top of page

Performance, 15 minutes.

The 9th of July 2000, in Askerhallen, at the official opening of the Norwegian Chess Championship, and 16 times between the 11th and the 18th of November 2000, in the basement of the Stenersen Museum in Oslo.


To sacrifice nearly everything – and win.


This performance had the legendary chess game The Immortal Game from 1851 as a starting point, a dramatic game where ”white” sacrificed all his major pieces but still was able to force a beautiful win. I tried through dance to indicate the players’ possible thoughts and emotions before each move. Synchronized with my choreography, a computer animation of The Immortal Game was projected on the back wall, while the soundscape consisted of music by Astor Piazzolla, silence and my rhythmical use of two sticks.


Chess consultant and creator of computer animation was Arne Zwaig.




What is considered to be the first World Chess Championship was arranged in London in 1851. Among the players were the French-Baltic Lionel Kieseritzky and the German Adolf Anderssen. For a period of ten years Kieseritzky had been regarded as one of the world’s best players, and he had regularly been playing at the famous chess café Café de la Régence in Paris. Anderssen was still only ”young and talented”, while the Englishman Howard Staunton was regarded as the great favourite. Surprisingly enough it was Anderssen who won the competition, and with this victory his great career as a chess player started. Kieseritzky, on the other hand, had played badly. He was well known for his temper, but also for being a good looser. This time however, he wanted revenge. He challenged Anderssen for a last game at the café Simpson’s Divan. Unfortunately for Kieseritzky, it didn’t go his way. Anderssen won the game in a brillant fashion and impressed everyone. The game was soon to be known as The Immortal Game. Kieseritzky went home to Paris and shortly after was moved to a mental hospital, where he died two years later.


Anderssen and Kieseritzky might be regarded as two of the strongest players during the so-called romantic period in the 19th century’s chess play, a period where the ideal was a play of sacrifice and bold combinations.

bottom of page