The face-off: Earth vs. Space Chess Match

The players, from L to R: Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Wagner, Sergey Karjakin. Credit:

June 9, 2020 brought us the third ever Earth vs Space Chess match. Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin (currently 30 years old and the youngest Grandmaster in history) sitting in the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics, played cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner who were at the International Space Station in a live streamed match!

This was the third such Earth-Space match in history. The first one was played 50 years ago, on June 9, 1970, and ended in a draw. The second was in 2008 and the Earth won. This time again ended in a draw.

Who is Sergey Karjakin? He is the youngest Chess Grand Master ever. He earned his title at the age of 12 years and 7 months, at a slightly younger age than other Grandmasters like Magnus Carlsen who achieved this at a little over 13 years old. The second youngest Grandmaster in the world is currently Gukesh Dommaraju from India, who achieved this at 12 years, 7 months and 17 days.

What is a Grandmaster? The highest title given to a chess player based on their strength in the game, and their ranking.

What is a cosmonaut? A Russian astronaut!

Written by: Sunaina Murthy

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