Polish Chess Master receives Golden Cross of Merit

President Andrzej Duda awarded Polish chess grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda with the Golden Cross of Merit for outstanding sports achievements and promoting Poland in the international arena. Decorations were also awarded to members of his staff.

At the beginning of August, grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda became the first Polish winner of the Chess World Cup in chess tournament history. This success gave him the right to participate in next year’s tournament of candidates, which will determine the opponent for the world champion in the fight for the title.

“I am very glad that today, on behalf of the Republic of Poland, I can emphasise this great success that you have achieved by awarding our grandmaster and his staff members with these decorations,” President Andrzej Duda said during the ceremony.

“This success is indeed huge, although Mr Jan-Krzysztof is still very young. This is the greatest success since the times of our great chess masters, who represented Poland before the Second World War and won team gold medals at the Chess Olympics in Hamburg in 1930. Your career, your development is amazing. The World Cup and previous consecutive laurels are significant. We would like and wish you to become the best in the world,” he added.

Jan Krzysztof Duda began his adventure with chess at the age of 5. At the age of 10, he became a junior world champion, and at the age of 15 he won the title of grandmaster of chess. He is currently listed 15th in the FIDE ranking.

In 2016, Duda was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit by the Polish President for his sports achievements and popularisation of chess. Two years later he received the President's Cup for the best chess player in the country.

President Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda received a unique chess horse figurine, carved in salt from the Wieliczka salt mine, southern Poland.

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