2007/11/30

Chess, art and Duchamp

Well, I know you are much more interested in the Fide World Cup, but I’m not going to write anything about that in today’s post. “Chess is art” is often said by many lovers of our sport/game/activity. Marcel Duchamp truly believed in that and when he was (almost) at the end of his life he presented himself as "a chess player within the realm of art".
Duchamp was a French artist, born in 1887, whose work and ideas had considerable influence on the development of post-World War II Western art. In 1918 Duchamp left his work on the Large Glass and the art scene, and went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for nine months, where he often played chess, and carved from wood the only chess set he himself made. He returned to Paris in 1919, where he lived until he returned to the United States in 1920. By the time he moved to Paris in 1923 he was no longer a practicing artist. Instead he played and studied chess, which he played for the rest of his life (he dead on October 2, 1968) to the near exclusion of all other activity. Duchamp's obsessive fascination with chess can be traced back much earlier to the themes of his major art pieces. The most immediately obvious of these is the chess position known as "trébuchet" (the trap), which gave its title to the Readymade of 1917: a coat rack with four hooks, which is nailed to the floor, hooks uppermost.
The screening of the film "Jeu d'echecs avec Marcel Duchamp" (“A game of chess with Marcel Duchamp”), a documentary by Jean-Marie Drot, was the main point of interest of an event – called “Scaccomatto” (“Checkmate”) - which took place right yesterday in Bergamo's Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (Bergamo is my home town). You can find the film on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SXyMAkZu1M (part 1 of 7) and it’s worth a look if you have some spare time in your week end. A double simul was given by two masters of Excelsior Chess Club, Paolo Mora and 15 y.o. Alessio Valsecchi, after the film: they played against (about) 30 opponents, but many more people watched the documentary (more than 150, I think). Does this mean that culture can help chess? I don’t know, but I hope events like that will be organized in Bergamo, in Italy and in the whole planet again :-)
And now here are some photos from the simul, a couple of famous photos with Duchamp playing chess (?!) and a couple of notable games played by the French artist.

Marcel Duchamp, a chess lover (photo by Max Ernst)


A... "naked" game: Eve Babitz
and Marcel Duchamp playing chess (Julian Wasser, 1963)


15 y.o. master Alessio Valsecchi in action


Excelsior club's [former?! :-)]
chess star: master Paolo Mora


Mora in action again


A panoramic view (more
or less...) of the simul


Koltanowski,Georges - Duchamp,Marcel [A50], Paris 1929
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 b6 5. f4 Bb7 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. Nf3 e5 8. d5 g6 9. 0–0 exf4 10. Bxf4 Bg7 11. e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 0–0 13. Qd2 Nxd5 14. Nxd7 Nxf4 15. Nxf8 Bd4+ 0–1

Marshall,Frank James - Duchamp,Marcel [D55], Hamburg (Olympiads) 1930
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.c4 e6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 Bb7 6.Qc2 d5 7.e3 0–0 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Bd3 h6 12.a3 c5 13.dxc5 Rc8 14.b4 bxc5 15.Rc1 Nd7 16.Ba6 Rc7 17.e4 Bb7 18.Bxb7 Rxb7 19.bxc5 Qxc5 20.0–0 Qxc2 21.Rxc2 Kf8 22.Rfc1 Ke7 23.Nd4 Ke8 24.f4 Rab8 25.e5 Nf8 26.Rc5 Rb1 27.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 28.Kf2 Rb7 29.Rc8+ Ke7 30.Ra8 Ng6 31.g3 Kd7 32.a4 Ne7 33.Nb5 Nc8 34.g4 Rxb5 35.axb5 Kc7 36.g5 hxg5 37.b6+ Kb7 38.Rxc8 Kxc8 0.5-0.5

55 comments:

BAM said...

What about talking about Fabiano Caruana who has just won the italian chess championship? come on mida..

Chess Teacher said...

I like the photo of Marcel Duchamp. It looks like he is not only loving chess, but enjoying life as well. Such a nice picture with the chess board on the foreground.

katar said...

yes, nice picture with the board in the foreground. pity that the board is rotated 90 degrees. (white square in lower left corner)

barb michelen said...
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CresceNet said...
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Alessandro Balossini said...

Marcel the best :)
Happy new year!

Theo said...

Mida, where are you!?!?! :O
Long time no new article from you...

Happy 2008 and hope to see new chess articles again soon! ;-)

greets,
Theo

Anonymous said...

Mida, you still alive!?!? :O

is this blog dead?

greetings,
Theo

TV de LCD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chess addict said...

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economic recession said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
free said...

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wink b said...

Lovely post. The connection between art and chess is clearly tangent and Duchamp was a champion for both. On a personal note, he is also probably my favorite sculptor!

ElroyTLanphear said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
奇異果 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
如此的 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
新車 said...

first catch your hare, then cook him. ..................................................

佩璇佩璇 said...

成功等於目前,其他都是這句話的註解。........................................

楊怡均 said...

留言支持好作品~加油!期待進步和更新 ....................................................

PhilCrispin0626清民 said...

心中有愛,才會人見人愛。......................................................

昱宏 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

韋成韋成 said...

Very good stories~~ Thanks for ur sharing~~!! ........................................

80808waldod_brogden said...

A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody. ....................................................

冠慧 said...

文章是心情的反應~~祝妳天天寫的都是讓人開心的好文章哦!! ........................................

韋于倫成 said...

很棒的分享~如有打擾之處,敬請原諒!........................................

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文佩齊華 said...

男女互悅,未必廝守終生,相愛就是美的。..................................................

Eunic毓燕eMatte0215 said...

the food is delicious!............................................................

estherme said...

行動養成習慣,習慣培養人格,人格影響命運..............................

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千TatianaCallan惠 said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容................................................................

許紀廷 said...

人因夢想而偉大,要堅持自己的理想哦......................................................................

恩如 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。.................................................................

青卉青卉 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

星美星美 said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。.................................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

支持你就對了!..................................................................

ju吳phe宇te佳ns said...

要照顧身體歐~保重..................................................................

竹青 said...

這個時代,不缺乏感傷,但缺乏反思~~希望能多看到值得思考的文章!............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

Practice makes perfect.............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人............................................................

梁淑娟梁淑娟 said...

Nothing comes from nothing.............................................................

林柏毅林柏毅 said...

Fancy may kill or cure...................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

far from eye, far from heart...................................................

琬安琬安 said...

永遠不要躊躇伸出你的手。也永遠不要躊躇接受別人伸出的手。.................................................................

童祖如童祖如 said...

吃飽了嗎?~~~還沒下班,好餓哦............................................................

嘉王偉 said...

Knowledge is power................................................

施以王雅玲音 said...

時間就是塑造生命的材料。

建邱勳 said...

做些小善事,說些愛的字句,世界更快樂。..................................................

偉曹琬 said...

弱者困於環境,智者利用環境~~加油!............................................................

bruce2832 said...

唯有用熱情、用智慧去觀察事物,這事物才會把他的秘密,洩漏給我們......................................................................

思韓韓韓穎 said...

好看耶~一定每天有空給你支持..................................................

孫邦柔 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼......................................... ........................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

好文章就值得回響,如果可以常常看到您的更新,應該是件很幸福的事情~~...............................................................

洪勳劉耀德劉耀德華 said...

人生匆匆-把握當下,支持鼓勵~事事如意~..................................................