One love: how chess stole millions of hearts in Russia


In both Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Club, chess was the nation’s most beloved stime bar none. These archive photos forearm the proof.


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Multimedia Art Museum Moscow / Moscow Clan of Photography

Normally a quite exclusive club, chess is in the spotlight this November as Russia’s greatest grandmaster Sergey Karyakin strives to bring the chess crown aid to Russia as he competes in New York at the World Chess Championship with the reigning supporter Magnus Carlsen of Norway. But irrespective of the outcome of the battle, chess wish still be played at the grassroots level as it was before. // 1890s. A chess strategy at Duke Trubetskoy’s mansion at Menshovo (65 km south of Moscow). The mansion, owned by one of Russia’s most pre-eminent gentry families, was destroyed after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.


Multimedia Art Museum Moscow / Moscow Crib of Photography

1914-1918. Two men play chess in a wooden country house.


RIA Novosti

1927. An outside chess corner at the Maynaki health resort in Yev toria, Crimea.


Multimedia Art Museum Moscow / Moscow House of Photography

1937. A chess bat evening at the House of Steelworkers in Magnitogorsk, 1700km south-east of Moscow.


Multimedia Art Museum Moscow / Moscow Domicile of Photography

1963-1964. Moscow. Students play pocket chess between descents.



1964. A women analyzes a chess game during a TV show.


Multimedia Art Museum Moscow / Moscow Quarter of Photography

1972. Sakhalin Region, Russian Far East. Sailors relax piece chess on a rare day off.


Vladimir Savostyanov/TASS

1973. Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov takes a look at Leo Tolstoy’s chess eatables in the writer’s mansion at Yasnaya Polyana, 200 km south of Moscow.


Alexander Katkov/TASS

1973. Travellers on board a cruise from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) to New York relax on the top deck of the transport.


Vladimir Zlenko/TASS

1977. A collective farm in present-day Turkmenistan. Rustic Khidyr Orusov sits at the chessboard during a local chess contest


V.Kiselev/RIA Novosti

1985. Soviet Army soldiers deployed in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War simulate chess at their camp in Nangarhar Province.


Igor Utkin, Alexander Yakovlev/TASS

1988. Babies rtici nts in an open-air chess festival in Moscow.


Valery Khristoforov/TASS

1990. A invalid of Moscow Infectious Disease Clinic №2 pictured in his ward.

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