Art at the World Chess Championship Match Print
Saturday, 12 May 2012 13:09

Half an hour after the second game started a press conference took place which once again emphasised the unbreakable link between chess and world culture. It featured Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of FIDE, Israel Gelfer, Vice President of FIDE, Moshe Slav, Chairman of the Israeli Chess Federation, and his son Nir Slav, the Israeli artist. During the press conference Moshe Slav presented Kirsan Ilyumzhinov with a chess set, and then Nir Slav gave the FIDE President as picture entitled Noah’s Ark.

Moshe Slav talked about how despite his physical limitations, his son Nir had never asked any favours for himself as an artist. His paintings were displayed in Israel’s parliament, in the Tel Aviv Artists’ House and in many other galleries. Nir’s canvases were devoted to topical issues such as campaigning against violence; he had also painted a series entitled The Dead Sea and others.

Nir Slav painted his Noah’s Ark in 2010 and used it to show that Noah was saving not only animals and people but also chess, which embodies cultural values and spirituality. Nir had contacted the President of FIDE through his father and expressed his hope that “this picture would give FIDE occasion to think about developing projects for people with disabilities who play chess”.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov took the opportunity to thank the Russian Chess Federation and the Tretyakov Gallery management for having organised the FIDE World Chess Championship match so excellently. He also addressed some words of appreciation to Israel Gelfer, Vice President of FIDE, and Moshe Slav, Chairman of the Israeli Chess Federation, for their enormous contribution to the development of chess and to increasing its popularity in their own country and throughout the world, and recalled that one of the main objectives of FIDE is to raise the number of people playing chess to one billion.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov emphasised that FIDE is the only international sporting federation that does not hold a separate Olympiad for people with disabilities. Chess players with restricted physical capabilities take part in the World Chess Olympiads, where they play on equal terms with everyone else. The President of FIDE thanked Nir Slav for his gift and shared his impressions of the painting: “The artist has penetrated to the very essence of human existence and has painted a picture depicting the salvation not only of material values but also of spiritual values. I am delighted that of all the types of art and sport he has chosen chess.” The picture and the chess set given by Moshe Slav will be given to the FIDE museum.




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