A french defense from Casablanca

A french defense from Casablanca

Oct 7, 2011, 1:09 AM |

It's said that it was Humphrey Bogart who introduced in detail a game chess, that it can be seen in the film Casablanca.

Part of the film (2 min 52’’)

In this scene, it is shown Bogart in the  Rick Café playing against himself. He is in the black side and it’s turn to throw the white ones than move Nb5. It’s about of the position as a result a variant of the French Defense, attak Chatard-Alekhine

1.e4,e6  2.d4,d5  3.Nc3,Nf6  4.Bg5,Be7  5.e5,Nfd7  6.h4,c5  7.Bxe7,Qxe7  8.Nb5

In all the scene it’s only shown the movement 8. Nb5 because of this Bogart reflects. A little after of this movement, the door is open and an individual –certain Ugarte- appears, who wander off the subject. But in certain way, Humphrey have an eye on the tense game all the time. A fight from the “French side” of the chess  a difficult position but with a lot of possibilities. That is related with the identity and the profile of the character of the film.









   Position after 8.Nb5

  Moment of the film when it is possible to see the white knight in b5

It can also be seen that at the end of scenne Bogart touchs the black king, but at the end he does not move it. If he had to follow the rule of  piece touched it’s supposed he would have moved 8…,Kd8 protecting c7 or 8...,0-0 sacrificing the tower in change for a lot of central pawns.

Next, two games of this kind of French defence, subsequent to the film:


About a Bogart and chess
Humphrey Bogart was a very passionate of chess. It’s said that he was a very keen on chess, strong and very difficult to defeat. Besides, he shared a friendship with the international chessmaster Herman Steiner and he got the management of chess in EEUU federation. His most very good result where a drawn with Samuel Reshevsky in a tournament.

In 30th the guy made the living playing quick games in New York Parks and he earned 50 cts a game.

  Bogart photographied in differents moments of his life

Bogart also palyed the chess by correspondence. In one occasion, he was investigated as a suspicious of spying after intercepted a mail posted to Russia whwre it was suspect that the notation games in a key.

Humphrey has contributed even at the theory of chess, whith an oberture that has his name:

Gambit Humphrey Bogart
1.d4,Nf6  2.g4
      2...d5                      (Gambit Humphrey Bogart declinated)
      2...Nxg4  3.e4,d6    (Gambit Humphrey Bogart accepted)

2.g4                              2…d5 (declinated)         3…d6 (accepted)

For more information about this oberture look at Le gambit Humphrey Bogart where it is analyze differents games whith this gambit.


chess.com tournaments
We have organized a tournament based on the position of the game of the film:
 Casablanca Tournament

And also a tournament based on the Bogart Gambit oberture.
 Humphrey Bogart Gambit Tournament