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.