Chess on Film

Picture the scene, there's a smoke filled room, two chiselled, sophisticated and mysterious characters are hunched over a side lit chessboard, both smoking, one puff's on a rather large cigar, the other a thin cigarette, a small crowd of strange and beautiful people watch on intently.

The tension is unbearable, the game is at a critical position, Cigar-man looks up and plays (what he thinks is) the winning move, he then leans back in his chair and smiles smugly, awaiting Cigarette-man's resignation.

Cigarette-man stares down through the haze, lifting his head slowly upwards looks straight into Cigar-man's eyes, picks up a piece and slams it down onto the board "CHECKMATE!" Cigar-man leans forward and looks at the board in disbelief, he slumps back in his chair and looks to the heavens, the game is over, the men applaud wishing they were as cool as Cigarette-man and the women go moist!

What a load of Shite! Cigar-man missed a 'one-move' combo the Dummy!

I think most film makers have rarely, If ever played a game of chess. They have a romanticized view of the game and how it's perceived to be played. How often do you give a checkmate like that? (Without getting smacked in the mouth!)

One of the most famous game's in film history is in Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was himself an avid chess fan.

In the film the game was played by astronaut Frank Poole (white) against the spaceship's supercomputer HAL 9000 en route to Jupiter.

The scene from the film below....

scene from 2001 a space odyssey

Without giving too much away for those of you who in the very unlikely event still haven't seen it, the computer slowly 'crack's up' and takes over the ship, kill's everyone onboard in a vile, terrible way and marries the coffee-maker!

The 'real' game was played by two relatively unknown players in the B-section of the 1910 Hamburg tournament.

Roesch - Schlage,W [C86] Hamburg Hauptturnier-B Hamburg, 1910

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.c3 0–0 8.0–0 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nf4 11.Qe4 Nxe5 12.Qxa8 Qd3 13.Bd1 Bh3 This is where the film pick's up the action. 14.Qxa6 Bxg2 15.Re1 Qf3 0–1