Chess Tournament All-ASA x ASAC

On June 1st, as students logged into Zoom with their cameras on, they were greeted with the faces of their Armenian peers from halfway across the world, all united virtually over their enthusiasm for the game of chess. Overall sixteen players, eight on the All-ASA team and eight on ASAC’s, were set to verse each other on through consecutive matches set on a 5+2 format. The tournament commenced after representatives of both organizations said their opening remarks and all players from each team excitedly introduced themselves.

All-ASA Executive Board member and fourth-year student at UCLA, Anna Ramazyan, was one of the organizers of this chess tournament. Thrilled about the event’s success, she said:

“Last year, the All-Armenian Student Association (All-ASA) prioritized uniting Armenian students from the United States and around the world, and one of the key ways we did this was by bonding over our shared love for chess. When the Armenian Students Association of China (ASAC) heard about our successful chess tournament in Los Angeles, they reached out and suggested we host a virtual tournament together. In June of this year, we made it happen, bringing together like-minded Armenian students from across the globe.”

Hayk Geghamyan, a Master’s student at Tsinghua University and President of ASAC, also helped organize the tournament. When recalling the impact of this event, he added:

“This recent online chess tournament was a pioneering collaboration between ASAC and All-ASA, marking a historic milestone by uniting Armenian students abroad from China and the USA for the first time. This event not only showcased the talent and dedication of our global Armenian student community, but also reinforced the importance of maintaining strong cultural and academic ties among Armenians worldwide.”

The competition came to an end with ASAC leading the scoreboard to a final count of 44-20. Matches were fierce yet fun, and the players’ spirits remained high even at the tournament’s closing. To the organizers’ delight, the Zoom setup seemed to add a personal touch to every interaction among the participants. Players eventually found themselves talking, laughing, and forming new friendships with their peers and competitors as the final tally was being counted before the closing ceremony. As the time came to log off, students were eager to continue their conversations off the playing field, with many exchanging contact information and social media handles.

Overall, the undeniable success of the chess tournament between All-ASA and ASAC left the players and organizers eager for a repeat, hoping the next tournament will cross even more borders and include teams from Armenian student associations in other countries.

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