Saturday, January 17, 2009

From the "Black Square in the Lower Right Corner" Mafia

Chigorin playing Steinitz, probably in one of their world championship matches (1889 or 1892). From Tomi Lapid's house. Photo: A.P.

Another man who loved both chess and art was the late Tomi Lapid, in whose house this photo was taken. If any reader can recognize the (barely decipherable) position, or what specific game the scene below it is describing, I would appreciate it. It is possibly based on a photograph taken during one of their games -- probably one of their world championship matches, though possibly from one of the tournaments in which both participated. But it might be an imaginary scene.

Note how, despite the fact that the artist obviously knows quite a bit about chess, he painted the board with the lower right hand corner being dark. In this particular case it is surely artistic license, not ignorance (after all, most chess boards don't have gold-plated squares, either) but it goes to prove Tim Krabbe's conjecture that "people think it looks better that way".

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