Armenia won the Gold Medal in the men’s section of the 37th Chess Olympiad held this year in Turin, Italy from May 20 to June 4, blowing away the Russians who eventually took sixth place. Armenia’s South Caucasian neighbors, Georgia and Azerbaijan, landed in 14th and 24th places, respectfully. In second and third places were China and the USA. You can read the final rankings here.
The chess team is sponsored if I am not mistaken by Armenia’s Defense Minister Serge Sargsyan, who is a chess maniac himself. Last night, starting at around 11:30 pm for some reason, only understandable according to the laws of Armenian logic it seems, Yerevan decided to hold a celebration party for the chess boys at Opera Square. I could hear everything from my apartment, since there is an empty void along part of Deryan Street, aka the Northern Boulevard, stretching from Tumanian to Arami Streets. The few concrete buildings that stand partially completed across from the Opera are great for reflecting sound it turns out. Now all of Republic Square can hear what’s going on up there without much difficulty. The festivities ended around 2:30 am with fireworks lighting the Yerevan sky. But by the time I ran out to the rear balcony half asleep to see if someone was being shot, the fireworks had already ended, in their place billows of smoke floating across the city skyline. Oh well….
In any case, congratulations are in order to Armenia’s chess team. As a casual, amateur player of computer chess I know how difficult this game is—it is extremely challenging and takes an unmeasurable amount skill. And the fact that Armenia yields the greatest players in the world definitely says something. It is unmistakably a great honor.
In the photo above, from left to right: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, captain Arshak Petrosian, Smbat Lputian, Artashes Minasian, Vladimir Akopian, Karen Asrian, Levon Aronian, and, according to one source claiming that without whom it would have been impossible for Armenia to win the gold, Gabriel “Gabbi the Terminator” Sargissian.
Labels: Social and Cultural