Chess Blunders in Showbiz

Glasshouse00

Hey all. I was watching Leverage, the US tv show about a group of con artists who help those in need. In this particular episode I was watching there were a few scenes involving a character moving pieces on a chess board as if to simulate the battle of wits between them and the mastermind of the Leverage team. I noticed that the character moved a pawn in the diagonal direction whithout taking any piece. I'm sure this is just one instance of many in which hollywood has just got it wrong. Who else can name others?

heinzie

It's called en passant

magpiejoe

I have collected about a dozen examples of chess games in movies where the board is the wrong way round. 'The Great Escape' when James Garner and Donald Pleasance are playing is probably the most famous.

billwall

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL announces mate in two moves, but it was wrong (the computer cheating). 

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls had chess with lots of mistakes in it.

Chaindance (1990) jad several scenes with chess and the board set up wrong (white to the left instead of right)

Ditry Pretty Things (2002) has the chess board set up wrong

Justice (1999) has the chess board set up wrong

Knights of South Bronx had a few chess mistakes

Life as a House (2001) has the board set up wrong

The board is set up wrong in The Seventh Seal (1957).

The board was set up wrong om Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The board is set up wrong in The Blade Runner.

The position is wrong in From Russia With Love (1963).

There are chess mistakes in Bad Company (2002).

Checkmate was announced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but there is no checkmate.

Other movies that have the board set up wrong include: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Austin Powers II (1999, The Avengers (1998), Black and White (1999), Checkmate (2003), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Golden Boy (1939), Justice (1999), Life As a House (2001), Pennies From Heaven (1936), Shaft (2000), and The Seventh Seal (1957), The Ghost Ship (1943), Magnificent Doll (1946), Patrie (1946), The Lady From Shanghai (1948), Merry Andrew (1958), What's New, Pussycat (1965), Time After Time (1979), The History of the World Part I (1981), Chaindance (1990), Dead Beat (1994), The Takeover (1995), Justice (1999), and Shaft (2000), The Actors (2003), Time After Time (1979), Charlie Chan in the Chinese Cat (1944), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Checkmating (2004).

 

fissionfowl

Damn, billwall knows his stuff.

NimzoRoy

I'm surprised the knowledgable billwall left out Searching For Bobby Fischer in which a climatic tnmt chess game is played without a chess clock! Why? Because the director claimed the clock would take away from the excitement of the moment...

BTW the Director of 2001 (Stanley Kubrick) was supposed to be good enuff to hustle chess in Washington Sq Park, NYC before making the bigtime and may not have been aware of the fact that there was no forced mate (he used a real game score) but I've seen the position analyzed and HAL wins an enormous amt of material instead of mating, with an easy win.

trysts
NimzoRoy wrote:

 

BTW the Director of 2001 (Stanley Kubrick) was supposed to be good enuff to hustle chess in Washington Sq Park, NYC before making the bigtime and may not have been aware of the fact that there was no forced mate (he used a real game score) but I've seen the position analyzed and HAL wins an enormous amt of material instead of mating, with an easy win.


I think the error by HAL was supposed to show that the crew did not question HAL's authority, completely relying on the computer at that point in human developement.

billwall

There are other errors in Searching for Bobby Fischer, which I documented here.

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7378/searching.htm

eddiewsox
heinzie wrote:

It's called en passant


The OP stated that he moved the pawn diagonally without taking a piece, I assume he meant without capturing a pawn as well.

Glasshouse00
heinzie wrote:

It's called en passant


 No this pawn was moved from the second rank to the third in the diagonal with no pieces around it.

Ryan390

I noticed the scene out of 2001 and shouted out in disbelief! I didn't rewind and pause the film to analyse it properly though, but even a quick snapshot of the position you could see it wasn't checkmate!

However, it was one of HAL's many dubious actions from that film. Smile

Glasshouse00
billwall wrote:

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL announces mate in two moves, but it was wrong (the computer cheating). 

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls had chess with lots of mistakes in it.

Chaindance (1990) jad several scenes with chess and the board set up wrong (white to the left instead of right)

Ditry Pretty Things (2002) has the chess board set up wrong

Justice (1999) has the chess board set up wrong

Knights of South Bronx had a few chess mistakes

Life as a House (2001) has the board set up wrong

The board is set up wrong in The Seventh Seal (1957).

The board was set up wrong om Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The board is set up wrong in The Blade Runner.

The position is wrong in From Russia With Love (1963).

There are chess mistakes in Bad Company (2002).

Checkmate was announced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but there is no checkmate.

Other movies that have the board set up wrong include: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Austin Powers II (1999, The Avengers (1998), Black and White (1999), Checkmate (2003), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Golden Boy (1939), Justice (1999), Life As a House (2001), Pennies From Heaven (1936), Shaft (2000), and The Seventh Seal (1957), The Ghost Ship (1943), Magnificent Doll (1946), Patrie (1946), The Lady From Shanghai (1948), Merry Andrew (1958), What's New, Pussycat (1965), Time After Time (1979), The History of the World Part I (1981), Chaindance (1990), Dead Beat (1994), The Takeover (1995), Justice (1999), and Shaft (2000), The Actors (2003), Time After Time (1979), Charlie Chan in the Chinese Cat (1944), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Checkmating (2004).

 


 Thats some list billwall! Actually I remember in Ace Ventura WNCalls that that particular scene suffered from serious prop errors when the chess pieces kept appearing and disappearing between the different cuts.

Glasshouse00
paulgottlieb wrote:

In "The Seventh Seal" the opponent was Death, and I think Death can set up the board any way he likes!


 Interestingly enough I heard that the centuary the film is set in was before the queen became the most powerfull piece on the board yet the two players are seen to move her in the modern fashion. I'm not too sure on the specifics of this though.

eddiewsox

It seems like with all the attention to detail in films that someone on the set would play chess and set things right in almost all these movies. 

wwaren

Having a board set up incorrectly is almost the norm in most Hollywood movies (excepting of course Bogart movies). Most recently, I've seen it in the TV series Psych. Also, a short shot of a mistakenly set up board appears in The DaVinci Code. Too easy to fix to be so common.

Here_Is_Plenty

Fascinating thread, guys.  I think I should work for Hollywood as my games are always full of mistakes...

blake78613

How is the position wrong in from Russia with Love?  It is a position from a Kings Gambit Spassky played against Bronstein.

freshy17

Allow me to revive this old thread with a wrongly set up board I just spotted in the movie Last Night (2010) with Keira Knightley and Guillaume Canet. No one is playing the game the board just sits there as decoration I suppose. Not a very good movie either.

Here_Is_Plenty

There is a program Perception which ironically shows a complete lack of it.  First episode I saw a chessboard in it, there was the usual wrong board setup.  Then there actually is a game between two people at end of another one and move 3 Qa5 happens with the c pawn unmoved.  Sure, to someone sitting a long way from tv who has no knowledge of chess, it would not be obvious...

Glasshouse00

Yep, the film industry is a strange beast. After working on a few sets (short films) I could see that such a thing as correct chess movements, set ups etc can be the farthest from a directors mind whilst filming, even if the game is integral to a scene. I suppose it could come down to " move that piece there, that looks good." It's all about attention to detail on the directors part which makes me believe that trysts comment on HAL is right because Stanley Kubrick was a man all about the details. Can't think of any other mistakes at the moment but I was watching the special features for Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows and for the scene where Sherlock plays Moriarty at the end they brought in a chess expert if you will to make sure the gameplay was accurate and for continuity. I must recheck to see if that translated well into the film though. Now there's an idea for the wanted adds, "chess player needed on set for film"