#064 – A Chess Mass
Today is the day I commit opus #64, and I can’t avoid linking this number to another of my passions, which takes place on a 64 cells board: Chess!
I dig out in the archive of the most beautiful games and moves ever played, and find this delightful game won by American chess champion Frank Marshall, played back in 1912 in the city of Breslau, in the sweet and sour atmosphere preceding WWI.
Marshall faced another great player of the times, the national Russian chess champion Stepan Levinsky, in what was to become one of the most beautiful move of all times, in a game then known as The Gold Coin Game. Legend has it that after Marshall’s winning last move of the game, gold coins were tossed onto the board by spectators.
Marshall has the Black and plays a Sicilian Defence. Here is the game after White’s move 23:
Then Black plays the exquisite Qg3!!! With this apparent sacrifice, the Queen can be captured in 3 different ways, however all of them lead to a lethal end for the white king.
This exercise on 64 squares is also a nice opportunity for me to play with my new toy app on iPhone, PRISMA, a marvellous piece of software that makes all other photo filters from Facebook, Hipstamatic and Instagram look really lame. Taking a screenshot of the chess game’s board, I apply the mosaic filter, and here is what I get:
This triggers a whole chain of ideas that I let go until I eventually express my faith in the infinite entertainment of chess.