This Museum is Taking You to a World Journey

November  2015


Interest in Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum is enormous which is the product of a 40 year chess adventure in which a hobby is transformed into passions of a business man; Akın Gökyay who has the “Biggest Chess Collection of the World”

The museum exhibiting 540 chess sets in total together with 412 chess set pieces which made their way to Guiness Records Book that are gathered from 6 mainland and 103 countries since 1975,  will host  chess courses and fun meetings while taking you to a world journey.

Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum donated by business man Akın Gökyay at 92. Anniversary of Ankara’s being capital city is taking chess lovers to a World journey. Interest in the museum which opened its doors recently is quite big. The museum where 540 special chess sets collected by business man Akın Gökyay over 40 years take place is up to become  a meeting point for chess lovers and private organizations.


Gökyay who still owns the world’s biggest chess collection and recorded in 2012 edition of Guinness Records Book with 412 chess sets stated that he will again apply to Guinness by saying; “My collection now reached to 540 and this number is increasing daily. I will again apply to Guinness. I will not let anybody take my place.”


 “Our museum has a marvelous atmosphere. We are inviting everybody to our museum to take them to journeys to fantastic worlds. We are bringing a  breath of fresh air to museology” said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gökyay Foundation Akın Gökyay and made an assessment by saying, “Interest in our recently opened museum  is amazing. Countless names closely followed by the public are also amongst our visitors. The surprise our visitors feel after stepping inside the door and especially amusement in children’s smiles has proven to me that my efforts of years have not been wasted.  Our museum will be the address of chess lovers and colorful activities.” 



The first of its kind in Turkey and one of its rare examples in the world Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum is a product of a passion of a lifetime and is in Hamamönü which is one of the historical neighborhoods of the capital city. In the museum where a training center is placed under its structure, basic, medium and advanced level training courses will be held after the new year. Special chess courses will be given to 10+ and special groups at the weekends and during the week. Besides the training programs supported by Turkish Chess Federation, trainer courses will be amongst services which will be given to chess amateurs. Also chess lovers will have a chance to meet with Grand Masters with “Chess with Great Masters at Gökyay Chess Museum” workshops by January 2016. 


At the museum shop where an atelier is present for the kids to produce their own chess sets, surprises with chess theme and souvenirs are also present to infuse chess love to any people between 7 and 70. The museum built with an architecture suitable for disabled people is open to visits except for Mondays including weekends. Visitors from schools are accepted with appointment system. In the museum where the entrance is for free till January 1, 2016, a Gökyay Chess Club is planned to be established soon.



At the Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum organizations with special contents like in-company communication training, in-service training can be prepared. “Chess as a Game of Strategy” trainings and programs for motivation, creating team spirit, strategic thinking to middle and high level directors for especially business world can be organized.

In the museum, hosting various cultural activities in different concepts from exhibitions to concerts are also aimed.



Museum attracting attention by its “Historical Ankara House” concept, there is a cafe named ‘Chaturanga’.  ‘Chaturanga Cafe’ which takes its name from chess’ first name taken from the first written materials of chess found in India, offers a home comfort besides its magical atmosphere. Besides playing chess with fresh coffee smell, brunch organizations and enjoyable bakes can be organized at Chaturanga where you can also read books.



The process which turned chess into a passion for Akın Gökyay, starts in a business trip in 1975. Desiring to buy a chess set at the showcase, Gökyay waits for 3 days in Milano to fulfill his desire. After obtaining this chess set which is considered as the first step of his journey from hobby to passion, Gökyay reserves some of his time of his journeys to collect chess sets known as the most ancient wisdom game. Succeeding in entering into Guinness Records Book with his 412 chess sets in 2012, he gets registered as the collector of the world’s biggest chess sets. Gokyay’s passion and enthusiasm started in 1975 is now transformed into the biggest chess set of the World with 540 pieces from 103 countries collected in 40 years from 6 mainland. 



Gökyay, in his age of 75 still continues to increase the number of his chess collection that is like a treasure reaching to 4 million TL via his journeys. Cast chess sets made of metals, stones, woods, minerals, fishbone, marbles, soapstone, felts, crystals, glasses, marble dusts of their countries of origin and polyester mixed marble dust reflects the culture of their countries of origin. Amongst the chess sets brought to Turkey by plain or mostly by ships to avoid damage, there are sets which can attract the attention of everyone.


From September 11 to Çanakkale victory, from chess set bought from Kazakhstan that is describing the leaving of Ergenekon of Turks to colorful handmade chess sets carrying local features bought from many countries in Africa like Tanzania Kenya, Mozambique and Republic of South Africa, from rare replicas of chess sets whose originals are exhibited at Topkapı Palace and which have been played by Sultans to chess sets which are the miniature of the gambling machines bought from Las Vegas from chess sets made up of the characters of Harry Potter, Smurfs, Red Kit and Lord of the Rings to chess sets of presidents of countries, from chess sets with war themes of Ottomans’ and Seljuk’s’ ages to chess set consisting the biggest piece of the collection bought from Karlsbda (Karlovy Vary) famous for the spa where Atatürk received treatment; countless chess sets telling different stories are awaiting for the visitors.



Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gökyay Foundation Akın Gökyay said that they established the foundation to make chess sport and culture meet with more people and contribute to its dissemination amongst youngsters.

“ Chess is a game of strategy which means to think analytically. The people  who can think analytically and who can have a good strategy can plan today and tomorrow in a right way. I especially recommend to young people, politicians, business man to learn chess. Because chess is the key to success” said Gökyay and added:  “We established Gökyay Chess Sports and Culture Foundation to make this qualified game be reached by more people. Our target is to make this sport which enables multi-dimensional thinking popular amongst youngsters and be accepted as an instrument reflecting the culture and history of countries. Chess contributes to world peace by bringing nationalities close together and enabling cultural amalgamation.  Chess is more of a peace game than symbolizing the war. Peace is desired the most in our country and in the world. A chess table makes people from far and wide come together around a table and facilitates their communication and understanding of each other. We must make our youngsters from east to west meet chess and we must unite them with the symbol of peace. I really care for young people’s learning chess for healthy generations” 

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