Monument to Paul Keres – Narva, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

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Monument to Paul Keres

Visitors can sit and study the board with this Estonian chess legend and International Grandmaster. 


This unusual sculpture composed of bronze was constructed to commemorate the 100th birthday of Paul Keres. Keres, a local legend in the Estonian city of Narva, was one of the top chess players in the world, a career that spanned from the mid-1930s to the 1960s. In 1950, Keres was awarded the title of International Grandmaster by the International Chess Federation, the most prestigious title that can be awarded to a chess player. 

Interestingly, the chess pieces are set up on the board to depict the tense final moments of the last chess match that Keres ever played in Vancouver against Walter Browne, another world chess legend from the United States

The statue, which sits in the middle of a small square in Narva, allows visitors to sit across from Keres. It was constructed by the Estonian sculptors Aivar Simpson and Paul Mänd in January of 2016. That same year, the World Chess Federation named 2016 “the Year of Paul Keres” and his legacy lives on through this unusual piece of art. 

In partnership with KAYAK

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