Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 10 2004

INTERNATIONAL CHESS TOURNAMENT OPENED

FIDE has announced 2004 the year of the ninth champion of the world
Tigran Petrossian. On this occasion the NKR authorities and the RA
Academy of Chess organized the international chess tournament devoted
to the 75th anniversary of Tigran Petrossian. The tournament was
opened on March 8 in Stepanakert. The participants met with the NKR
president Arkady Ghukassian, prime minister Anoushavan Danielian,
members of government, members of the National Assembly and others.
The participants of the tournament are headed by the tenth champion
of the world Boris Spassky. In the name of the NKR authorities the
NKR minister of education, culture and sport greeted the participants
and wished them success. The minister characterized the tournament of
this level as an unprecedented event in the sport life of Artsakh.
"This is the case when we prove that Artsakh tries to achieve new
successes in sport, whereas the problem that the country is not
recognized hinders the development of sport. However, the tournament
filled us with the hope that Artsakh is able to achieve heights and
organize new and other similar tournaments." The participants of the
ceremony watched the film about Tigran Petrossian. Then the message
of the chairman of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was read. The tenth
champion of the world greeted the guests and thanked the organizers
of the tournament characterizing it as a truly big event in the world
of chess. "This championship woke joyful memories in my mind
connected with the events of 1966, 1969 in the world of chess. Today
the spirit of Tigran Petrossian is felt in this hall..." Once the rival
of Tigran Petrossian, today speaks with great enthusiasm about him,
telling about their games for the chess crown. The grand masters
participating in the tournament represent seven countries.

LAURA GRIGORIAN