RCCs Kaisar and Aidan discover the “Verny Gambit” in Kazakhstan

Today Kaisar and Aidan visited the International Chess Club “Debut” in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for an impromptu club match versus the local kids. While RCC ended up conceding 3.5 – 4.5 after about 90 minutes of play versus 4 different opponents, they gained valuable experience of playing against non-English speaking kids (“touch-move” in particular proved rather hard to convey!) and had a lot of fun getting to learn about the Kazakhstani chess scene and history.
In particular, they learned about the Verny Gambit (see excerpt attached). Verny is what Almaty used to be called when it was founded by the Russians in 1854 and the eponymous gambit occurred when a group of local chess enthusiasts sent 30 rubles to Mikhail Chigorin in Russia in 1887 in hopes of procuring some chess sets from him – only to never hear back (thus ‘sacrificing’ what was equivalent to two months of average local salary at the time). Local legend has it that Chigorin must have used the money to partially finance his preparation for the 2nd World Chess Championship Match against Wilhelm Steinitz in Cuba – hoping to pay back after the win, which unfortunately didn’t materialise.

Next stop Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with the U7 field recently expanding to include the Sri Lankan national team in addition to 9 other federations previously registered .


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