YEREVAN, Armenia — The Armenian national chess team has won the world champion’s title in the World Team Chess Championship held in Ningbo, China.
Our champions are arriving back in Yerevan on Wednesday, where thousands of fans plan to gather at the airport to welcome them back home.
That was enough for victory because the Armenian players got 14 team and 22.5 individual points, giving them an insurmountable lead over their nearest competitors.
Armenians have been playing chess for centuries, since the region was part of Sassanid Persia.
The game was heavily promoted when Armenia was part of the Soviet Union.
So even though its population is only 3.2 million – about the same as Connecticut – Armenia has managed in recent yearsto outdo traditional chess powerhouses such as Russia and the United States.
Armenia has 30 grandmasters, the rank awarded to the top 1,000 global players, and three players in the top 100. That’s only one fewer than the United States has despite having a population 100 times larger.
In the joy of wining, many in Yerevan are happy at the honor of a world championship.
Long live the Armenian chess!