Paul Restivo is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Film Directing at DePaul University in Chicago Illinois. When he's not making experimental films or doing post-production work, you can find him playing chess, in his garden, or playing chess in his garden.
Chess has held a special place in my heart for the past decade. My best friend Adam and I learned how to play chess in high school. Even when he joined the Marines and moved away, we were still able to bond over the game online. Adam discovered Cecil's tables when he moved back to Chicago, and we spent a lot of time there that summer.
I had two immediate thoughts upon arrival. This is a work of art... and this is absolutely insane. 26 feet of chess tables at the corner of Jackson and Michigan? It all folds up into a rolling cart and Cecil brings it back and forth on the L? Am I in DIY heaven or hell?
As I got to know Cecil, I started realizing that he's a man with a vision. He curated every detail of this work of art- and my goal with this piece is to do it justice.
Touch and Go Chess Party
Six days a week, eight months a year, for 22 years, Cecil Locke has set up his 26 foot-long 200-pound collapsible chess table along Michigan Avenue. Touch and Go Chess Party is an experimental documentary featuring Cecil and his table - a unique street art installation and a staple of the chess community in Chicago and Michigan Avenue visitors alike.
Cecil Locke has set up his Touch and Go Chess Party at the corner of Michigan and Jackson for the last 21 years. Not only has he brought together the local chess community, but he has fostered a community of his own.