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Russians' Unending Love Affair With Chess (Video)

Chess fever in Russia has not subsided since the Middle Ages


This post first appeared on Russia Insider


One of my brightest recollections of my grandfather revolves around chess. He was sure it was the best game for a  five-year-old girl. Every time I went to his house I remember him taking the chessboard and showing me how to play. The game was never dynamic, but I could sit and play with him for hours.

My memories are not unusual for a Russian. In almost  every family, adults taught children to play chess from an early age: it was always an important part of education, an absolute must.

<figcaption>Part of Russian children's basic education</figcaption>
Part of Russian children's basic education

This intellectual game has been popular in Russia from the Middle Ages, and chess fever has still not subsided. There are about 500,000 professional chess players in Russia, and the number of amateurs is countless. Maybe that’s why Russians have always been among the best in chess. Alexandre Alekhin, Mikhail Botvinnik, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik are known all over the world.

Everyone who ever played chess admits that there is some charm in this game. It captivates you until the round is finished, until you say every chess player’s favorite word: checkmate!


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