Duchamp learned to play chess from his brothers and became a talented amateur who participated in championship tournaments. In 1932 he co-authored an important contribution on the subject of the endgame, Opposites and Sister Squares are Reconciled. "'Why isn't my chess playing an art activity', Duchamp asked Truman Capote. 'A chess game is very plastic. You construct it. It's mechanical sculpture and with chess one creates beautiful problems and that beauty is made with the head and hands'" (A. Schwarz, 1970, op. cit., p. 68). The present assemblage is composed of life casts made from Duchamp's face and Alfred Wolkenberg's right arm (Wolkenberg was director of Editions les Maîtres Ltd.), and the knight was cast from a piece in the artist's favorite chess set.