Chess has been a dominant theme in Russian history and culture from the Middle Ages onwards, resulting in a a remarkable variety of chess sets from a diverse times and areas. Due to the extent and diversity of the culture in the Czarist- and later Soviet empire, this variety extends across vast regions and different cultures. Some chess sets that do stand out include the spire-topped kings in playing sets, the mammoth ivory carvings from village of Kholmogory, and the special featured sets during Soviet days.
ferz has been preserved only in Russia”. K.A. Yanich (or Jaenisch) came also to the conclusion that “Russians did not receive chess from the Spaniards and Italians, but directly from the Indo Persian East”. This is also claimed by Linder (1979).
In Russian folklore and ancient ballads, the game of chess is often mentioned. One ballad recalls how, at the tenth century court of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, chess tournaments were part of regular festivities, as well as entertainment for foreign envoys. The abundance of chessmen found in archeological excavations in Russia, from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries, provides ample evidence that the game was being played in Russia by the tenth century. The earliest, eight century chessmen, excavated at Afrasiab, Samarqand, in today’s Uzbekistan, suggest an even earlier existence.
In the Northern town of Novgorod, ancient chess pieces found in excavations provide good examples of the style of the Russian abstract pieces from the 12th century throughout the fifteenth century. Novgorod was established in the 10th century as a trading centre on the Volkhov river. The first historical mention of Veliky Novgorod was in 859 AD, with city chronicles stating that the town was an important trading hub between Byzantium and Central Europe. According to city chronicles, chess emerged in Veliky Novgorod, the foremost historic city in Northwest Russia, in the 13th century. Of note that chess was banned by the Church