World Stamps

United Nations celebrates World Chess Day with a pane of 10 July 20

Jul 11, 2022, 10 AM
The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a pane of 10 stamps and labels July 20 in celebration of World Chess Day. The stamps are denominated €1 for use from the U.N. post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

By David Hartwig

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a pane of 10 stamps with labels July 20 in celebration of World Chess Day.

July 20 marks the anniversary of the founding of the International Chess Federation in Paris in 1924. While the day has long been celebrated by many chess players around the world, according to the United Nations, the U.N. General Assembly designated July 20 as World Chess Day in 2019.

“Chess is a global game that promotes fairness, inclusion and mutual respect,” the UNPA said in its philatelic bulletin Fascination, “and it can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations.”

Each stamp in the pane is denominated €1 for use from the U.N. post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria. The designs present different imagery related to chess.

In three of the designs, players hold chess pieces above a chessboard. Five of the designs show close-ups of one or more pieces on a chessboard. The remaining two designs feature chessboards on tables. One of the latter designs shows a digital chess clock, a device used to track the total time players take for their moves.

The stamps are presented on the pane in five rows of two columns. The perforations separating the two columns extend to the selvage, which also features chess pieces on a chessboard.

The left side of the selvage shows black pieces against a gray background, and the right shows white pieces against a black background. Text on the selvage reads “World Chess Day” in German and English.

A se-tenant (side-by-side) label with the U.N. logo appears to the left of each stamp. Although the UNPA calls this pane a “special event sheet,” customers can personalize the labels with a photograph replacing the U.N. logo by visiting the U.N. headquarters in New York City or the office in Vienna, or by uploading their photographs to the UNPA website.

In its philatelic bulletin Fascination, the UNPA said that chess encompasses elements of sport, science and art. Because chess is affordable and inclusive, it can be played across the barriers of language, age, gender, physical ability and social status, the UNPA said.

The United Nations recognizes that sports, the arts and physical activity can change perceptions, inspire people, break down barriers, combat discrimination and diffuse conflict, according to the UNPA.

Therefore, the UNPA says that these pursuits can contribute to the promotion of education, sustainable development, peace, health and other factors at local, regional and international levels.

The World Chess Day stamps measure 40.6 millimeters by 29.8mm each, the labels are 26.6mm by 29.8mm, and the pane is 279.4mm by 215.9mm.

A prelaunch event for the World Chess Day stamps will be held at the Minnesota Stamp Expo, taking place July 15-17 at the Crystal Community Center, 4800 N. Douglas Drive, Crystal, Minn.

For ordering information for the World Chess Day stamps and related products, visit the UNPA website; email unpanyinquiries@un.org; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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