Amazing chess art

by admin on October 29, 2007

One of the fun things about lecturing for ChessLecture is the feedback I get from listeners. One of my fans is Carina Jørgensen, who also has posted a couple of comments here. She is an art student in Denmark and a rapidly improving chess player. She played a lot of chess up until age 14, when she was one of the country’s best junior players. Then she gave up chess for six years, but she has recently returned to it and has gotten her rating over 1900. She is now hoping to make the Danish women’s team! Go, Carina!

The reason I mention all this is that Carina has an art site, www.carlinart.net, which has some really cool chess-themed art. Here are four chess queens (two black, two white), brought to life:

(blank space inserted deliberately to keep the sidebar from covering up the art)

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(don’t give up, you’re almost there)

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You don’t want to mess around with this black queen!

La belle dame sans merci…

Newly promoted from life as a pawn, this black queen is ready for some action.

This white queen looks innocent, but who knows what thoughts lurk behind blue eyes?

I love how these pictures are seductive yet powerful, very appropriate for chess queens. Carina thought that the four queens would make an appropriate illustration for a game I played against grandmaster Gregory Serper, and lectured on for ChessLecture:

Serper vs. Mackenzie (after 22. a4)

In this position I played the cheeky move 22. … d3!? If Serper had chosen to play 23. a5 (certainly the most obvious move), then best play for both sides goes 23. … Rc2! 24. Qb7 Qd6 25. a6 d2 26. a7 d1Q (threatening mate after 27. … Qxf1+) 27. a8Q+ Nf8, arriving at the following amazing position:

 

Serper vs. Mackenzie (analysis)

This would have been the first time in my entire chess career that I would have reached a four-queen position, and against a grandmaster, no less! However, Serper didn’t want any part of this variation, and instead chose to play 23. Qc3. The game was eventually drawn.

Getting back to the main topic, Carina finds it fascinating to illustrate the chess pieces as flesh-and-blood figures. I would love to see some epic battles from chess history illustrated with evocative pictures like these. I think it would help convey to non-chess players the intensity and the rich drama of the game.

I hope to see more of Carina’s spectacular chess art soon!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carina J. October 29, 2007 at 11:37 am

Oh, I’ve just updated the site with a Bishop today!

I should do a Knight tomorrow, lately I’ve been drawing too little and studying too much, which really messes up the thinking.

It’s a good idea to actually illustrate battles in elaborate style (instead of just the concept cartoon style), but I think I have to make a kind of profile pic for each of the pieces, to decide how they would look (also, it would be a huge challenge for me and likely very time consuming, so I don’t think it’ll happen within a year).

It’s amazing how deep a subject chess is for art, there’s just unlimited scenarios to illustrate. There’s the obvious character possibilities, like drawing the Queens above, but also far more interesting ones, like the interaction between the pieces, which is kind of funny how it bears resemblance to the real world. For example, I love how the Queen and the Knight work well together on the board, it’s so typical of women to be fond of horses.. hahah. 😀

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