Closing and awards ceremony of the 1st ECO Chess Cup was held on Thursday, September 11, 2014 in ECO Cultural Institute and Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, the Iranian chess grandmaster won the tournament.
The ceremony was attended by Iftikhar Husain Arif, the President and Mohammad Reza Haji Karim Jabbari, the Executive Director of the ECO Cultural Institute(ECI), Mohammad Jafar Kambouzia, the President of Islamic Republic Iran's Chess Federation, Nabi Zadeh, Special Assistant to the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Marashly Oglu, Deputy Secretary General of Economic Cooperation Organization(ECO) and ambassadors and diplomats based in Tehran which was well covered by mass media.
At the outset, Arif, the President of ECO Cultural Institute, referring to the role of sport in the relations between countries in the region, said: "with respect to the role of sports in enhancement of friendship, it has been recently focused by ECI to expand cooperation in sports field among the ECO member states which is in line with its mission."
He added: "outstanding presence of all 10 ECO countries in such an initiative is worthy of attention and is highly promising for further cooperation in different sports fields in the region."
Then Kambouzia, the President of Islamic Republic Iran's Chess Federation briefed the audience on the 1st ECO Chess Cup and said: "The competition was initiated by the ECO Cultural Institute and the chess federation, as the host, tried to do its best."
Vice President of the World Chess Federation, referring to the cultural and historical commonalities of ECO countries said: "The objective for this event was promoting convergence among ECO countries and we hope that we have achieved it."
Marashly Oglu, ECO Deputy Secretary General was the other lecturer at the event who noted the ECO Cultural Institute activities in various cultural fields in the region, and said: "by organizing the 1st ECO Chess Cup, the ECI has taken step to promote cooperation in the field of sports as well.
He congratulated all the players in the ECO Chess Cup and said: "I'm confident this event provided them with the opportunity to have interaction with their peers from other ECO member states."
Further, a music band titled" Ava-ye-Zamin" performed some excerpts of traditional music.
Nabi Zadeh, Special Assistant to the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was the last lecturer of the event. He described the organization of the 1st ECO Chess Cup by ECO Cultural Institute and the Iranian Chess Federation as a brilliant move and extended Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif's gratitude to the organizers of the tournament.
He added: "Undoubtedly, such measures have a positive impact on the people of the region. Exchange of sporting and cultural delegations between countries in the region is considered an important factor in promoting understanding of the peoples of the region."
He pointed out: "organizing this event in the other ECO countries may complete the efforts made for its arrangement."
At the end of the ceremony, awards were presented to winners of the 1st ECO Chess Cup and Grand Master Ehsan Ghaem Maghami from the Islamic Republic of Iran won the championship.
The second place went to GM Marat Dzhumaev from the Republic of Uzbekistan and the GM Azer Mirzoev from the Republic of Azerbaijan stood in the third place.
The tournament was held 3-11 September; four Grand Masters, two International Masters and two FIDE Master attended the games which helped enhance the quality of the competition. The completion was held in 9 rounds.
On the sidelines of the event, a photo exhibition of spectacular scenery of the ECO countries and a selection of ECI activities in the past year was open to the public. Also, all chess players in the tournament signed a chess board.