Chess Art Festival in Mayfair

by ChessBase
7/5/2014 – A professional jazz singer who has made her name as a chess artist, Nette Robinson, was the centre of a special chess festival staged by Purling London, a company that sells unique hand-painted chess sets. There was a blitz tournament, a simultaneous exhibition and an unusual Chess Basque Championship, in which the opponents have to play two simultaneous games.

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Chess Art Festival in Mayfair

Nette Robinson, a professional jazz singer, has been making her name as a chess artist, and so it was a natural fit when Nette, with the help of Purling London and Chess Strategies LLP, put the elements together for a Chess Art Exhibition and Festival in Mayfair's Art Galleries Europe, during the last week of June. Purling London Ltd is a company that specialises in the design, production and marketing of chess sets individually hand-painted by a small selection of British artists.

Nette the Jazz singer at the Brunswick (by Brian O'Conner)

Nette studied Fine Art & Music at University College Chichester where she continued to explore and develop her love of architecture, jazz, portraiture, and Modernism. Her semi-abstract work owes a lot to the inspiration and influence of graphic designer and painter Aaron Douglas, Dutch De Stijl artist Piet Mondrian, Russian Constructivism, Italian Futurism. Here are some of her latest chess related works:

Do we need to tell you who these two players are?

Or this one? Come on, really...

Chess set by Nette Robinson, overview...

... and detail

Kicking off the week, the gallery welcomed Chess in Schools & Communities who held a reception for the charity which included a five-round blitz tournament, won by GM Jonathan Parkwer with 4.5/5 points. In second place IM Malcolm Pein with 3.5/5.

Against the backdrop of her new artwork, chess was played casually by visitors to the gallery
and seriously by people taking on GM Ray Keene in simultaneous exhibitions on two evenings.

The week culminated in the staging of the first London Chess Basque Championships

For those who don't know, Basque is a variant of chess in which each pair play two games simultaneously and just in case that was too easy, the tournament games were played with seven minutes on the clock on a knock-out basis. The games were played on the Purling London illuminated boards and with cameras clicking and under a tower built to record the games.

GM Luke McShane and IM Gavin Wall met in the final, with
Luke coming out on top in two very closely fought games

Tania Sachdev, the young Indian IM, was at the event to support her friend Anuradha Beniwal, who
competed in the Basque Chess. Tania made sure that haute couture was added to the art mix.

Art house turned to jazz joint after with Nette's band, her saxophonist husband Tony Woods, guitarist Dominic Ashworth and GM Daniel King on bass played to the guests.

Nette Robinson and The Little Big Band in an earlier recording on YouTube

Nette Robinson's Chess Art Exhibition and Festival in partnership with Purling London is to be applauded as a great and inspiring concept and event. We will bring you a special report on the wonderful chess sets that are on exhibit. Here just one to give you a taste:

Bouztique chess set inspired by the modernism of Piet Mondrain

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


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