International Chess Federation
Saturday, 06 Jun 2020 07:10
Anniversary chess match Space – Earth to take place on June 9

On June 9, 2020, a unique match between Space and Earth is scheduled to take place in the main hall of the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics. The event is co-organized by the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics, the Roscosmos State Corporation, and the Chess Federation of Russia. The match is timed with the half-century anniversary of the first Space – Earth chess game played on June 9, 1970. 

The match features cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, Hero of the Russian Federation, and Ivan Wagner, who will team up and play from the International Space Station.  A "representative of the Earth" is Sergey Karjakin – a former World Rapid and Blitz champion and two-time winner of the World Team Championship as a member of the Russian national team. He will be making his moves in the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics. 

Live streaming in Russian and English is co-organized by the Chess Federation of Russia, the Roscosmos State Corporation, and the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics.

The broadcast starts at 11:00 CEST.

The first-ever Space – Earth chess game between astronauts in orbit and "representatives of the Earth” was played on June 9, 1970. Andrian Nikolayev (Mission Commander) and Vitaly Sevastyanov (Flight Engineer), who were aboard the Soyuz 9 spacecraft, played a consultation game against the earthbound Viktor Gorbatko (also an astronaut) and Nikolai Kamanin (Soviet general, and head of the astronaut training program) whereas pilot-cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky was in charge of the game coverage.

The game was played on the crew’s rest day and lasted about 6 hours. Communication was maintained over the radio. The moves transmission coincided with the moments the ship would hover over the USSR territory. 

A unique chess set, designed by a young engineer Mikhail Klevtsov for zero gravity conditions, was used in that game. Since magnetic pieces are not allowed on zero-gravity environments, because they could end up in unexpected places where they would interfere with the on-board instruments, Klevtsov came up with a simple and original system of notches and grooves. This historical set is currently at the display with the Chess Museum of the Chess Federation of Russia.

About the organizers:

The Museum of Cosmonautics is one of the largest scientific and technical museums in Russia.  The history of the museum starts in 1964 when the Monument to the Conquerors of Space first appeared on the Moscow map.

Today, the Museum of Cosmonautics is one of the top three most visited museums in Moscow's Department of Culture. The modern museum exposition is composed of eight exhibition halls. The museum's collection includes more than 99,000 items: samples of rocket and aerospace technology, authentic relics, documents, philately, numismatics, decorative and applied works of art, and collections of paintings and graphics.

The museum tells the stories of the conquerors of space.  Among them: the famous Belka and Strelka, authentic descent vehicles from Soyuz spacecraft, a model of the first artificial satellite "Sputnik," the original Lunokhod control panel, a full-scale model of the base module of the "Mir" space station, and other space artifacts.

Official website of the museum:

ROSCOSMOS is a State Corporation established in August 2015 to oversee and implement a comprehensive reform of the Russian space industry.

State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS ensures the implementation of the Russian government's space program and its legal regulation. ROSCOSMOS also places orders for the development, manufacture, and supply of space equipment and space infrastructure objects.

The state corporation is also responsible for international space cooperation and tasked with setting the stage for the future use of the results of space activities in Russia's social and economic development.

Official website of SC ROSCOSMOS:

Chess Federation of Russia (CFR) (from 1992 till 2019 known as the Russian Chess Federation) is an all-Russian non-governmental body uniting regional chess federations and a member of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). The Federation was founded in 1992 as a successor to the USSR Chess Federation.

The CFR charter recognizes the Federation congress as the supreme governing body to be convened at least once every four years. Besides, the collegiate governing body is the Federation's Supervisory Board, which consists of five vice presidents and 26 representatives of regional federations. Since 2014, the sole executive authority has been vested with President of the Russian Chess Federation (since 2019, the Russian Federation of Chess). Andrey Filatov is the CFR's current President.

The CFR is a direct organizer of many national and international tournaments, including the Russian Championship Higher League, Russian Team Championship, and the international competition Belaya Ladya. The CFR also hosts the Russian Rapid and Blitz Championships, the Russian Cup, the Grand Prix Rapid, and the Children's Russian Cup.

Official website of the Russian Chess Federation: