Chess grandmasters break the rules to call attention to racial discrimination

Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri play a match where black can make the first move

Published On
Mar 22, 2019

Editor's Pick

Rules are made to be broken.

In modern chess, white always goes first, which gives that player an advantage over their opponent, who plays black. But chess grandmaster and four-time chess world champion Magnus Carlsen is flipping the board for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Along with fellow grandmaster Anish Giri, the pair are breaking the game’s first rule and letting black make the first move, to symbolize how color shouldn’t determine who gets a leg up. Carlsen and Giri played a game, with Carlsen moving a black pawn first, and are encouraging others to do the same through Carlsen’s chess app company Play Magnus. For one day, players can choose which side goes first.

The campaign from BBDO Düsseldorf was created for ICCAR, UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities. In addition to a short film running on social media at the campaign hub, moveforequality.com, the game site chess24.com is also hosting a “Banter Blitz Marathon” where grandmasters play against amateurs who play black first.

Credits

Date
Mar 22, 2019
Client:
Unesco
Agency:
BBDO-Dusseldorf
Chief Creative Officer:
Till Diestel
Creative Managing Director:
Kristoffer Heilemann
Managing Director:
Cornelius Kölblin
Creative Director:
Rod Henriques
Creative Director:
Michael Pluckhahn
Senior Art Director:
Ailton Henriques
Senior Copywriter:
Guilherme Nesti
Junior Art Director:
Anina Waesche
Junior Copywriter:
Henrik van Laak
Client Service Director:
Simon Stitz
Digital Account Executive:
Jan Kronies
Head of Strategic Planning:
Ralf Sieke
Creative Technologist:
Martin Boeing-Messing
Production Company:
Craftwork
Music/Sound Company:
DaHouse Audio
Camera Department:
Kamera Rental
Camera Operator/Gaffer:
Jorgen Werner
Camera Operator Assistant:
Lars Pettersen
Chief Technician:
Fabian Lopez
Photographer:
Jan Kronies
CGI/Post-Production Company:
Fuze Image
Creative Director:
Daniel Klock
Creative Director:
Marcio Bueno
Head of Post-Production:
Cauê Andrade
3D Generalist:
Leandro Mendonça
PR:
Emanate
Senior Consultant:
Stefan Rybkowski
Junior Consultant:
Fabienne Guetzkow

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