Five of the Greatest Chess Scenes in Movies

While some people are of the opinion that chess is a boring game, others believe it is an interesting and stimulating game to play. It seems that filmmakers would agree with the latter view as chess games are featured in many films, either as an important part of the storyline or just in the background.

Here are some of the best chess scenes from movies.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

One of the most exciting parts of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the end section where Harry, Ron, and Hermione attempt to recover the Sorcerer’s Stone. Along the way, they face a number of challenges as the teachers of Hogwarts have cast spells to prevent people stealing the stone. One of the challenges they come across is a giant chessboard with magical life-sized pieces. The students must take on the role of chess pieces themselves and win the game. Ron mounts a Knight and sacrifices himself so his friends can continue on their quest. Of all the chess scenes featured in movies, this is one of the most dramatic.

2. Casablanca

This scene is set in the saloon and Humphrey Bogart’s character is sat at a table playing chess alone while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. He indicates to the doorman who can and cannot come into the room. You may wonder what significance the game of chess has to the scene. The truth is, Bogart loved chess and insisted the game was included in the movie for no other reason than it was a game he was passionate about. If you are observant, you will notice that chess features in many Bogart films.

3. From Russia with Love

There are several occasions when a game of chess features in a James Bond movie. One of the most famous of these is in From Russia with Love. In the opening scene, there is a chess duel between Canadian McAdams and Kronsteen, a Russian agent. The duel is taking place in Venice for the International Grandmasters Championship and it is the decisive match.

4. X-Men

Games of chess are dotted throughout the X-Men movie but there is one scene, in particular, that is a memorable part of the film. In the final scene of the movie, Xavier and Magneto go head-to-head in a chess match. They play using a rather distinctive chess set that has a plastic board and pieces made of clear and opaque plastic rather than the traditional black and white pieces. According to chess experts who have watched this scene, Xavier plays an aggressive game in which he was willing to sacrifice a lot of pieces.

5. Searching for Bobby Fischer

A young chess player, Joshua Waitzkin, wants to become a champion but doesn’t want to become like the unlikable Bobby Fischer, a famous chess player. In this 1993 movie, the lead role is played by Max Pomeranc. As the film is all about chess, the game features throughout the movie. However, the best and most dramatic scene is the final one. The final tournament is between Waitzkin and Jonathan Poe. Waitzkin offers Poe a draw which he rejects, so play continues.



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  1. mattheyns July 15, 2017

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