Marcel III


Can I ever get enough of Marcel Duchamp??

While never reaching the stratospheres of chess, and it wasn't for lack of effort, Duchamp, nevertheless, became a competent chess player. Some of his efforts included:

  •  French Championship at Nice, 1925
  •  French Championship at Chamonix, 1927
  •  Championship of Paris, 1927
  •  1928 Chess Olympiad at The Hague
  •  French Championship at Paris, 1928
  •  Paris Team Cup, 1929
  •  International Master Tournament, Paris, 1929
  •  International Tournament, Nice 1930
  •  International Tournament, Paris 1930
  •  1930 Chess Olympiad at Hamburg 
  • 1933 5th Chess Olympiad at Folkestone
Duchamp at the 5th French Championship at Chamonix in 1927
Duchamp is 4th from left, standing in the background

 "His competitive play in Hyères, Paris, The Hague, Marseilles, Nice, Hamburg, Prague, La Baule and Folkstone occasionally resuted in what were, to Duchamp, gratuitous victories. In 1930, he played to a draw with the American champion, Frank Marshall, and in 1932, he won the Paris chess competition. But Duchamp always insisted that winning was not the point. He wanted to get away from winning so that he could comprehend chess in the same way he had gotten away from painting, so that he would not fall into the trap of becoming an addict to the smell of turpentine. To be seduced by the act of art was tantamount to losing one's ability to comment intelligently about it." - Neil Baldwin, Man Ray, American Artist




 In Folkestone, England, where Duchamp played in his last major event, they are commemorating Marcel Duchamp with a project called, Zugzwang.

Duchamp Chess tables at Folkstone, England 

 "The project in Folkestone was a series of six tables and twelve benches to commemorate that it was here that Marcel Duchamp played his last major chess tournament, the 1933 Chess Olympiad. Each table represents one game he played; upon each top are three etched stainless steel plates:one for Duchamp and one for his opponent, on which their respective chess moves are displayed in chess notation; and a chess board upon which is etched the final position of the pieces at the end of the game. (Duchamp lost most of the games, which is perhaps why it was his last major tournament.) It's almost an inversion of a readymade. They were 'specially-mades' which strive for invisibility, rather than a readymade that becomes newly visible." - source