Alice and the chess art of Marina Valuiska

by ChessBase
6/29/2007 – She works as a lecturer in the Department of Criminology of the National Law Academy of Ukraine, and is an active member of the Academy chess club, successful in local championship. Marina Valuiska is also a budding proponent of "litho-art", inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll and by her chess activities. Join us as we visit her photo exhibition.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The Art of Marina Valuiska

By WIM Nastja Karolvich

During the annual tournament “Cup of Rector”, which was held in the National Law Academy of Ukraine in Kharkov, a photo chess exhibition also took place, created by Marina Valuiska. 

Marina Valuiska works as a lecturer in the Department of Criminology of the National Law Academy of Ukraine. She is a member of the chess club “Law Academy” and successfully plays for the teachers team in local championships. 

At the exhibition there were photo works of sculptural compositions and illustrations to Lewis Carroll's fairy tale about Alice: Through the looking-glass. The pictures were created by using four self-made chess boards and other sculptural compositions.

Alice and the Red Queen:

“Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing –
turn out your toes as you walk and remember who you are!”

The chess pieces were created in four styles: like pieces from stone and wet sand; like tiny trees; like sea waves and like the amber sea. Valuiska tries to create her own style; which she calls litho-art – from litho in Latin meaning stone, sculptures with imitations of natural stone. Her work goes beyond the chess theme and shows the artist's passion for wildlife and the inanimate nature. Not accidentally, she sometimes gives “natural” names to her pictures, such as Moonlight, Lighting, Blob. In the photos devoted to chess the artist emphasizes the emotional and aesthetic parts of this game.

Alice and the White Queen:

“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today,”
“It must come sometimes to 'jam today',” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. "It's jam every other day: today isn't any other day, you know."

Illustrations to the fairy tale about Alice adventures in the chess world are expression of Marina Valuiska's own understanding of this famous book. All characters (chess pieces) whom Alice meets during the travel are different forms of reflection of her own. The action of a fairy tale takes place in a dream, therefore perhaps this book is really algorithm for self-knowledge. Modern computer technologies gave an opportunity to embody her understanding of this book. All characters are created by computer modifications of her own face.

Humpty Dumpty

“Its very provoking,” Humpty Dumpty said after a long silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, “to be called an egg – very!” I said you looked like an egg, Sir,” Alice gently explained “and some eggs look very pretty, you know,” she added, hoping to turn her remark into a sort of compliment.

The artist continues to create new pictures and dreams to illustrate not only "Through the looking-glass” but also “Alice in the Wonderland”.

The Garden of Live Flowers

“And can all the flowers talk?”
“As well as you can,” said the Tiger-lily. ”And a great deal louder”
"It isn`t manners for us to begin, you know,” said the Rose…

Chess Motifs

In front of the mirror


Red sea


After the rain




The tournament “Cup of Rector” included 2 round robin tournaments with GM and WGM norms and also rapid tournament devoted to the 10th anniversary of the chess club “Law academy”. Official page is and the final standings (all in Russian)

Anastasiya (Nastja) Karlovich was Ukrainian champion and vice-champion among girls under 16, 18 and 20. She was European Champion with the Ukrainian team in the Youth Team Championships. She is also

  • a candidate officer in the National Law Academy “Yaroslav the Wise”,
  • a member of the chess club “Law Academy”
  • a member of the German club Grosslehna
  • one of the organisers of WGM and GM closed tournaments “Cup of Rector”.
  • a Woman Grandmaster since 2003

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register