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Marcel Duchamp
Photograph courtesy of Real Clear Arts 
Number of games in database: 80
Years covered: 1922 to 1961

Overall record: +21 -43 =16 (36.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (8) 
    E20 E43
 Queen's Gambit Declined (6) 
    D37 D38
 English (4) 
    A15 A13
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (7) 
    B13 B12 B18 B16
 Queen's Indian (7) 
    E12 E16 E19 E17
 Alekhine's Defense (6) 
    B02 B03
 Nimzo Indian (5) 
    E21 E23 E46 E34 E24
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Koltanowski vs Duchamp, 1929 0-1
   Duchamp vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1931 1/2-1/2
   Opocensky vs Duchamp, 1933 1/2-1/2
   Duchamp vs J Rejfir, 1930 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Marcel Duchamp
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(born Jul-28-1887, died Oct-02-1968, 81 years old) France

[what is this?]
(Henri Robert) Marcel Duchamp was born in Blainville-Crevon in Normandy. As early as 1902 Duchamp was painting in the garden of the family home. A pioneer of Dadaism and Surrealism, Duchamp was equally passionate about chess. In 1923 he concentrated on playing and his strength became master class. He played in the French Championships and also in the Olympiads 1928-1933.

In 1925 he had his chances to become champion of France. He started well in the tournament, but blundered in a winning position against the eventual victor Robert Crepeaux, and then, perhaps deflated, lost to Casier. Duchamp ended up sixth.

Wikipedia article: Marcel Duchamp

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 80  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Duchamp vs Mario Schroeder  0-1411922Marshall CC - Brooklyn CC mD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Duchamp vs Colle 1-0321923BrusselsA53 Old Indian
3. Duchamp vs Koltanowski  0-1301923BrusselsD85 Grunfeld
4. J Kleczynski Jr vs Duchamp 0-1391924ParisB03 Alekhine's Defense
5. K Vanek vs Duchamp  1-0231924Paris f-BB02 Alekhine's Defense
6. M Romi vs Duchamp  1-0291924Paris, finaleB03 Alekhine's Defense
7. Duchamp vs E Steiner 0-1291924Paris f-BA15 English
8. Duchamp vs G Davidescu 0-1541924Paris prel-7A15 English
9. V Fernandez Coria vs Duchamp  ½-½251924Paris f-BD02 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Duchamp vs V Kahn  0-1431924Paris prel-7A38 English, Symmetrical
11. Duchamp vs V Marin y Llovet  ½-½321924Paris f-BA13 English
12. Duchamp vs K Rozic 1-0241924Paris f-BA15 English
13. A Chepurnov vs Duchamp 1-0231924Paris prel-7B02 Alekhine's Defense
14. A Rueb vs Duchamp  0-1421924Paris prel-7B02 Alekhine's Defense
15. Duchamp vs C W Brown 1-0291924Paris f-BA04 Reti Opening
16. S F Smith vs Duchamp  0-1851924Paris f-BB03 Alekhine's Defense
17. Edmond Michel vs Duchamp 0-1361924FRA-chB30 Sicilian
18. Duchamp vs H Bertrand  1-0301925FRA-chD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Duchamp vs R Crepeaux 0-1361925FRA-chA52 Budapest Gambit
20. Weenink vs Duchamp ½-½291928OlympiadB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
21. H Mueller vs Duchamp 1-0101928Den Haag olA28 English
22. Colle vs Duchamp 1-0371929ParisD05 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Duchamp vs L Szwarcman ½-½131929ParisD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Duchamp vs F Lazard 0-1451929ParisE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
25. Duchamp vs Znosko-Borovsky 0-1191929ParisE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 80  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Duchamp wins | Duchamp loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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  WannaBe: <OCF> I do it 8-5 everyday!
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  OhioChessFan: "The entire world of art has reached such a low level, it has been commercialized to such a degree that art and everything related to it has become one of the most trivial activities of our epoch."
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "My stay in Munich was the scene of my complete liberation."
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  OhioChessFan: "Gravity is not controlled physically in us by one of the 5 ordinary senses. We always reduce a gravity experience to an autocognizance, real or imagined, registered inside us in the region of the stomach."
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  OhioChessFan: "I don't believe in art. I believe in artists."
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  Domdaniel: <Ohio> -- < Per <Dom> and the Duchamp fans, I think one thing he has going for him is that he's always interesting. It's an amazingly rare trait.>

You mean Duchamp, or me?

