Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - From ISS, Russians duel with chess whiz



From ISS, Russians duel with chess whiz

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Russian chess grandmaster Sergei Karyakin, pictured in 2016, was fought to a draw by two cosmonauts playing in zero gravity on the ISS. AFP

From ISS, Russians duel with chess whiz

Two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) played chess against an earthbound grandmaster on Tuesday, in a celebration of the first such game half a century ago.

Equipped with an electronic chessboard, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner played in zero gravity against 30-year-old Russian former child prodigy Sergei Karyakin.

The game was broadcast live and ended in a draw after about 15 minutes.

It was organised by the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and the Russian Chess Federation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Space-Earth game of chess played on June 9, 1970.

“It’s a huge honour for us not to lose to a grandmaster,” Ivanishin said, while Vagner added that US astronauts on the ISS watched the game and gave tips.

Karyakin, who played from Moscow’s Museum of Cosmonautics, said he was jittery during the game and could not fall asleep until 4am on the night before the match.

“They played well,” he said. “I can say that the human brain functions very well in space, and I have seen this today.”

At the age of 12 years and seven months, Karyakin became the world’s youngest ever grandmaster.

Ivanishin, Vagner and US astronaut Chris Cassidy arrived on the ISS in April.

On May 31, they were joined by US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on the first manned private flight to the ISS.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) made history by becoming the world’s first commercial company to send humans to the ISS, leading Russia to lose its long-held monopoly on space travel.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “