Chess Day at the Dali: Sold Out Simuls and Hula Chess

On March 29th, US Chess partnered with the Dalí Museum for Chess Day, a celebration of art, chess and community at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I arrived in St. Pete’s the night prior, still buzzing from the historic victory of Fabiano Caruana at the Candidates.

Jen Shahade with a “Fabi Wins” T-Shirt printed at the Saint Louis Chess Club minutes after Caruana’s victory.

Chess Day kicked off with a talk I prepared on the overlap between Marcel Duchamp’s art and chess careers, inspired by the current show on display, Duchamp/Dalí.

In her introduction to Jen’s Dalí/Duchamp talk, ED Carol Meyer talked about what an exciting time this is for US Chess, as Chess Day took place right after Fabiano Caruana’s big Berlin win.

In the talk, I showed a video art installation partly inspired by Duchamp, hulachess, which I created with my husband Daniel Meirom back in 2009.

Immediately after the presentation, I performed the piece with local hoop dancer and instructor, Abby Albaum, of Hoola Monsters. We even invited some audience members up to participate. 

Throughout the day, chess aficionados played casual games, with stunning photographs by David Llada on a loop in the background.

Local actor Colby Boothman of Jurassic World, also a chess enthusiast, came out for the day’s fun.

The evening program featured three 20-board simuls, hosted by me, local master and coach Corey Acor and 11-year-old Class A player Anthony Gospidnov.

Corey Acor

Jennifer Shahade, with nicely timed photo by David Llada

Anthony Gospidnov

Carol Meyer said that the event surpassed her expectations and that she was inspired by the atmosphere, “(It was) very visually appealing – people were smiling, laughing & talking”, and that the event was a good reminder that, “Chess doesn’t always have to be serious.”

US Chess thanks Yvonne Marullier of the Dali, as well as event partners Hilton Downtown and the City of St. Petersburg.

Comments

  1. I was lucky enough to make it to this event and it was totally sweet. Jennifer’s talk on Duchamp was enlightening and well attended even @ 10:30am on a work day. My little daughter, who I recently learned is not an art museum fan, was completely fascinated by hula chess. The Dali museum in St. Pete was a super cool venue, FIDE & Agon could learn a lot from the USCF…(fade into the shade;)

    I enjoyed the simul and was lucky enough to get to play Jen herself. My sister who was observing exclaimed to me “Man she moves fast!” Good times!

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