Even people who know little about chess in Russia were following the matches for the world chess crown that were held in New York between November 11 and 30, 2016.
The current world champion from Norway, Magnus Carlsen, eventually retained his title by defeating Russia’s Sergey Karjakin 3-1 in a series of one-hour tie-breaks after the match ended 6-6, making the final score 9-7 in favour of Carlsen.
The mass media gave the chess duel top priority, providing active commentary on the contest, while broadcasts of the matches could be watched even in sports bars. Just as in the days of the USSR, for almost a month the country was spellbound by the game.
For a long time the world’s chess crown had practically belonged to the Soviet Union. The sport was the nation’s pride. But with time interest in chess faded and given the fact that since 2008 not…