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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

UPU News : Karpov puts his stamp on Olympics and chess

08.04.2014 - Chess Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov was at UPU headquarters on Monday 7 April 2014 to inaugurate a philatelic exhibition on sport and the Olympic movement featuring items from his personal and world-class collection.

Russia's ambassador to Switzerland, Alexander Golovin (left) inaugurated the exhibition with the UPU's Bishar A. Hussein and Anatoly Karpov (right).

Karpov is well known for his mastery of chess, having won several world championships, but he is also an avid collector of stamps and philatelic items on the Olympics, chess and Belgium, among other themes.
Karpov, now a member in the Russian Parliament and the founder of 36 chess schools around the world, owns one of the most important philatelic collections on the modern Olympic Games, especially ranging from the first Games in Athens in 1896 to those held in Amsterdam in 1928. Taken as a whole, his Olympic collection is believed to be one of the top three in the world. “I have almost everything, but it is impossible to have everything,” he said with a smile.
At the UPU, Karpov is exhibiting stamps, miniature sheets, marked envelopes, postcards and special postmarks from every Winter Games from the first in 1924 in Chamonix to those held in Calgary in 1988.
The Russian Post is also showcasing stamps from the latest Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, while Swiss Post and the Post of Liechtenstein brought stamps they issued on the Olympic theme over the years.
The stamps are on display this week during the annual session of the UPU's Postal Operations Council.

One hundred albums

The philatelic items from Karpov’s Olympic collection fit in more than 100 albums at home, he said, and he estimates its worth at some 1.5 million euros.
Among the rare and precious items he owns is a block of four mint stamps from the first modern Olympic Games, issued by Greece. Only three such blocks exist in the world, he said. Former International Olympic Committee head Antonio Samaranch owned one, too. He also has proofs of the first Olympic stamps issued by Greece, which are extremely rare.
Karpov is also an avid collector of stamps on chess, and he is displaying several in the exhibition. It features the very first chess stamp in the world, issued by Bulgaria in 1947 for the Balkan Games, as well as stamps marking World Chess Championships, including those in which he participated in 1978 and 1981.
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