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.
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