by Hagop Mikayelian; writer, publicist

By chance I came accross the name “Kalmykia”. I looked up in the internet and revealed that it is the name of a Russian province (Republic) which has about 300.000 population. It turns out to be the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by a plurality of the population and is well known as an international center for chess. Moreover, its former president heads the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Those who are connected to chess know that Armenia is one of the very few countries in the world where chess is taught in all the schools of the Republic for already six years.

Over 10.000 students, aged 7-17 from the schools of Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk participate in the annual Republican Interschool Chess Tournament which is organized by the Chess Academy of Armenia jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia. For the 10th successive year Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) sponsors this tournament and has invested more than 200.000 US dollars for this purpose because it believes in the importance of preparing well educated and smart generation for the future of Armenia. This tournament has already paved way for a number of children towards professional chess.


end faq