Sticking to chess-themed songs: Juga di Prima

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/17/2020 – The chess world has changed greatly the last few years, and the amount of modifications has increased exponentially due to the pandemic. One of the consequences prompted by this situation is that the chess community has become more interconnected through social media. Juga di Prima, who came to fame among chess fans almost two years ago, has used this opportunity to connect with super-GMs Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik, as each of them wrote lyrics to a couple of ‘chess covers’. | Juga’s official website

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Collaborations with Giri and Kramnik

A singer and songwriter, Juga di Prima has been connected to chess for quite a while now. In an interview given during the FIDE Nations Cup, she mentioned that she had helped establish the Chilean Women’s Chess Tournament over ten years ago, in 2007. Her main focus, however, has been in music, as stated in her official website:

Juga studied popular singing since she was 13, and licensed in contemporary music composing at Universidad Católica de Chile (2007). Her studies of folk music, Italian and German opera, as well as French chanson gave her a theatrical way of approaching composition.

​Ever since the presentation of her first chess-themed song, ‘Oh Capaplanca’, she has intensified her role as a Chess Conceptual Artist. From September 2018 until today, she has released ‘Isolated Pawn’, ‘Tactical’, ‘Caruana Oh Na Na’ (featuring Anna Rudolf), ‘You Better Resign’, ‘Thinking MVL’, and two collaborations with Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik.

Giri, who has a strong presence on Twitter, wrote the lyrics to ‘Lost To You’, the chess version of LP’s incredibly popular ‘Lost On You’. The song was presented soon after Hikaru Nakamura knocked out Magnus Carlsen in the semis of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge amid his surge of popularity thanks to his association with other Twitch streamers. Using his witty sense of humour, Giri writes:

But you just kept on growing the game
But will you get the title?
Still you don’t know how
You’ll win a match or two...
 
And those last games he [Carlsen] lost to you
Tell me why he lost to you
Just that they could spam emotes
You were tough and then he lost to you

Juga feat. Anish Giri - Lost To You


While Juga covered a song released in 2016 with Giri, she went further back in time to choose which song she would cover using Vladimir Kramnik’s lyrics, going for U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, originally released in 1983. Kramnik retired from classical chess in January 2019, but still participates in rapid and blitz tournaments — in fact, next Tuesday he will join other players from his generation (plus Carlsen and Giri) at the online Legends of Chess event.

In the song, Kramnik chose to reminisce on his glorious victory over Garry Kasparov at the 2000 World Championship match, when he used the Berlin Defence to defend against his compatriot’s powerful white repertoire with 1.e4. The lyrics go like this:

I made my engines work like horse
I was supposed to move 1.e4 and win by force
But Kramnik wants it done his way
It is not fair but he is forcing me to play
 
Endgames bloody endgames

Juga feat. Vlad Kramnik - Endgames Bloody Endgames


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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.

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