Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Half-baked Chess

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A link from my friend Kat Kinsman of Slashfood fame. From the artist's site:

I'm exploring the ideas of food and play. Playing with your food should be encouraged. Here, I replaced the plastic checkers pieces with cream filled ginger cookies and chocolate cookies, and used custom-made cookie cutters to produce an edible chess set. When a player takes the opponent's piece, or cookie in this case, it can be eaten. There is an accompanying glass of milk on the side. The checkerboard pattern is silkscreened on the table cloth.

Site has pics of people playing and recipes! Just what I need. I suppose this might be slightly less unhealthy than the sets with all the pieces full of alcohol, if less fun.


This is childish.

Childlike is more like it. Looks like something fun to do with the kids.

The cookies look good. Maybe I can convince my wife to make some...

I guess suicide chess would have a more attractive setting here...CHOMP!

Actually I'm inclined to put a more serious gloss on this. Upon reading the introductory paragraph above, my first association was to the "Boards on Fire" exhibition that was written up in Chess Life about two years ago.

That performance-art/chess-competition/art-exhibition, held in a New York space near Grand Central (and later in a couple of other cities, I think), involved a formal (though not rated, obviously) chess "tournament" of several rounds, in which all the sets were made out of wax candles with wicks. All pieces were lit as each game started, and whenever a piece burned completely down, it was removed from the board just as if captured.

A well known artist was behind this, and many well-known chess personalities took part in the "tournament" (J. Shahade and E. Vicary immediately come to mind; maybe Charbonneau too).

I found it fascinating because it struck me as the first true "chess art" I had ever seen in 40 years. Permit me to explain.

Everything else I've ever seen that's labeled "chess art" or "art and chess" or "art in chess," consists of either paintings or other art depicting chess-related scenes, or turning chess pieces and/or chessboard into (STATIC) art objects. As far as I'm concerned, such creations are all art and no chess. That is, the chess game itself is not an element of such art at all; it's simply art that uses chess images as its subject. (Exception: there was at least one artist who incorporated actual chess problems into his paintings or collages. Some of his works appeared on the covers of books in Alburt and Palatnik's Comprehensive Chess Course series.)

"Boards on Fire," in contrast, was art truly intermingled with chess - and in ways that forced participants and spectators to re-evaluate the meaning of chess, its rules, and the gestalt involved when playing it. As the Chess Life writer pointed out: When does a knight stop being a knight? Do chess pieces have natural, finite lives, the way human soldiers do - able to be killed (captured) not only by enemy action, but by "natural causes"? The idea of fluidity, unpredictability, of the elements (pieces) you're working with when conducting a chess game, is very pregnant with meaning and insights. At least, I experienced it that way.

I'm not suggesting that chess played with burning candles should become a new and widely played variant, like, say, 960. I'm saying I appreciated that unique "tournament"/exibition/performance as an art form that - unlike any other so-called chess art I'd seen before or since - truly interpenetrated with chess at a deep level.

Bottom line: I see similar potential for chess with edible pieces.

So, were extra promotion pieces made? And if a piece is promoted is the pawn eaten to be replaced with a Queen cookie?

I foresee games with many desperado moves and as many desperado promotions as possible. :D

I think I'd prefer them to be made out of chocolate, but still... what happens when you want a rematch?!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 7, 2009 1:58 PM.

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