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  • Soviet Visuals

Chess in Soviet Russia was much more than a recreational board game. The Kremlin grandmasters considered it useful to develop strategic thinking in their loyal pawns and knights. Up to a certain limit, of course.


Circus animal tamer Stepan Isaakyan playing chess with chimpanzee Rikki. Photo by Miroslav Murazov, Yerevan, Armenian SSR, 1965


"Chess and checkers - to the masses!" Soviet Uzbek poster, 1934


"Vladimir Lenin, Maxim Gorky and Nadezhda Krupskaya" painting by Pyotr Vasilyev, 1943


Abkhazian centenarians playing chess. Photo by Yuri Somov, 1967


Pensioners playing chess on a park bench. Photo by Boris Kavashkin, Moscow, 1969



"Chess in the USSR" magazine cover, 1933


At a Tallinn cafe. Photo by Alexander Makarov, 1964


Moscow boulevard, 1960s


"Chess Fever" film poster, 1925


Underwater laboratory of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of Oceanology. Photo by Oleg Galushko, 1970


"Let's become masters of cultural recreation!" poster, 1933


World champion grandmaster Mikhail Tal during a game. Photo by A.Ekekyan, 1962


Match for the title of world chess champion between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Photo by Boris Kaufman, 1985


Seamen of the Baltic Fleet during a simultaneous chess game. Photo by Mikhail Kukhtarev, 1977


Anatoly Karpov, chess grandmaster, 1970s


Chess lesson at a school, Pskov, 1975


Still from "People on the Bridge" film directed by Alexander Zarkhi, 1960

Gorky park, Moscow. Photo by Bruni Barbey, 1967


Tundra chess. Photo by Lev Garkavy, Kamchatka region, 1972


Border guards playing chess while off duty. Photo by Lev Polikashin, Tajik SSR, 1966

  • dresstosail

Ice cream in a waffle cup was a much-loved street snack among Soviet children and adults. Regardless of the season, milk-based delicacy enjoyed consistent popularity throughout the world's largest country. In 1945, a special ice cream laboratory was established in Moscow at the Research Institute of the Refrigeration Industry. The Institute of Nutrition of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR calculated the physiological norm of ice cream consumption. Ice cream parlors were located on the central streets of resort towns and regional capitals. Their assortment was not very diverse, but delicious ice cream at an affordable price always attracted many eager customers.


Post-Soviet visual. Vladimir Mayakovsky ice cream in Moscow, Russia, 2019


Winter sales of ice cream at Kursky railway station in Moscow, USSR, 1981


Advertising poster by USSR Ministry of Trade, 1954


British rock star Elton John attending a soccer match in Moscow, 1979. Photo by AP.


Photo by Thomas Taylor Hammond, Volgograd, 1975


Advertising poster, 1950


Post Soviet visual. Boys enjoying ice cream in winter. Photo by Vladimir Bogdanov, Russia, 1990s


Newlyweds eating ice cream. Photo by Boris Kavashkin, Moscow, 1972


Ice cream stall in Moscow, 1968


"Malysh" ice cream cafe, Tula,1979


  • Soviet Visuals

Traditional Central Asian skullcaps gained immense popularity in the European part of the USSR in the 1930s-1960s. They were worn by workers and professors, people's artists, and people's writers as well as by their children. Soviet leaders were not spared by the passion for these informal headwear, which contrasted with traditional military caps and civilian hats. For a while "tubeteikas" became something of an American baseball cap for Soviet residents.


Chess players. Photo by Max Penson, Uzbek SSR, 1930s


Young pioneers, USSR, 1950s


Soviet writer Maxim Gorky, 1930s


"Angel wearing tubeteika" Soviet Kazakh musical comedy film poster, 1968


"Boy wearing a skullcap" painting by Alexander Nikolayev (Usto Mimin), Turkestan ASSR, 1920s


Still from "Hero's brother" 1940 Soviet children's film


Cuban President Fidel Castro addresses meeting at Kzyl collective farm. Photo by Vasily Malyshev, Uzbek SSR, 1963


Soviet actors Yuri Nikulin and Natalia Varley in "Kidnapping, Caucasian Style" comedy film directed by Leonid Gaidai, 1967


Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, 1961


Lenin & Stalin mausoleum. Photo by Léonard Gianadda, Moscow, USSR, 1957


Post-Soviet visual. Kazan, Russia, 2000