Tigran Petrosian honoured on new bill

by André Schulz
2/9/2019 – On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Armenian Dram currency, the country's central bank has recently issued new banknotes. The newly introduced 2000 Dram certificate honors the Armenian world chess champion Tigran Petrosian.

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2000 Dram = 1 Petrosian

In November 2017, the Central Bank of Armenia announced that a new, third series of banknotes was planned. The banknotes were circulated a year later, on the 25th anniversary of the Armenian Dram currency, and are now valid alongside the banknotes of the previous series.

The banknotes of the new series were designed by Edward Kurginyan, Vardan Vardanyan and Suren Simonyan. They are printed in Germany, at Giesecke & Devrien in Munich.

In addition to the poet Paruyr Sevak (1000 AMD), the playwright William Saroyan (5000 AMD), the composer Komitas (10,000 AMD), the painter Ivan Aivazovsky (20,000 AMD) and the Armenian Apostle Gregory the Illuminator (50,000 AMD), one of the honorees from the history of Armenia, whose portrait adorns one of the banknotes is the ninth World Chess champion Tigran Petrosian. A 'Petrosian' is worth 2000 dram (about 3.60 euros).

In the background of the 2000 dram note with Petrosian, can be seen positions from the 5th and 7th games of his World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik. In the fifth game, Petrosian made up for an early loss, and in the seventh he took the lead.


Winning against the Grünfeld

The Grünfeld is a highly dynamic opening in which Black's position often seems to hang together by a single thread; and yet, this apparently precarious equilibrium appears to be enough to make it entirely viable — up to the highest level.


The currency name "Dram" goes back to the Greek word drachma. Silver coins with the name Dram were already in use in the 12th and 13th centuries. After the collapse of the USSR and the new independence of Armenia, the Dram was reintroduced on November 22, 1993, replacing the Russian ruble. 200 rubles were exchanged by the central bank for 1 dram. Theoretically, 1 dram = 100 luma. Luma coins were only briefly in use, however. 

Banknotes are currently in circulation for 1,000 Dram, 5,000 Dram, 10,000 Dram, 20,000 Dram, 50,000 Dram and since September 2009 also 100,000 Dram. The 2000 drama bill with Petrosian is new. There are also 10 Dram coins (two different versions in aluminum), 20 Dram (copper), 50 Dram (copper), 100 Dram (nickel), 200 Dram (Nordic Gold) and 500 Dram (nickel / Nordic Gold).

Tigran Petrosian

Tigran Petrosian | Photo: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Tigran Petrosian (June 17, 1929-13, August 1984) grew up in poor conditions as the son of Armenian parents in Tbilisi, Georgia. Later he went to Moscow and was one of the best chess players in the world between 1953 and 1980. He participated in eight candidates battles for the World Championship. He was World Champion from 1963 to 1969. His title win in Armenia caused a chess boom that is still going on. Chess has been a regular subject in Armenian schools for several years.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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