On April 8, ‘Armenian Eagles’ (‘Hayots Artsivner’) chess team was declared the winner of the 1st Virtual Chess PRO Chess League Final Team Championship in the United States. The tournament was first held in 2017 and gathers representatives from all over the world.

Armenia represented by its ‘Armenian Eagles’ team took part for the first time this year and won all the rounds. And in the final held in the United States, it won ‘Chengdu Pandas’ Chinese team and earned gold medals.

On April 11, Artak Manukyan, head of the ‘Armenian Eagles’ chess team, was the guest at Media Center and presented the story of setting up the team and securing the victory quite difficult to achieve.

"As a new club, in 2017 we passed the qualifying round ranking 1st among 38 teams and passed to the group round, and then in the final our team won a volitional victory over quite a strong team representing China.”

Artak Manukyan says that such tournaments promote popularity of chess and contribute to development of the sector. He also notes that they are already thinking of setting up other teams as well, apart from the ‘Armenian Eagles’ so that they all take part in tournaments.

“Thanks to the ‘Armenian Eagles’ we already gained the right to start with group tournaments and now we are thinking of setting up another team in Yerevan or Gyumri calling it ‘Yerevan Stars’ or ‘Gyumri Stars’ and attract new talents. To tell the truth, there are market relations and there was a real hunt for our team players; various American teams offered quite large amounts to make them play for their teams next year."

The speaker also says that while the material side of participation in the tournament is secondary to them, it should be mentioned that their team got no support at either governmental or non-governmental levels, while many of their opponents were in the spotlight.

"Teams from other countries got some funds even for each tournament or game, e.g. from their federations or state administration in case of United States, etc. And we did not enjoy any support by the state or any other institution and frankly speaking, that made us more at ease."

Derenik Malkhasyan, Media Center Project Editor/Coordinator

To contact the author, please feel free to email him: derenikmalkhasian@gmail.com


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