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767 Third Avenue-World's Largest Chess Game-Chess on Building-Plaza

On the corner of 48th Street and 3rd Avenue is the “world’s largest chessboard” affixed to the wall of a building stretching three floors. The brass plaques below the chessboard give only a few hints to what is going on. Check the Concierge at 767 Third Avenue for more information says one:

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A new approach to playing chess. Try and match wits with the best. Can you guess who will in? Says the next.

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The whole thing is an initiative of the building developers, Melvyn and Robert Kaufman of the William Kaufman Organization, who often carefully programmed the public spaces of their buildings. At 767 Third Avenue, the 2.5 foot chess pieces are moved once a week using a cherry picker. The games underway can also be recreation of historic matches. The flag to the left indicates which side has the next move.

Benches below the chess game where you can play your own, or eat lunch blissfully unaware of the unique urban intervention above you:

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In the same plaza, there’s also a stagecoach and vintage 1929 Ford Truck:

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There’s also these metal footprints on the grates:

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Overall, this plaza at 767 Third Avenue designed by Fox & Fowle is much more interesting than your standard Midtown privately owned public space (POPS), such as those featured in this photo essay.

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