Chess games of the rich and famous: Confucius and Einstein


Another fictional match, perhaps with some wry commentary on the differences between the Orient and the Occident: Sculpture showing Confucius and Einstein engaged in playing chess.

Confucius ponders his next move in a Chinese board game, while Einstein ponder his move in chess, on the same board. Sculpture at the campus of UTAR, a university in Kampar, Malaysia. Image via Harp of Ten Strings.

Confucius ponders his next move in a Chinese board game, while Einstein ponder his move in chess, on the same board. Sculpture at the campus of UTAR, a university in Kampar, Malaysia. Image via Harp of Ten Strings.

University Tunku Abdel Rahman first took in students in 2002, a new university established in Malaysia, named after the nation’s first Prime Minister, Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Interesting sculpture, purely from the imagination of the artist. Confucius and Einstein are separated by 2000 years. Surely someone, somewhere can explain the meaning of the two different games on the same board.

Einstein is known to have played chess, but I have been unable to find any photographs of him engaged in the sport.

Another view of the Malaysian sculpture of Confucius and Einstein playing chess. From Panoramio, photo by wkh0522

Another view of the Malaysian sculpture of Confucius and Einstein playing chess. From Panoramio, photo by wkh0522

Tip of the old scrub brush to Florence Kuek at Harp of Ten Strings.

2 Responses to Chess games of the rich and famous: Confucius and Einstein

  1. Porlock Junior says:

    I agree with the Coastal Crone. The sculpture has much charm and offers room for speculation.

    But this meeting of the cultures reminds of a riddle I heard a dozen years ago from a bright Millennial about to graduate from a college that had a rigorous and mandatory Western (and other) Civ course for freshpersons.

    Q. What did Confucius say to Socrates?

    A. Bar, bar, bar, bar.

    The exegesis: Confucius was a foreigner, in fact a barbarian, who spoke no Greek; hence Socrates heard him say only only some uncouth sounds like bar, bar, bar.

    (This is not really the derivation of barbarian, but it’s an old piece of folk etymology and accurate enough as to attitudes.)

    Like

  2. Oh, I like this sculpture! There are many layers and angles to its interpretation and coming together on one board. Very interesting! And I like that they are out in the open like that.

    Like

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