosyan.

The opening ceremony was led by the living legend of chess grandmaster Boris Spassky, who visited Armenia on March 5 from France (s ince 1976 Spassky has been living in France ).

The object of his visit was not only participation at the tournament as honorary guest, but he is providing live commentary during the games. He also visited Gyumri and Vanadzor, met with Garegin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians at the Holy See Saint Etchmiadzin, Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, chess authorities and fans.

In Stepanakert Boris Spassky inaugurated a chess academy together with NRK President Arkady Ghukasian.


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Flying High

In anticipation of this weekend's visit by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, workers put up flags on Mashtots Avenue in Yerevan. At first, Armenian and Georgian flags were placed, but the Georgian ones had to come down when it was discovered that the design was wrong.


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