72
72
Soyuz 9 — Soviet Zero-Gravity Chess set
CHESS SET SIGNED BY ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV, VITALY SEVASTYANOV, AND VARIOUS CHESS CHAMPIONS
Estimate
1,5002,500
LOT SOLD. 1,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
72
Soyuz 9 — Soviet Zero-Gravity Chess set
CHESS SET SIGNED BY ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV, VITALY SEVASTYANOV, AND VARIOUS CHESS CHAMPIONS
Estimate
1,5002,500
LOT SOLD. 1,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Space Exploration

|
New York

Soyuz 9 — Soviet Zero-Gravity Chess set
CHESS SET SIGNED BY ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV, VITALY SEVASTYANOV, AND VARIOUS CHESS CHAMPIONS
Folding chess board with 32 pieces, opened 7 ½ by 9 ⅝ inches, with white and blue plastic tiles, trimmed with red tiles, 32 black and white pieces affixed to metal pins, SIGNED by a number of chess champions, and ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV and VITALY SEVASTYANOV, the crew members of Soyuz 9, and dated 24 November 1970 on exterior in various colors, in original packaging with pictorial label printed "ШАХМАТЫ КОСМИЧEСКИE" (space chess); some discoloration to pieces, some deterioration to foam, one or two old cracks and repairs to board, box repaired with tape. With various materials related to the set's patent.
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Catalogue Note

THROUGH THIS CLEVER BIT OF DESIGN, THE FIRST GAME OF CHESS WAS PLAYED IN SPACE DURING THE SOYUZ 9 MISSION

The sample of a space chess set was invented for games in conditions of weightlessness, where loss of chessmen would be inadmissible—for reasons of play as well as safety.  Because of its novelty as well as functionality, the set was given patents in various countries, including Great Britain, Sweden, India, the United States, and many more. The pre-production model was used by Commander Andriyan Nikolayev and flight engineer Vitaly Sevastyanov. During the Soyuz 9 mission, Nikolayev and Sevastyanov spent 18 days in space conducting various physiological and biomedical experiments on themselves, but also investigating the social implications of prolonged spaceflight. As one of these experiments, they played chess with ground control.  In what became known at the "Space vs. Earth" match.  On the 24th of November 1970, the Moscow Chess Club organized a meeting devoted to the first match in space.  About 300 elite chess players were in attendance.  The autographs present on this board include those of Nikolayev and Sevastyanov, as well as Boris Spassky (at that time the world chess champion), Mikhail Botvinnik (former world champion), grand masters Igor Bondarevsky, Alexander Kotov, Salo Flohr, and Mira Liliental, as well as the product's creators, S. Pavlov and M. Klevtsov. 

Space Exploration

|
New York