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Communist Party Team Almost Wins Russian Chess Championship, Sadly

Communist Party chess team, represented by GMs Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Potkin, Alexey Dreev et al. took part in the Russian team championship in Sochi and came third. The team’s name, besides ensuring a perfect clickbait title for this article, outlines the hysterical landscape of Russian chess club sponsorship, where various entities for little money enshrine their (often) unsavory brands with a chess sanctity. Case in point: the Communist Party chess team.

The Russian chess club championship, less prestigious than the individual championship, gives grandmasters a good opportunity to spend time in Sochi, the famous resort town by the Black Sea, and to maintain form. Chess players also make money, usually charging the sponsoring organization on a per-game basis. Top GMs usually collect around $2,000 per game plus bonuses.

Regional chess federations are expected to send at least one team to the National Team championship, and they are keen to fund local patrons or sponsors who apply their brand (or last name, in case of the individual sponsor) to the team’s name and branding. Hence the teams rotate their names often, and sometimes very unpredictably. In the 2022 edition of the team championship, there were 8 teams. The winning team, from Moscow, changed its name several times in the last 5 years, remembered in a previous incarnation as ‘Our Heritage’, the same as the eponymous non-profit organization financed by the Moscow Chess Federation’s previous president.

The Commumist Party of Russia took its sponsorship seriously and provided the hammer and sickle-decorated polos to its stars, so here are the photos, courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation.

Alexander Grischuk, center, in the Communist Party of Russia polo, looks handsome as always
One of the teams sports ‘USSR’ on their jackets
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 2465   16 d   Alexander Grischuk   Main feature   Russia
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