oleksiy koval

THE PAINTING AND THE GAME OF CHESS

In ESSAYS on September 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

A game is a voluntary activity performed at specific times and in specific places according to freely accepted, but absolutely binding, sets of rules. The aim of the activity is the performance of the activity in itself and the enjoyment of feeling tension and happiness that accompany the activity. Such activities and feelings that are generated are experienced as ‘different’ from ‘ordinary life’.

Huizinga

The game of chess was just reputable as soccer or ice hockey during my childhood in Kyiv in the 80s.  Especially the duel between Anatoliy Karpov and Garry Kasparov provided for this popularity. Since then Anatoliy Karpov in the capital of Soviet Ukraine was regarded as a favorite and a representative of the Moscow Government, Garry Kasparov won the sympathy of Kiev. Kasparov’s art of play enabled him to win the Grand Master in 1985 the world title and successfully defended it in the following 15 years. In painting, I learned from Garry Kasparov because I consider applying the colours as a game.

“A game is pointless without a goal.”

The Grandmaster makes moves, not only because he responds spontaneously to events, but because he wants to put the opponent checkmate in 10-15 moves. I’m applying the colours on the surface not in direct response to an event, but because I want to conquer the painting as a whole. The goal of chess is to checkmate your opponents’ king; the goal of painting – a beautiful formula.

“Why?” is the question that separates visionaries from functionaries, great strategists from mere tacticians.

The goal requires strategy and tactics. Each touch of the surface of the painting with the colour is either consistent with my strategy or contradicts it. The continuous reflection on the procedure of painting helps me to get over the obstacles of indecision and mere self-confidence. I decide at the start of the game, wether I go slowly on the surface, step by step or fast, dynamic, attacking. But there is no universal strategy that guarantees success. I love it fast, dynamic and aggressive to paint, but how many times I’ve lost in this procedure! The situation changes often on the surface while I juggle with the colours and I have to decide if I retain my original strategy or pick up a new one?

“To be in motion!”

In the chess and in the painting, there are moves that contradict absolutely the strategy of action but save the game. If the strategy is a game sketch plan, then the tactic is a conscious reaction to the game. Often when I paint, I get to a balanced position – I have achieved a draw. But I want to go further and if I do it, I lose a reached position. I must hold out. A state like this in chess is called: “mindful idleness”. The balance between me and the painting does not last and it is then clear for me when I should attack. If I cannot get myself under control, there will be no draw more and I will lose. “This strategic goal must be converted into organic tactical thinking.”

“Creativity based on rules and guides in this way our calculus.”

Often, however, breaks an intuition in the course of the rules and requires a next step. Every successful painting of mine has points that are beyond interpretation. Such points on the surface are contrary to my intentions and nevertheless they play an essential role. But when I entrust too much of intuition, I make mistakes, and the painted surface crumbles. The calculus must not degenerate to the scheme.

“First when we not only respond to the opponent, we control the course of the game”.

If I am applying the colours on the surface I am always wrong in front of it. But I want to paint. I attack and the painting is defending itself. With a successful initiative, it yields to the attack.

“Nervous energy – is a weapon that we take for any intellectual struggle.”

Sometimes I feel nervous before I paint, but in the process of painting, sure that I will reach my goal. Sometimes I start with a sense of balance and safety, but then lose my balance, make mistakes and the painting triumphs.

“You should see the whole board.”

The deeper I look into the painting, the more complex proves my knowledge of it. Painting begins with health, mental disposition, intelligence, intuition, imagination and conceptual ability – and it ends with the applying of colour on a surface. I will be punished immediately, if I neglect the health, ignore the mind and not allow intuitions.

Thanks for help realizing this text to Prof. Bernhard Lypp and Marion Sally Amy Whyte

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