20 May 2018

Night, Chess, Museum, and Art

Eteri Kublashvili reports from the Night at the Museum event in the Central Chess Club in Moscow 

The British rock band Queenhas A Night at the Operastudio album, which is considered by many to be nearly the best one in its history. But Moscow residents and guests have a tradition to spend one of the May nights not at the operas, but at the museums – in honour of the International Museum Day which is celebrated on May 18. This year, the Central Chess Club in Moscow took part in the event that is symbolised by an owl with a motto Art Uniting People.  

To tell you the truth, I am amazed by the people’s enthusiasm: they left their houses (or bars) at arainy Saturday night to visit the museums, for example, on Volkhonka Street, turn to the Gogolevsky Boulevard, and then to go somewhere else. 

From 10 p.m., huge groups of people started to come to the Chess Museum. There were so many visitors that when the Museum curator Dmitry Oleinikov was speaking about the mansion’s history at the beginning of the tour, a lot of peoplewere standing on the stairs between the first and second floors. In general, Dmitry conducted three excursions non-stop for almost 100 visitors. 

At the same time, a titled GM Ian Nepomniachtchi gave a simultaneous exhibition for everyone interested (many people came to the simul after the tour around the Museum). Ian was supported by the 12thwomen’s world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and a former European champion Vladimir Potkin. Passers-by were looking through the windows and taking pictures; sometimes the knocks were heard. People were waiting in a queue to play against the grandmaster. In general, around 30 persons participated in the simul which finished at 1:30 a.m. All participants were granted with books and diplomas. 

It is very pleasant that so many people are ready to go to museums and to play chess notwithstanding rain and darkness. In a word, the Night at the Museumwas a success and I would like to believe that the event will be repeated in the Central Chess Club next year. 


Photos by Vladimir Barsky and Eteri Kublashvili