hseCs – Final Version

by | Feb 24, 2016 | Artwork #2: Appropriate, Uncategorized

Materials: Chess Board, Chess Pieces

Optional: Paper and pencil to keep track of the movement sets.

Key: Basic Piece means a Pawn, Rook, Knight, or Bishop.

1. Set up the chess board as if you were going to play a standard game of Chess.
2. Black goes first.
3. Follow all the standard rules of chess unless stated otherwise.
4. If you are the first player to move a Basic Piece, then you can choose what Basic Piece rule set it follows. This holds true for both players.
5. Instead of moving a piece on your turn you way change the movement pattern of a Basic Piece to that of another Basic Piece.

NOTE: I realize now that my documentations looks like rambling. I should have used proper grid coordinates to talk about the moves.
1. Player A and B sit down. Both A and B understand Chess, but are not experts.
2. Player A opens by moving his Pawn as a Rook to the center of the board.
3. Player B captures the Pawn with his own Pawn.
4. Both players do this back and forth for a bit laughing at the novelty of it.
5. After several turns, B decides to move his Bishop as a Bishop to capture a pawn.
6. A moves a Pawn forward.
7. B says Pawns move like Knights.
8. A uses a Pawn to capture a Bishop.
9. B lowers his head in shame for not seeing the play.
10. B captures a Pawn with his Pawn.
11. A moves his Bishop to the halfway line.
12. B moves a Pawn in to range of capturing a Bishop.
13. A says Pawns move like Pawns.
14. B says Pawns move like Rooks.
15. A captures a Queen with his Pawn.
16. B realizes he is far worse at Chess then he thought.
17. A laughs and says it’s only because hseCs is so different.
18. B realizes he is in Check and says Knights move like Rooks and takes out the Pawn.
19. A takes out a Pawn with his Pawn.
20. B realizes he has had A in check since he made Pawns move like Rooks.
21. Both players realize they are idiots.
22. B wins.

Artist Statement
This was an idea I had kicking around in my brain for a while. Not this exact piece, but the core concept behind it. What I really wanted to do with this game was to create a version of a game that throws all preconceived notions on its head. A game in which a master could still find something shocking and novel. I eventually settled on Chess because it is a classical game. Everyone has played it at some point, and most understand how it works. This made it so that I didn’t have to teach the basic mechanics to players. I could strive solely for what I wanted.
During the first iteration of this game I had it so that all pieces could move like any piece. This lead to all pieces becoming Queens or Knights, and this was not the result I wanted. In my second iteration I decided to make it so that a Movement set could only be on one type of piece at a time. When I tested this, players were confused and had trouble keeping track. This was what lead me to compromise between the two and make the current rule set. While it might still need a bit of tweaking, for the most part I think it is quite engaging, and as can be seen in the documentation leads to quite some interesting games.
My biggest inspiration for this project was the concept of the fluxus movement. I liked the idea of constant change and uniqueness. Just like most of the fluxus pieces we looked at, each game of hseCs is novel. I was also inspired by Marcel Duchamp. Not by any of his pieces in particular (though I do love the idea of Portrait of Chess Players), but by his fascination with Chess. His fascination with the game was what made me think of it as a good base for my concept.