Royal BC Museum brings famed Lewis Chessmen to life — literally

VICTORIA, BC – The Royal BC Museum (RBCM) puts a new spin on an age-old game next week by hosting an outdoor living chess game – the kick-off event for the Summer Chess Fest in Victoria.
A pair of Grandmaster chess players will spar in the life-sized chess match that celebrates the most famous chess pieces in the world, the Lewis Chessmen (see above as they appear in the British Museum).

Five of the 850-year-old chess pieces are featured in the current RBCM exhibition, Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum. The Lewis Chessmen were also featured in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
“With people acting as pieces, this is chess as you’ve never seen it before,” says RBCM CEO Pauline Rafferty. “It’s a showdown between two Grandmasters, a Canadian and an American, on a giant chess board. I’ve played chess before, but nothing even close to this.”
Volunteers from the Canadian Youth Chess Championship will be the chess pieces for the half-hour game – each sporting a vest screened with an image of a different Lewis Chessman. Their moves on the five-metre (16-foot) square chess board will be directed by the Grandmasters sitting on the sidelines.
This free event takes place Monday, July 20, 1:30 - 2 p.m., outside the entrance to the Royal BC Museum.

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