Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Chess Variants Competition 14th June 2014

I received this message from artist Nova Jiang today:

"My name is Nova. I'm an Kiwi artist currently based in Los Angeles. I'm showing a chess related art project at Enjoy Gallery in Wellington from June 11 to July 5th. We wanted to reach out to the Wellington Chess Club to see if your membership would be interested in participating in a slightly unusual chess tournament.

First a bit about the project. I took 8 regional chess variants and used them as a system for digitally generating game pieces that sculpturally convey their rules of movement and capture, as well as their relative power on the board. These pieces are then 3D printed. 

These variants include Thai Makruk/Cambodian Ouk Chatrang, Burmese Sittuyin, Mogolian Shatar, Chinese Xiangqi, Korean Jangqi, Japanese Shogi, as well as western chess and Shatrang, an ancestor of western chess popular in the Arabic world for centuries. 

Some of these variants are very similar to Western chess, but games like Xiangqi are more difficult for people who can't read the characters to play. Hopefully, since my game pieces are designed to reflect the rules, players unfamiliar with the games can pick them up more easily. I have a theory that people who are good at chess will be good at all these other variants as well, if only the barriers of language can be removed. 

The tournament I have in mind would involve players playing all 8 different games. I want to hold the tournament on June 14th, and I'm thinking of offering a prize of $250 NZD. The tournament will be free to the players."

Let me know if you want to take part!

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