Hagenberg: What is the obsession with chess by artists of your generation?
Tanning: It's more than a game. It's a way of thinking. You have to be clever in a warlike way. You are a good chess player if you have a mean streak in you. I think mean people make good chess players.
Hagenberg: Is that the way you find out about other people?
Tanning: No, but it's only that people who are too sweet cannot learn how to play chess.
—from interview with Roland Hagenberg, "Dorothea Tanning," Art of Russia and the West, No. 1 (March 1989), p. 31.