History of the Academy
The idea to found a chess academy in Armenia was suggested by GM Smbat Lputian in 1996. It was an important step: many of first-class chess players had left the country; the question of the promising successors required an urgent solution. The academy was to gather the best Armenian young chess players and trainers. It was to encourage the talented youth of Armenia in continuing the tradition of excellence in the game of chess.
The academy's mission was to create an optimal environment for the improvement of students' professional chess skills, as well as to publicize the game of chess throughout Armenia. The realization of the project demanded the solution of financial and other problems. Being informed about this objective, the Prime Minister of Armenia, Mr. Andranik Margaryan became interested and promised to support it. With his assistance the obstacles in the path of the realization of the idea were overcome. The goal to have a chess academy in Armenia was realized. It was founded in 2002 in Yerevan by the initiative of GM Smbat Lputian, supported by the Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan.
The Chess Academy of Armenia is one of the leading chess-teaching institutions in the country. During its existence, the Academy has organized many International and National Tournaments. Several of the outstanding students have attained various achievements, including International Grandmaster and Master Norms, three gold and two silver medals in European Championships, and various other accolades. Five of the Academy's students have obtained a Grandmaster's title, as well as several gold and silver medals at the World Championship (Boys under 20).
The Academy has about 50 branches both in Yerevan (head office) and various regions of the Republic of Armenia. Plans are presently under way to establish branches outside of Armenia as well.
Twice a year seminars and trainings are held for trainers; retreats are organized for the Academy students in the best vacation spots in Armenia. Young people aged 10-18 who have obtained first, second and third places in the Chess Championship of Armenia gain automatic acceptance into the Academy. Children aged 4-9 can also attend classes held in the Academy, where they can study until the age of 18. The best students are given the opportunity to continue their studies in the Academy until 20 years of age. Classes in the Academy are held free of charge and are overseen by the best trainers in Armenia.
The Chess Academy has so far successfully carried out tournaments such as ‘‘Lake Sevan’’ International Chess Tournament, Andranik Margaryan Memorial (Round Robin and Swiss Tournaments), Stepan Avagyan Memorial (‘‘Jermuk’’ International Youth Chess Championship), "Chess Academy Cup" Rapid Chess Tournament, as well as School Chess Olympiad.
Another great achievement of the Academy was the inclusion of chess into the educational system. Armenia is the only country where chess has been included in all schools as a compulsory subject since 2011.