Semi-finals of the 7th Republican Interschool Chess Tournament

Between March 25-April 10, people of all ages throughout Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Javakhk (Georgia) were once again submerged into the passions of chess. The winners of the 2nd phase continued to compete in the semi-finals of the 7th Republican Interschool Chess Tournament. Close to 5,000 students, ages 7-17, between grades 1-12 and representing over 1,000 schools, participate in the annual tournament, sponsored by the Chess Academy of Armenia, RA Ministry of Education and AGBU. During Round 1, the tournament was held within schools. Winning teams proceeded to Round 2 and competed against other schools within their same communities. Winners went on to regional semi-finals competitions. During the semi-finals, AGBU Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Armenia Director Arpi Vartanian and AGBU Armenia Special Projects Coordinators Inessa Margaryan and Anna Aghajanyan visited all the regions of Armenia and Stepanakert to distribute prizes. All participating teams were awarded victory cups, stationery sets and USB Memory sticks. Winners of the semi-finals received cellular phones and trophy cups. Selected regional chess academies, also received projectors. The regional winners will move on to compete in the national finals to take place in Tsakhkadzor (Kotayk region) between May 7-10. AGBU will again provide awards to the winning teams and their coaches. While all semi-final tournaments and awards ceremonies were special, the visit to Armavir was exceptional – both for the students and for AGBU. Grandmaster Tigran Petrosyan, two-time Olympic Champion, accompanied the AGBU delegation to Armavir, helped distribute prizes and played a rapid chess match with the students. The unforgettable surprise visit by the Grandmaster is sure to prove inspirational for these young students of chess who hope to one day follow in the footsteps of their hero. The awards ceremony in Yerevan was attended by the Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan, Chess Academy President Smbat Lputyan, AGBU Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian and AGBU Armenia Director Arpi Vartanian. Since 2008, the Interschool Tournament, an initiative of the Armenian Chess Federation, under the auspices of the Republic of Armenia's Ministry of Education and Science, has produced many players who graduate to the professional level. One winner, when asked what she got out of playing chess, simply said, "Chess is my life."


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