Chess in the clouds

by André Schulz
9/21/2015 – Today it is easy to play chess in the cloud. At least, in the virtual world. But chess organiser Pavel Matocha who again and again comes up with ideas for unusual and attractive chess events had something more old-fashioned in mind and organised a chess match in a balloon. Martin Petr and Petr Neuman decided to take their game to new heights.

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Pavel Matocha, a very active member of the Chess Society Prague organises a lot of chess events in Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic. In a few weeks his chess train will again visit various European cities. On 12. September he let two grandmasters play a little match in a balloon. Martin Petr and Petr Neumann were bold enough to play a couple of rapid games up in the air.


This is the route. Flying with a balloon from Karlstejn to Hyskov takes about 75 minutes - going by car would be a bit faster.

Petr Neuman and Martin Petr preparing their balloon.

Just a few minutes before the balloons rise into the air.

The balloon excursion was organised by the Balloon Club Prague on the occasion of its 50 year anniversary. Eight balloons went up into the air.

Pavel Matocha, center, always has original ideas. However, here he looks a bit hesitant before take-off.

A view of the area from far above

Up they go.

Playing chess in these surroundings you should better not suffer from vertigo.

A view from the side

The two high-flyers before the start of the game.

Martin Petr had White and had to find something against the Philidor

Petr - Neumann:



A nice view

Going back to safer ground


Deflating the balloon

Anežka Kružíková (center) took the photos

Photos: Anežka Kružíková

Chess Society Prague...


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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