棋宮棋
Chess Palace’s CheckmateS
(ჭადრაკის სასახლის შამათის)

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    展覽及發表 Exhibition & presentation:

    二零一七年五月,<蘇維埃石屎>展覽及講座,艺鵠,香港 | May 2017, ‘Buildings of the Big Brother’ exhibition and talk, ACO, Hong Kong

    20-30 July 2016, ’8×8. The Future that Never Happened’, Tbilisi Chess Palace and Alpine Club, Tbilisi, Georgia

    28 June 2016, Vere Park outside Tbilisi Chess Palace, Tbilisi, Georgia

     

    為格魯吉亞第比利斯棋宮而製的棋

    A board game dedicated to Chess Palace, Tbilisi, Georgia

     

    0_cover

    chess_compareThe eight stakeholders of Tbilisi Chess Palace and the eight camps of the game

    PrintGame instruction (click to enlarge)

    4_exhibition‘Chess Palace’s CheckmateS’ presented in Veterans Club Room in Tbilisi Chess Palace

    9Game play at Vere Park outside Tbilisi Chess Palace

     

    ‘Chess Palace’s CheckmateS’ is a 4-to-8-player board game modified from chess.  The game illuminates the architecture and transformation of Tbilisi Chess Palace in Georgia, a Soviet-era building in the 70s dedicated to chess.  It depicts the apparent issues of the deterioration of Soviet modernist architecture and the rapid privatisation and commercialisation in Tbilisi and across the post-Soviet cities.  The game is derived from a series of architectural, spacial and historical research in the building.

     

    Background


    Chess Palace_DG03_Web

    棋宮原貌 | Tbilisi Chess Palace in 1970s (www.geoair.ge/project/tbilisi-chess-palace)

    1棋宮現貌 | Tbilisi Chess Palace now

    Tbilisi Chess Palace (officially Tbilisi Chess Palace and Alpine Club) in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, was opened in 1973.  It is named after Nona Gaprindashvili, the first female Grandmaster from the country.  The building is a typical (late) Soviet modernist architecture situated in Vere Park in downtown Tbilisi.  The Chess Palace is home to the Chess Federation, the Chess Academy and the European Chess Union of the country. The building was intended for public use.

    After Georgia gained its independence in 1991, the building has been quickly privatised for miscellaneous usages, some of which are irrelevant to chess.  The current seven parties sharing the building are the Chess Federation, the Chess Academy, the European Chess Union, the Alpine Club, a billiards club, a restaurant and a beauty salon.  Its historical architecture has been distorted or even destroyed by these parties for their individual purposes, which is unfortunately common in historical buildings across Georgia.  In addition, access for the public has become largely restricted.

     

    Research

    The research of Tbilisi Chess Palace is from architectural, spacial and historical perspectives through on-site investigation, documentation and archival research.

    Original maps and images of the Chess Palace are compared with the current situation of the building.  The transformations of the building are subsequently marked on the originals.  Exterior and interior of the building are recorded in photography and video.  The various patterns found in the building are documented to compare the old and the new.

    Certain parts of the terraces from where one can view the park are occupied by additional structures, which hinder movement within the Chess Palace.  The building in wood and stone with wood carved decoration popular in the 70s in Soviet Union are covered or destroyed by arbitrary modifications.  Many parts of the Chess Palace such as the tournament hall and the rooftop are worn out and left abandoned.

    IMG_2018空間研究 | Spacial research in Tbilisi Chess Palace

    PrintPatterns found in the building: on the left are the original patterns of the building and towards the right are the destructed and the new

     

    Game

    ‘Chess Palace’s CheckmateS’ is modified from chess, taking the following features of the Chess Palace into account:

    -       Shared by seven parties (some of which irrelevant to chess), each of which scrambles for more space in the building

    -       Public use is largely restricted

    -       Patterns of the building

    Inspired by multiplayer chess and the design of the chess pieces, ‘Chess Palace’s CheckmateS’ has an expanded chessboard with four zones, indicating first floor, second floor and upper floors of the Chess Palace and the park.  The patterns of the chessboard resonates the patterns found in the building.  There are altogether eight camps in the game: the seven parties sharing the Chess Palace and the public, whose right of using the supposedly public building has been taken.  The combinations and outlooks of the pieces of each camp are customised according to their activities and power in the building.  For example, the Chess Academy and the Alpine Club, the two original inhabitants of the building, have a more complete set of 10 pieces, whereas the public is entirely formed by pawns, the weakest piece in chess.

    The visual elements of the game reflect the architecture and current situation of the Chess Palace.  The complex dynamics – invasion, defence, occupation – among the different camps in the game becomes a metaphor of what is actually happening in the building.

    Chess Palace’s Chess was brought to Vere Park outside Tbilisi Chess Palace to engage the public and arouse public attention to the issues of the building.

     

    IMG_2009試玩 | Game test

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    IMG_6974_rr

    Display at ACO, Hong Kong, May 2017

     

    The project is twinned with ‘Chess House is MINE!’, a game based on research in The Chess House, Yerevan, Armenia.  It is under the framework of ‘The Tbilisi Chess Palace’ initiated by GeoAIR, Tbilisi, Georgia.

     

    資助 Supported by:

    香港藝術發展局 Hong Kong Arts Development Council

    香港民政事務局 Home Affairs Bureau, HKSAR

    GeoAIR