Posted: 12/18/2004

YEREVAN, December 18 (RIA Novosti's Gamlet Matevosyan) - Yerevan, Armenian capital, is hosting the world's first international online chess tournament.

Dedicated to the 75th birth anniversary of Tigran Petrosyan, 9th world chess champion, the event opened today to last into Thursday, December 23.

To make Armenia a known presence not in chess alone but in other fields is the main tournament goal, say spokesmen for the Armenian Chess Academy Director.

Armenian, Russian, French and Chinese teams are competing. Pyotr Svidler, Alexei Dreyev, Alexander Halifman and Vadim Zvyagintsev are on the Russian team, strongest for its average coefficient, 2,688.

The tournament will have two rounds, each competitor playing white and black. Every participating country has one referee, to be appointed by the host country. International judge Ashot Vardapetyan is representing Armenia, Igor Bolotinsky - Russia, Lin Feng - China, and Jean-Claude Timpler - France.

The prize fund is $55,000: $20,000 for gold, $15,000 silver, $12,000 bronze, and $8,000 to the 4th.

Chess-lovers from the whole world are welcome to the site, which offers information in five languages-Armenian, Russian, French, Chinese and English.

Roughly $80,000 has been earmarked to hold the event, arranged by the Armenian Chess Academy and the Armenian Chess Federation, both close partners of the U.S.-based Internet Chess Club. The WEB provider is responsible for communications.