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Last week, the French Embassy in Moscow and Cisco successfully completed a Russia-France virtual chess tournament that wasn’t exactly your average everyday chess tournament type.

The tournament aimed at increasing awareness and research to fight Alzheimer’s disease. The two day event was supported by Cisco, IBM, The French Presidential Commission On Alzheimer Disease, French Ministry of Healthcare, Moscow State Healthcare University, University Hospital of Nice, Chess Federations of Russia and France. Additionally, the tournament was attended by Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess grandmaster and winner of the multiple world chess championships, French Grand Master Joel Lautier and Anatoly Weisser, current world champion in the seniors category.

Over the course of two days, Russian and French teams of eight chess players competed in an immersion collaborative experiences using Cisco TelePresence rooms located in Cisco offices in Moscow and Nice. Simultaneously, players were closely observed by medical specialists who monitored their cardiac and cerebral reactions.

All players were senior citizens who were at least 60 years old. One of the French participants was 94 while notably, another chess player from Russia, born 86 years ago was a decorated WWII veteran.

By the end of the tournament, a trilateral press conference was held with journalists participating from Moscow, Paris and Nice on TelePresnece and WebEx who discussed topics related to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and the role technology can play in advancing the research to defeat it.

Journalists engaged in lively conversations with speakers that included Karpov, Weisser, Lautier and senior healthcare experts from France and Russia. Weisser referred to TelePresnce as a fantastic technology, while healthcare specialists from both countries described this project as a breakthrough in terms of increasing research and effort to prevent Alzheimer disease.

The French counselor for social affairs at the  French embassy in Moscow called the event as an “excellent conclusion of the Year of France in Russia and Russia in France”.

I will leave you below with some snapshots from this amazing event!

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