B BEYOND MAGAZINE: From Russia with Art (and Chess): Andrey Filatov a cultural ambassador

The West has an ambivalent relationship with post-Soviet Russia and a bit of an attitude when it comes to dealing with wealthy Russians who straddle the Central European divide.

Politics aside, we never quite seem to know how to take them – at face value, with a pinch of salt, or with a large dollop of envy. These “pesky East-Europeans” have not just pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and written a new success story, they are changing the cultural landscape of the West. They are buying and restoring historical landmarks, they endow museums, they set up foundations and they prop up many a fading institution.

We have even dusted off the esoteric word “oligarch” for them and given it a new connotation. Mass and popular media is full of stories about their acquisitions, their lifestyles and their hijinks. Politically, Russia sits on the other side of a newly opened schism, not least on account of the Ukraine.

Andrey Filatov is a born and bred Ukrainian himself, as is his wife, whom he married recently. He graduated from the Belarus Academy of Physical Education and Sports with a diploma in PS and Chess Studies. He was a candidate to become Chess Master of Sports of the USSR. Today, he is the President of the Russian Chess Federation and Vice President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). Chess is, in fact, a passion of his and central to his cultural mission.

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