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The 220-th anniversary of the first Russian Chess Master Alexander Petrov


On January 30, 2019, the latest meeting of the “The Chesspiece Theatre” series was held in the RNPLS&T’s Chess Culture and Information Center. The evening was dedicated to the 220-th anniversary of Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov(2.02.1799–10.04.1867), the first Russian Chess Master, a chess theorist and writer

Sergey Voronkov, a writer and historian, hosted the event. He reminded to the audience of the contribution that Isaac Maksovich Linder had made by studying life and work of the “Northern Philidor” (as Petrov was often called). Then Voronkov gave the floor to Nadezhda Linder. She told the story of the book “A. D. Petrov. The first Russian Chess Maser” [in Russian] published in 1952 and prepared during the so called “the war on cosmopolitism”. Linder was hired and used to work all day at Lenin’s Library with old books and journals. And every night, young Nadezhda came to the library for new materials Isaac wrote during the day to type them. She typed thousands and thousands of pages of his every other book!

The video segment was demonstrated in which Isaac Linder was telling the story of his devotion to the chess history and his monograph on Petrov. In his speech, he also paid his tribute to Petr Arsenyevich Romanovsky who had rendered invaluable assistance in preparing his book and also had contributed to Linder’s formation as a chess historian.

The presentation by Vladimir Linder, a writer and historian, was of great interest, too. He also dedicated several documentary stories and poems to Petrov. Symbolically, like his father, he became interested in Petrov’s work at the age of 29.

Sergey Voronkov recollected that in 1988 he had got acquainted with Petrov’s grand-grand-daughter, and also presented several facts that had been found by David Nudelman (USA). Nudelman had gone two months ago. Initially, he found two unique copies of the textbook “The game of chess to be put into the system...” [in Russian]. Nudelman has ascertained Petrov’s day of birth (February 2, 1799) (before February 1, 1794, was considered to be his birth day). Besides, he sourced the place and date of the wedding of Petrov’s parents and his four siblings, and established the facts of A. Petrov’s own family, dates and place of his wedding with his wife Evdokia Pogodina his five children and their further life...Voronkov illustrated his speech with photos, in particular, with the photo of the memorial plague unveiled at Opochka (town where Petrov was born).

Marina Makarycheva, a TV journalist, who, together with her husband, the Grand Master Sergey Makarychev, has made several movies about the chess players of the past, said, that they missed Linder-senior and his professional advice and assistance they had often turned to for. “It is great that our meeting appeared to commemorate both Alexander Petrov and Isaac Linder”, she emphasized.

Stanislav Zhelezny, the chess columnist of “Krasnaya Zvezda” of many years, recollected his first childhood impression, of Petrov’s famous chess problem “Napoleon’s flight from Moscow” that, in fact, had stroke an original direction in chess composition.

Petrov 2019