There is a minimalist variational elegance in the shapes of the pieces. In the simple binary pairs of white/black, light/shadow, win/lose. In the alternating turns. In the endless ontological or metaphysical narrative variation of beginning/ending. Life/death. In the relation of the pieces to the real world (castle, rook, knight, bishop, queen.) To dance, war, strategic intrigue, molecules, literature, music. A two-tone slow-motion soccer of the mind. How much is chess in the physical world and how much of it is in the imagination? Its richly unfolding patterns of play. The universe of chess unfolds on the universe/page/world/map/dimensionality of the chessboard.
When I think of chess, I can’t help thinking of Marcel Duchamp, Machiavelli, Heisenberg, Wittgenstein. Sherlock Holmes. Lao Tzu.
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