The Sinquefield Cup: Chess Drawings
26 May 2016
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Sinquefield Tournament Chess Drawings, 2015

Locker Room Culture (Strategy, Play, and Commentary in Sports and Art), Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, Fall River, MA; Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT



For this exhibition, I contributed a series of 10 drawings that recorded Fabiano Caruana's crushing victory of the 2014 Sinquefield Cup. This tournament was held in St. Louis and brought together the 10 strongest grandmasters in the world to compete.

At this time, I was undergoing a deep and revitalized interest in chess, as both a fan and player. As a fan, I was becoming more aware of the different approaches and chess systems utilized by players. These drawings explore the idea of 2 distinct opposing systems coming together to create a single game and, in this case, a single drawing. I created a unique system for each player in the Sinquefield Cup Tournament. The systems are sets of rules in which each movement of the chess pieces determined the direction and placement of each line and mark in the drawing.


These drawings are “event spaces” seen from each opposing player’s perspective. There is no designated top or bottom to the drawings. They are not intended to be displayed on the wall, but flat on a table like the way a chessboard sits. Throughout the tournament, Fabiano Caruana's system confronts each opposing system. This head-to-head collision of systems and events resulted in a unique set of drawings.


The gestural marks on the side of the game board are simply a record of how I prepared the ink or wash prior to the drawing action. These marks remain part of the “event space”, in the same way chess pieces are removed to the side of the board when captured, making the surrounding space a key part of the total aesthetic of a chess game.


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