Chess and diplomacy

On February 12, 2022, an international chess tournament dedicated to the Day of the Diplomatic Worker in Russia was held at the Russian House in Kuala Lumpur. This year’s tournament, which is traditionally held with the support of the Russian Embassy in Malaysia, was also dedicated to the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Russia.

“The conversation about chess often turns into a discussion about whether it is a sport or an art. The legendary Soviet chess player Mikhail Botvinnik believed that it can be either a sport, a science, or an art. According to many of my colleagues, a thoughtful approach, well-honed moves, and elegant solutions make chess similar to diplomacy,” said His Excellency Naiyl Latypov, Russian Ambassador to Malaysia.

The Russian House in Kuala Lumpur involved the Malaysian Chess Federation and the Chess Federation of Russia in organizing the tournament, which brought the annual amateur competition to the level of a professional chess meeting.

The participants of the tournament were representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Malaysia, Malaysian chess fans of all ages (for example, the youngest participant is 7 years old), as well as representatives of the Russian-speaking community of Malaysia. Johari Mohammed Johar, a blind chess player from Malacca, who was invited to the tournament through the Malaysian Rehabilitation Council, was accorded the truest form of respect from the organizers, participants and guests of the tournament.

A photo exhibition of unique exhibits of the Chess Museum was organized for the guests of the tournament. Cups and other trophies won by the grandmasters of Russia; paintings and engravings on the chess theme, sculptural portraits of great people who gave their leisure to chess, photographs of champions and numerous sets of chess made in the XVIII-XX centuries by masters of different countries are among the exhibits. The Chess Federation of Russia has provided the pictorial artefacts of this exhibition to the Russian House. The exhibition will last until March 7, 2022.

The event was fully held in the festive atmosphere of a chess festival – talented representatives of the Russian-speaking community of Malaysia, Varvara Shchukina and Arzigul Madalimova created bouquets in black and white to be awarded to prize-winners and sweets decorated with the image of chess pieces were prepared for everyone. The image of chess pieces made of Bohemian glass, one of the exhibits of the Chess Museum, was applied to the glass trophies prepared for the prize-winners. Thus, the award will stand as a remembrance of how it felt like to win a chess tournament, but also that Russia is a treasure trove of unique museum collections.

 

 

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