You're right in either case...

Nov-04-16  flightsquare: Would love to see a Duchamp, Samuel Beckett game here, although I understand they were all blowouts
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <flightsquare> Beckett - a good player - said that his games with Duchamp were the most stimulating of his life. Sadly, no records of their games survive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <OCF: Per <Dom> and the Duchamp fans, I think one thing he has going for him is that he's always interesting. It's an amazingly rare trait.>

<Dom: You mean Duchamp, or me? >

Both, of course.


“As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.”

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Ohio> That sounds like a song - maybe a ballad by Nick Cave...

"Language is just no good,
Language is no damn good ...

I use it because I must,
But it never really wins my trust,
Language is no damn good..."

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I agreed with the last Duchamp quote yesterday, disagree today, but found it interesting both days.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art - and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position."
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "In French, there is an old expression, la patte, meaning the artist's touch, his personal style, his 'paw'. I wanted to get away from la patte and from all that retinal painting."
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: There is a Copa Marcel Duchamp currently underway in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "Living is more a question of what one spends than what one makes."
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: La sonate-
Aug-28-17  Rose Selavy: <Dom> The late wife of Marcel Duchamp, Teeny Duchamp said (after Duchamp's death) that he had never played against Beckett... Beckett's biographers say they have ... I guess we'll never know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "A game of chess is a visual and plastic thing, and if it isn't geometric in the static sense of the word, it is mechanical, since it moves. It's a drawing; it's a mechanical reality."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Rose Selavy> - To be honest, I don't fully trust *either* set of biographers/scholars where chess is concerned. This makes sense, of course - they have presumably spent years studying art and/or literature, with little time to delve deeply into chess. The exception is FM Allan Savage, who posts here as Duchamp 64, has published on Duchamp, and who clearly knows chess.

I once discussed Beckett's play 'Endgame' with a leading Beckett scholar, well aware of the role played by chess. But it transpired that he thought the 'endgame' was just the final moves of any game, whether a mating combination or a pawn promotion. When I explained the normal chess meaning of 'endgame' he was surprised.

Similarly, I've read articles on Duchamp that had little feeling for his interest in chess.

You may be right, though, that we'll never know whether Duchamp and Beckett played. Although one can dream... a few years ago, a friend of mine bought a car which had been owned by Sam, complete with Beckettian ash in the ashtray. Is it too much to hope that some other relic might reveal the score of a chess game?

Incidentally, aren't there two R's in Rrose Selavy?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Re. Wikipedia: <During this period his fascination with chess so distressed his first wife that she glued his <pieces> to the board.>

At first blush, I thought it said <penis>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Belfast News-Letter, February 9th 1928, p.10:

<The tournament at Hyeres has just concluded in a triple tie for first prize, the leaders being J. J. O'Hanlon (Ireland), V. Halberstadt (Russia), and M. Duchamp (France). The three will jointly hold the Philidor Challenge Cup for 1928. In the final round O'Hanlon lost to Duchamp through accidentally touching a pawn, which his opponent insisted upon his moving. A draw in this round would have made the Ulster player a clear first.>

Oct-08-17  JimNorCal: I read recently about Duchamp’s scientific ventures into visuals created by spinning disks. His work had real scientific value.

I was amazed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Jim> Yeah, Rotoreliefs. I saw a set of them at an art exhibition about ten years ago.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Duchamp's biographer, Calvin Tomkins, wrote that Duchamp wanted to show that, at least in chess terms, the artistic mentality could match the scientific engineering mentality which was dominant in chess.

Unfortunately, wrote Tomkins, "The Memory Boys were tougher".

Great line. I love that idea - Marcel vs the Memory Boys.

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