the following was written by Zack, who played the black queenside knight in the lower east side game
12:35p Leave ABC No Rio and bike towards starting position at b8 (intersection of East Houston and Allen Streets).
12:38p Pass two groups of chess pieces walking towards their starting positions (unable to identify exactly which pieces).
12:40p Arrive at starting position.
12:44p I note that I can see pieces one block to the west (Rook), one block to the east (Bishop), and one block to the north (Pawn).
12:47p Rook passes by on way to buy some cheese at deli down the block. He is not sure whether game has actually started yet.
12:55p Rook passes on way back from deli. He has met up with two women, who complain loudly that he is out of starting position and that our T-shirts (which identify which pieces we are) are insufficiently visible.
12:57p Double-decker tourist bus stops for red light at corner. I consider whether to yell up to the tourists and inform them that they are entering the space defined by the chess match, but bus moves on before I can take action.
12:59p A bunched-up group of four NYC busses pass North on Allen Street. Bishop, Rook, and Pawn still visible. I wonder if any passers-by perceive the patterns that they are encountering as they walk through the neighborhood.
1:02p Pawn is no longer visible -- has the first move occurred?
1:03p Pawn emerges from a candy store and resumes standing on his corner.
1:04p Pawn suddenly starts striding purposively South on Allen St.
1:06p Bishop moves South out of sight on Orchard St. The game has started in earnest -- we're on the move!
1:12p Rook not visible. But does it not defy credibility that he would have moved so early in the game?
1:18p Cell phone rings. Receive instructions to move to square d7 (intersection of Stanton and Ludlow). Mount my bike and head south on Allen St. Pass Bishop who is now stationed at b7 (Stanton and Allen Streets), chat briefly.
1:20p Arrive at d7. There is a Mexican restaurant "El Sombrero" (or, as is written on a faded sign above the door, "Hat Restaurant") on the NE corner. Strong smell of food. I feel very hungry. I regret having left my wallet at home and not having eaten all day.
1:23p Another black piece is visible one block east on Essex Street. I bike over to chat. He turns out to be the Black King's Bishop. He points out another piece one block to the east, and reports it is the Black King's Knight. The bulk of the pieces seem to be focusing on our side of the board -- we are the locus of the action! I feel a sudden rush of adrenaline. No reports yet of any White pieces encountered.
1:25p I return to my position at Stanton and Ludlow.
1:28p I return to my post. The Black Queen rushes by on her way to c7 (Stanton and Orchard). She ignores my attempts to initiate a conversation.
1:30p A large group of people (demo? walking tour?) appears at corner of Stanton and Essex. Black Bishop appears to have left.
1:33p The large group of people at Stanton and Essex starts to move in my direction.
1:40p Group arrives at my intersection. It turns out they are the 'Street Art Walk'; I note that several chess pieces have joined them and are out of position. Person leading the walk points out a pair of wooden sneakers and two stuffed iguanas suspended from a wire running over the intersection between two streetlights, which I had previously missed.
1:42p Both Black Bishops have come over to visit. They are bored.
1:43p An attractive woman walks by. One of the Bishops wonders if she is interested in chess. If so, I wonder if she has ever had any fantasies about the Black Knight. Both Bishops express regret that they are men of the cloth.
1:45p The two women who had earlier passed by on East Houston pass by. They again express frustration that some pieces are out of position, saying it makes it difficult to follow the game properly. I sympathize. Black Queen's Bishop gets call on cell phone, ordering him to move South. We note that the Black Queen has apparently moved from her position at c7. We appear to be on the attack! I eagerly await my own orders to move.
1:51p Wind picks up. I put on sweater.
1:55p Still no orders. I chat with the owner of an antique store on the corner -- the sign on his door says "Open Monday-Saturday 12:30 - 6:30, Sunday afternoons by chance". I tell him he is in the middle of the world's largest chess game. He seems non-plussed.
1:58p A Black pawn wanders by, eating an ice cream cone. He has yet to be given a single move, and questions his purpose.
2:05p Bicycle passes by with a "Don't trust corporate media" sticker; man passes by wearing a T-shirt printed with a poster for the 1950 film "Gun Crazy".
2:08p Black Queen's Bishop passes by in retreat to a8 (E. Houston and Eldridge). He reports Black King's Knight captured by a White pawn. He also reports that a White Knight was seen only two blocks to the South. The Bishop seems depressed, and says that things appear to be going badly for us.
2:22p Black Queen's Bishop passes by. He says he is going back to base at ABC No Rio. He believes the game is essentially over. I remonstrate with him, shocked by his dereliction of duty, pointing out that the game has another eight minutes to run. He says, not unreasonably, that from his position on the very corner of the chess board there is only a single direction in which he can physically move, so that by moving along that line towards ABC No Rio he will in fact be able to quickly get into his new position in the unlikely case that he is called to move.
2:30p Receive a phone call notifying me that the game is over. It has been declared a draw. I return to base.