ISTANBUL and YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow) — Armenian chess players returned home to a heroes’ welcome after winning the 40th World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday.
President Serge Sargisian personally went to the airport on Monday to meet the chess players who won Armenia’s third Olympic gold, matching the result so far achieved by only two nations in the world — the Soviet Union (which does not exist anymore) and its legal successor, Russia.
Speaking at a ceremony organized at his residence in honor of the team, Sargisian said that this latest chess victory once again shows that while Armenians can be strong individually, they can also be strong as a team.
“This is a message to all of us as to how each of us should be working in their own place,” said Sargisian, who also heads the Armenian Chess Federation.
For their “brilliant victory” at the World Chess Olympiad and promoting the image of Armenia abroad, the five members of the team and its coach received awards from the president.
Armenia’s coach Arshak Petrosyan and leading Grandmaster Levon Aronian were awarded with St. Mesrop Mashtots Orders, while Grandmasters Vladimir Akopian, Sergei Movsesian, Tigran Petrosian and Gabriel Sargissian received Orders of Honor. A number of chess officials also received medals from the president for promoting the sport in Armenia.