High school student organizes fundraising chess tournaments for Artsakh aid: next November 14
He explained how it works: “It’s simple. When people donate through Donate Box online, we send them a code for the tournament, which takes place on lichess.org. They then enter the tournament code when the time comes and the tournament begins. Lichess itself is a completely free website and the tournament will be 100 minutes long. Each player will have 10 minutes on their clock per game.
There is no limit on the number of participants, Arshak continued, and lichess.org is convenient and well organized. He said, “It’s organized like an arena. We don’t necessarily play against people who have the same score. After a match, won or lost, you play against another player.
In other words, kids might end up playing against other kids or against strong adult players. Archak said: “This is a great way, as a child, to experience one very strong opponent and one who has the same experience as the child. Identities are not shown, although some Armenians may recognize opponents’ usernames.
The top five players from each tournament will receive certificates and souvenir prizes. Additionally, Arshak was able to organize an additional special prize for the tournament winners. The winner of the October 31 tournament will be able to play some quick chess games against Grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan, while the winner of the November 14 tournament will play against International Master and Woman Grandmaster Lilit Mkrtchian.
Archak said he messaged them with no expectations but everyone really supported him and shared the tournament news.
On top of that, Arshak worked hard to promote the tournament. He said he contacted the chess federation in Armenia, and another chess community or forum of Armenian chess players. He took to Facebook and other social media to spread the news. He said he made everyone he knew advertise on social media, including his parents. He also contacted school chess communities and Armenian groups.
Archak said: “Special thanks to everyone who supported me! I got into this without any expectations and got a lot of support from a lot of people, and I’m very grateful for it. In particular, he mentioned Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan of the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Mary, who gave him a platform and helped him make the donor bucket, as well as other organizational things. Zareh Asatryan, an economist based in Mannheim, Germany, helped publicize the tournament and generally supported Arshak, as was active Armenian community leader Mihran Aroian of Austin, Texas.