New, Enlarged Edition
The dissolution of the Soviet Union marked the end of a unique chapter in the history of chess. With hindsight we can only marvel at the pivotal place the royal game occupied in the biggest country in the world. Originally embraced by Lenin as 'gymnastics of the mind', chess developed into an ideological weapon during the Cold War. Supported by the Soviet leadership, chess champions, from Mikhail Botvinnik on, grew into symbols of socialist excellence.