A Game of Chess

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A Game of Chess - listening copy of final tape

Delia created a "chess ballet" for a schools radio programme

A Game of Chess was a dance drama intended to provide stimuli for improvised, stylised movements freely created by students, based on the characteristics suggested by the names of the pieces in the classic game of chess.
For 'advanced' teachers who had sufficient floor space and the correct number of students to fill a marked-out chessboard with a full set of 'pieces', and who had the patience to work out the necessary detail of the 'clues' in the music of both games, there was in actual fact a proper game of chess to be played out.[1]

The concept was by Derek Bowskill and it was produced for the BBC by David Lyttle.

The broadcast piece was Game A, which received a lot of pleasing feedback.[1]

Its TRW tape number places it between Out of the Unknown and The Evenings of Certain Lives, which are both from 1965, while Delia's "listening copy of final tape" memorandum dates the completion of the work to 16th September 1966.[2]


  • 1. King solo

A Game of Chess - 01. King solo - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 2. Bishop solo

A Game of Chess - 02. Bishop solo - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 3. Queen solo

A Game of Chess - 03. Queen solo - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 4. Pawn solo (1)

A Game of Chess - 04. Pawn solo (1) - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 5. Pawn solo (2)

A Game of Chess - 05. Pawn solo (2) - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 6. Knight solo

A Game of Chess - 06. Knight solo - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 7. Castle solo

A Game of Chess - 07. Castle solo - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 8. Pawn and Knight duet

A Game of Chess - 08. Pawn and Knight duet - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 9. King and Queen duet

A Game of Chess - 09. King and Queen duet - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 10. Castle and Bishop Duet

A Game of Chess - 10. Castle and Bishop duet - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 11. Game A

A Game of Chess - 11. Game A - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 12. Game B

A Game of Chess - 12. Game B - Spectrogram.jpg


  • Broadcast in two parts on the 5th and 12th June 1967 at 11.20am on the Home Service.[3]
  • In the BBC Sound Archive on tape TRW 6346.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Derek Bowskill, personal communication.
  2. A Game of Chess - listening copy of final tape.
  3. Drama Workshop: A Game of Chess, part 1 and part 2 on the BBC Genome Project.
  4. The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 6346.