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Play a Game of Chess With Marcel Duchamp's Ghost


An algorithmic phantom is waiting for you to sit opposite him.

Whoever desires one is invited to a historic duel across the 64 squares of a virtual chessboard. But you must be warned that your opponent is not only weightless, but a mere memory, the ghost of no less than one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century, as well as one of its most passionate chess players – Marcel Duchamp.

A pioneer of conceptual art, Duchamp maintained an explicit devotion to chess throughout his life. And even when he was a consecrated figure in the art world a rumor did the rounds that he would abandon his creative habits to dedicate himself to this game. Although that never happened, the presence of chess in his work increased, such as a hand-carved chessboard created to never be played upon.

This improbable encounter is available thanks to a project that courteously combines algorithms and phantasmagoria. Its creator, Scott Kindall, analyzed the historical notations of the games played by the French artist and generated a program that predicts the moves that Duchamp, who reached the ranking of master within the International Chess Federation (FIDE), would have made. When you enter the site and begin playing, with the game already in progress, Duchamp’s ghost responds to your moves according to the most probable move that he would have made in life. You can also begin a new game against him from scratch. Needless to say, you are facing a fierce opponent. To play Duchamp, follow this link.

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