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Friday, November 11 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Planet Kirsan (Planeta Kirsan)

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Magdalena Pięta
2010 | 50 min | Poland
New York Premiere

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was president in name and potentate in action of the Republic of Kalmykia from 1993 to 2010. A former chess champion, Ilyumzhinov issued a decree in 1996 calling for the establishment of Chess City and the creation of a mandatory chess curriculum in elementary schools. Now, throughout the tiny domain, a part of the Russian Federation, young school kids shout out the first rule of the game—“The king is the most important piece!”—alongside their Cyrillic ABCs. Two young players exhibit promise under the guidance of their demanding taskmaster who educates them in the Machiavellian tactics of the board game—“Your opponent must be finished off in the first move!” When the 13-year-old Alekhan goes to a national children’s tournament, we watch to see if he has what it takes to one day fulfill the Kalmykian collective dream of becoming a chess master.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink , Polish Cultural Institute


Friday November 11, 2011 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Linder Theater American Museum of Natural History

Attendees (1)