June 12, 2020

Chess from Space


Chess from Space
Russia has a history of producing great chess players. Image via Good Free Photos

Russia has long been known for its famous chess players. Now, they’re taking their chess game to a new level – space. Two Russian astronauts, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, played against former child grandmaster Sergei Karyakin, who was on Earth, at the Moscow's Museum of Cosmonautics, during the game.

The match was organized by the space agency Roscosmos and the Russian Chess Federation. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Space-Earth game of chess, played on June 9, 1970. As with the match 50 years ago, the astronauts were allowed to go first. This year’s match lasted about 15 minutes and ended in a draw. It was broadcast live.

The Russian astronauts were aided by US astronauts on the ISS who were watching the game, according to Vagner. Ivanishin noted that "It's a huge honor for us not to lose to a grandmaster." Grandmaster Karyakin added that the astronauts “played well… I can say that the human brain functions very well in space, and I have seen this today." 

Tags: spacegames
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