Mongolians play chess anywhere, anytime - News.MN

Mongolians play chess anywhere, anytime

Mongolians play chess anywhere, anytime

At this year’s 44th World Chess Olympiad, Mongolia shook up the world when the Mongolian women’s team defeated the seventh-ranked Americans. Overall, the Mongolian men’s team placed 35th out of 188 countries, while the women placed 15th out of 162.

chess has a long history in the country. Mongolians’ ancestors played ankle bones and chess during the 13th century, and possibly before, while Mongolian traditional chess, shatar, dates back to the Great Mongol Empire. An ancient legend about the origin of Mongolian chess tells of a khan, or king, who lived “long, long ago”. After fighting in many wars, he decided that training alone was not enough for victory. So, he established the position of bodyguard in his entourage, and the position was then added to the game of chess.

The first Mongolian national chess championship was held in 1948, and the country’s first women’s chess championship was held in 1954.  B.Khatanbaatar holds the record for most national championships won, with eight victories; Ts.Battsetseg holds the women’s record, with seven.

One of the proudest achievements for Mongolians in international chess came in 1967 at the Sousse Interzonal when American Bobby Fischer played against Mongolian champion Lh. Myagmarsuren. He won the Mongolian national title four times in 1965, 1980, 1981 and 1982, and was awarded the title of international master in 1967.

Mongolians do play chess anywhere, anytime. In the gers, in the streets, in the chess clubs and academies, in Russia, and at the world level. (intellinews)

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