1.e4 c5 2.Cf3 Cc6 3.Cc3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Cxd4 g6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Be3 Cf6 9.f3 0-0 10.Dd2 Da5 11.Cb3 Dc7 12.Bxc6 bxBc6 13.Bh6 c5 14.BxBg7 RxBg7 15.Tb1 a5 16.Cc1 a4 17.b3 Tfb8 18.C1e2 axb3 19.cxb3 Ta3 20.Tfd1 Da5 21.Db2 Bc8 22.Cf4 Be6 23.Td2 Tb4 24.Cd3 T4xb3 25.axTb3 Txb3 26.DxTb3 BxDb3 27.TxBb3 c4 28.Ta2 Dc7 29.T3b2 cxCd3 30.Cd1 Cd7 31.Td2 Dc5+ 32.Cf2 De3 33.h3 Cc5 34.Rh1 f5 35.exf5 gxf5 36.f4 e5 (0-1)

Edmond Michel / Marcel Duchamp (II Campeonato Nacional de França / Estrasburgo 1924)


w1siziisije0mjc5mcjdlfsiccisimnvbnzlcnqilcitcmvzaxplidiwmdb4mjawmfx1mdazzsjdxqJacques Villon . The Game of Chess (1904)

“In a 1904 etching by Jacques Villon, Marcel and his younger sister Suzanne are also shown playing chess. Four years prior to the etching, at the age of thirteen, Marcel was taught to play chess by his brothers. This was the same year they also began teaching him to paint, the ironic coincidence of wich has been noted by numerous biographers.”

Bradley Bailey in Passionate Pastimes (Readymade Press, 2009)


hfhfKatherine S. Dreier . Abstract Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (1918)

“As for chess? Great, Great! I played a lot in simultaneous matches that Marshall held, playing on 12 boards at a time. And I won my match 2 times. I’ve made enormous progress and I work like a slave. Not that I have any chance of becoming champion of France, but I will have the pleasure of being able to play almost any player, in a year or two. Naturally this is the part of my life that I enjoy most. This winter I will be on Marshall’s team (his 8 best players) against the other N.Y. teams. Just as I had already done last winter – but this time I’m hoping to win a few games (wich I didn’t then) – I am crazy about it.”

M. Duchamp to Jean Crotti and Suzanne Duchamp, October 20, 1920 (Selected Correspondence)


imagem1Marcel Duchamp . Chess Pieces (1918-19)

“I’m playing chess in a big way. I’m a member of the Club here where there are some very good players ranked according to their standard. I haven’t had the honor of being ranked yet and play with various players in Categories 2 and 3, losing and winning every now and then. I’m taking chess lessons with the best player in the club who is a wonderful teacher and makes me make ‘theoretical’ progress. So I’ve been thinking that after I return to France I could play by cable with Walter.”

M. Duchamp to Louise and Walter Arensberg, end-March 1919 (Selected Correspondence)


bw2Marcel Duchamp . Designs for Chessmen / Arensberg Chess Score (Buenos Aires, 1918)

“Duchamp’s passion for chess increased during his stay in South America. In a letter to Louise Arensberg from Buenos Aires dated January 7, 1919, he wrote: I have had a set of rubber stamps made (designed by me) wich I use to record games. A couple of months later, in a letter to Mrs. Arensberg and her husband Walter dated end March 1919 (also from Buenos Aires), he used the rubber stamps to indicate the firts moves of a chess game. The same stamps came into use when he sent a chess score to his friend Pierre de Massot in Paris, recording an endgame problem (Black: Lopez Martiny). The size of the sheet is 4 1/2 x 6 11/16” (10.5 x 17 cm), an indication that the designs were very small in scale. He seems to have had a stamp made for the chessboard as well.”

Arturo Schwarz in The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp (Delano Greenidge, 1997)



“The plight of the chess master is much more difficult though – much more depressing. An artist knows that maybe someday there’ll be recognition and monetary reward but for the chessmaster there is little public recognition and absolutely no hope of supporting himself by his endeavors. If Bobby Fischer came to me for advice, I certainly would not discourage him – as if anyone could – but I would try to make it positively clear that he will never have any money from chess, live a monk-like existence and know more rejection than any artist ever has, struggling to be known and accepted.”

Marcel Duchamp