Chess

Chess
The general consensus among historians is that chess (šachmatai) arrived in Lithuania in the 17th century, brought here by the ruling classes from Western Europe. Others claim its history goes back a good deal further. What is undeniable however is the fact that the first ever documented game played in the country took place in 1887, the year the first chess club was founded in Lithuania. The first international tournament took place in Vilnius in 1912, attracting many skilful exponents from abroad, including the great Polish master Akiba Rubinstein (1882-1961), who won and took the title back to his native homeland. Lithuania’s most notable exponent was a man by the name of Vladas Mikėnas (1910-1992), famous for beating the world champion at the time in an albeit informal game way back in 1937. Chess remains a favourite sport (call it a game in front of a serious player at your own peril) among the Lithuanians, and as well as one or two specialist clubs in Vilnius, it’s possible to find the game being played every evening in a few bars.

Vilnius » Directory » Chess


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