Human Chess - Nakamura v Finegold - Photos Sean Trani

Photos by Sean Trani

Human chess! So fortunately the weather held up today in Saint Louis and the rest day activity went ahead as planned with a human chess game played out on a large board with the street blocked off. GM Nakamura vs GM Ben Feingold. Nakamura had the white pieces featuring a St. Louis Hockey star Cam Jansen and club founder Rex Sinquefield, as the white King of course.  There were a couple other celebs who I forget already but it was fun stuff. 

The event opened up with some Opera! Very beautifully sang by one of the St. Louis Opera stars. Then the game began with a really crazy Alekhine. I don't have the game, but it was wild. I set next to GM Kamsky and Krush for a bit and Irina told me how hard it was to play these games because the hole set up is so surreal and it's more like playing blindfold chess. 

There were murmurings of the game being pre-scripted which I have mixed feelings about, especially the fact that Feingold lost on checkmate via a pinned piece after a rook sac. But no matter it was fun, a lot of fun in fact, Nakamura and Finegold tossed one liners back and forth and it was fun to see the 2 new Saint Louis GM's go at it on massive lifeguard style chairs. 

The human board was hand made with sticky tiles and carpet backing so it could be both portable and stable for the kids and players.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, I just ran down from my office down the street and had nothing but my phone. Anyhoo, enjoy!  


Finegold! Put up a valiant fight? Or did he take a dive! 

Below, Nakamura heads to his perch. 

Players and captured pieces! 


IM Krush hanging out and enjoying the show. 

GM Gata Kamsky was laughing a lot and seemed to really enjoy the opera and the fun of the whole thing. He was sporting a Yankee cap for those who care. 


  • 5 years ago


    GM Hikaru Nakamura beat GM Ben Finegold, 1-0

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    Yes, who won?

  • 6 years ago


    lol i want to be a king!! or a queen

  • 6 years ago


    LOL @ Pavvn.


    I just got a mental image of chess as human Battle Chess--we have MMA experts duking it out for each square. ;) Or do a human version of Archon where the winner of the fight gets the square.


    In any case, it looks like a great deal of fun was had by all. It'd be fun to set something up like that here, but Phoenix is supposed to be punching 110F by this weekend, so this sort of thing isn't possible here this time of year.

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    GM Nakamura looks really funny....:)

  • 6 years ago


    I'm unimpressed. I'm spoiled by the Renaissance fair's human chess. It is most certainly scripted, but on the other hand the pieces actually fight when they meet.

  • 6 years ago



  • 6 years ago


    its not really good ...... it should not have like this ......... they should were as dress as they are in the chess board.......

  • 6 years ago


    cool :)

  • 6 years ago


    The pieces should just duke it out

  • 6 years ago


    I would sac anyone I didn't like!

  • 6 years ago


    If you could post the game (if you know it) it would be awesome Sealed

  • 6 years ago


    who won?.....

  • 6 years ago


    lol aj415, my thought exactly Laughing

  • 6 years ago


    This seems way too complicated with people holding up the pieces way above the chessboard. You can hardly see the position not to mention being able to see which square each piece is on with the people who can't even hold them up vertically.

  • 6 years ago


    The redhead behind Krush is fiery hot

  • 6 years ago

    IM dpruess

    nice! thanks, Sean!

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