Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Melburnian in Moscow

(first published on my other blog)

I work with Michael Pahoff who is one of the millions of hobby chess players worldwide. Michael told me he was off on holiday to Moscow, so I suggested a chess related visit. Michael followed up on that, and sent me this story! Thanks Michael.

Hi Carl,

In early September, I visited Moscow for the primary purpose of witnessing Russia's 200th anniversary celebrations and reenactment of the Battle of Borodino 1812 / 2012. With 3,000 participants and over 100,000 spectators the reenactment was marvellous. Whilst in Moscow, on your suggestion, I visited the Moscow Central Chess Club, near the city centre, which was also a very worthwhile experience.

The building that houses the Moscow Central Chess Club was built around 1820, coincidentally, as part of Moscow's restoration after Napoleon's 1812 Invasion of Russia, where the Muscovites burnt down their own city, rather than giving it up wholly. It is two stories high, with a third currently being constructed as a further restoration to the entire building. The second floor has a central plaza, where the parents wait for their children, with wings / rooms on both sides for tournament play. There are lots of old photographs on the walls of Moscow Central Club Members who have been National and World Champions. While I was there, one of the wings was being used for junior Chess lessons.

I was given a very warm welcome by the Manager, Anton Kuzin, and would recommend the Moscow Central Chess Club to anyone visiting that wonderful city.

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