Love, chess and politics. Musical Chess appears in Moscow after30 years

On October 17, the Russian version of the 80s musical Chess was presented at the Moscow Youth Palace. The musical Chess was created by three outstanding authors: Sir Tim Rice - playwright, winner of the Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards, creator of Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and The Lion King and also composers and songwriters Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus whose names are immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are also renowned as songwriters and producers of the famous group ABBA.

The plot is based on the gripping story of the rivalry between Russian and American grandmasters for the world chess crown during the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USSR and the USA. A big game and two women who suddenly change its entire course! The emotional intensity of what is happening on the stage is beyond description. The drama of love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, victory and defeat, betrayal and patriotism, worldwide recognition and complete loneliness, based on real events from the recent past in the history cannot leave the audience indifferent. Three main characters: Anatoly Karpov, Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer formed the basis of the musical Chess.
The premiere took place in London in 1986, and a couple of years later the show - listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most famous musical about chess - was staged on Broadway.


In the USSR, the show was banned almost immediately. However, even in spite of the Iron Curtain, singles from Chess could be heard at Soviet discos. First of all, it was the unforgettable super-hit “One Night in Bangkok”.

The very concept of the musical represent sort of a binary opposition: there is good and bad, black and white. However, in the case of Rice's musical, not everything is immediately clear. The final ending is not clear, so audience has to think over the fate of the main characters.
By the way, the organizers of the musical emphasized that the opponents were fighting for real, and not just for the sake of appearance: a specially invited consultant reconstructed the famous match.
“I am glad that our musical has reached the Russian audience after 30 years. The world has changed a lot since then, but it seems that our show has only become more relevant” notes Rice.