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A Bit about Hunting and Chess

Pictured: Fyodor Fedorovich Shakhmagonov’s book titled Evgeny Vuchetich, published in 1970. The translated inscription—"To Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov – the Stalingrad Commander and sincere person, a fighter for the Russian land. Treptow Park [in Berlin] and Mamaev Kurgan owe their return to you, Vasily Ivanovich. Shakhmagonov”

It is always interesting to learn more about Marshal Chuikov’s story and the people whom he encountered. With his natural charisma, warm sense of humor, and his competitive nature, he typically left quite an impression on others. One such person is Fyodor Fedorovich Shakhmagonov, a writer who worked with famed author and screenwriter Mikhail Sholokhov during Soviet times. Fyodor’s son, Nikolai Fedorovich, wrote briefly about his father’s relationship with Marshal Chuikov. In his memoirs, he shared a couple of anecdotes about their hunting adventures as well as Vasily Ivanovich’s love for playing chess:

“There was such a story that the director of the Tarnovo state farm was a soldier of the 8th Guards Army of General Chuikov when Berlin was taken, and Chuikov promised [him] to bring [some] cars, but he forgot about it. My father wrote an article in the Pravda newspaper, which was called ‘Marshal Visiting a Soldier,’ where he reminded Chuikov of his promise. Chuikov groaned, and after the harvesting, he sent a battalion of vehicles to Tarnovo, in general, he sent a lot of vehicles. […]

In Tarnovo, Fyodor Fedorovich and Chuikov were hunting. Even then, my father said: ‘Now I understand what Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov is like in Stalingrad, who sat there tightly. We played chess with him all night long until dawn and he stood deadly on this chessboard.’ The man, of course, was unique.”


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