Saturday, 21 November 2009

Chess in Movies - A slight twist

I finally got to see "The Avengers" movie tonight (on Satellite TV). Apparently it got savaged by the critics when it first came out, although this maybe because it didn't get the transfer from the TV series 'quite right'.
It did however contain a slight variation on the ' is clearly smart as they can play chess' trope. Uma Thurman's character (Emma Peel) was playing a game of chess against Ralph Fiennes character (John Steed). While he was moving the pieces on the board she was busy doing something else and simply shouted out her replies, essentially playing blindfold. This idea was also used in 'Searching for Bobby Fischer' and is clearly intended to show that the character isn't just smart, but 'really, really, smart'.
The scene also contained two interesting 'artefacts'. One, they were using English descriptive (Queen to Rook Five), although the movie seems to be set in the 1990's (when it was made). Two, the director utilised the hoary old chestnut where a check from Steed (Knight to king seven check) was met by a checkmate from Peel (Queens takes knight, checkmate). However I may be mistaken about the second one, as my attention did wander at times.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Win TV showed this afternoon the year end wind-up of the Red Bull Air Races showed Hannes Arch (2008 winner) playing chess against Paul Bonhomme (2009 winner.) Probably usual stuff of using chess as an example of competitions between people and minds.

Mind you there is one small but vital difference. When playing chess there is very little chance of hitting the water at 300+kph