South Side Artist Brings Street Chess to Downtown Chicago | Localish


CECIL LOCKE: Chess
is an addictive game. So you got people,
who used to come here. They played 30, 40, 50,
60 games or more, easily. Well I’ve been here since 2007,
but the table’s 21 years old. I’m bringing it
from the south side. It all folds up to 52 inches. With the speakers
and audio equipment, I would think it’d be
close to 200 pounds. I only get about maybe 5,
6 hours sleep or whatever. Then I got to break it down. It takes two hours, and
an hour to travel home. Kids come play and all that. Growing up, we’d come play. They’d be all night long. Come home from work,
that’s where they come at. Right here, chess. CECIL LOCKE: If you look
at it, on this block here, you got cross streets,
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, art from the Art Institute,
and chess, all in one block. And then you got
the two major parks. Well, then I got
[INAUDIBLE] out in the– I’m out in the hot sun. The light comes up at nighttime. [INAUDIBLE] you downstairs. If you play so many games,
or your feet get tired, you just rest on the
bench here, marble bench. So it’s a good location. When they see this table,
I’m playing everybody. I’m just a average chess player,
maybe 1700, 1800 ranking. But I’m making it possible,
with my talents, to make people, have people play each other. My occupation’s commercial
artist, which designs graphics, you know, days I’m
not doing chess. Come on down to
the Art Institute. I guess they appreciate
what I’m doing, because they haven’t
gotten rid of me. I’ve been here since 2007. The city likes what I’m doing. It brings people together. It’s a social gathering spot.

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