Dangerous Moves

Synopsis: Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies. The veteran Akiva is a Soviet Jew and ferocious Communist, master of his game but also dealing with a declining health while the young and restless genius Pavius has defected to the West to escape from the Communism tentacles. Their differences will be put to test while they're both competing in the World Chess Championship, with a huge prize at stake just as much as the political ideologies behind those characters.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Richard Dembo
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

- How do you feel?

- Fine, fine.

I'll feel better when the match starts.

Spoken like a true hero,

Akiva Israelovitch.

The test results are excellent.

Don't worry.

You have the heart of a cosmonaut.

You'll live to 120.

I prepared your case history.

Don't forget it.

And this, too.

Always keep some on you.

I don't think you'll need it.

- Anton, you promised you'd come.

- They refused my exit visa request.

Where are they?

I don't understand.

Moscow said they'd be on this flight.

What's going on?

They're going to reconstruct the name

you won against him in 1969.

You're lazy, you know.

Talented but lazy.

Go ahead and beat me, then.

Queen to G7.

If the rook takes B3,

the black bishop takes the pawn on C4.

Knight then takes

the bishop, naturally.

And black pushes the rook to G10.

It's over.

The whites have had it.

If you want to beat your opponent,

study the names he lost.

- Tac-Tac.

- Excuse me.

Anastase Inanovitch,

what are you doing here?

You've been in Geneva

for half an hour.

Then let's net off this plane.

What are we waiting for?

They're here.

- Heller, his cardiologist?

- No.

I was right.

Liebskind isn't sick. This heart attack

story is all propaganda.

Your information is crap.

My information is good.

You think Tac-Tac is here

because of his skill as a chess player?

- How many threatening letters?

- Twelve.

Two are death threats.

All anonymous, as usual.

Pavius, I have the contract.

I already said no twice.

Three days' work, you pay off

your debts and you're set for life.

I won't do it.

You know how much you owe me?

If you want money,

give me something to sell.

Listen to me, Foldes.

Fromm is Fromm.

He's a professional chess player.

Have him play against

blindfolded on a pillar

at the bottom of the ocean...

but they have to play me...

not a machine with my name on it.

Is that clear?

I'm going to town.

Where's the bathroom?

End of the hall, on the right.

You weren't followed?

Not a chance.

- Who's your man in our group?

- Nobody.

I don't believe you.

Good for you.

Opportunist scum.

We can't all be dissident superstars.

How's our hero?

Can he travel

without his cardiologist now?

He doesn't need a cardiologist.

He'll put you to shame, my boy.


You know I'm going to beat him.

Me, the turncoat, the traitor.

The bourgeois idealist.

You'll see.

When I'm world champion,

in Pravda they'll call it...

yet another victory

for Soviet chess.

Did you bring me here

to tell me this crap?

- Did you see Marina?

- Yes.

How is she?

Fine, I think.

She didn't tell you anything?

Why doesn't she answer my letters?

What have you done to her?

Pavius, Marina wants a divorce.

Tell her to wait

until after the match.

Get rid of your cigarette,

Genady Ivanovitch.

It's not even lit, Akiva Israelovitch.

But you threaten to smoke it.

In chess, threats

are more serious than actions.

You still enjoy beating me?

I savor the sweetness

just as you savor the bitterness.

Why did you come?

just obeying orders.


- I want foam laid down everywhere.

- I'll see to it.

The pieces aren't heavy enough...

and I want more light.

We can change that.

- And the light?

- We can turn it up.

Go ahead.

Grandmaster Fromm

will tell you when.

That's fine.

- Keep that for the name. What's it at?

- Eighty.

Thank you.

- Well, honestly!

- What's going on, Anastase Inanovitch?

- We're due at the theater at 11:00.

- Go on ahead. I trust you.

Make sure everything complies

with the protocol you negotiated.

But he demanded...

He can raise the lighting to 80.

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Richard Dembo

Richard Dembo (24 May 24 1948 – 11 November 2004) was a French director and screenwriter. Dembo achieved worldwide recognition with his first film: La diagonale du fou. For the direction of this film, Dembo received an Oscar in 1984 for best foreign film, as well as other numerous awards (César, Prix Louis Delluc). Michel Piccoli starred in the film as a Jewish citizen of the USSR. In 1993 Dembo directed L'instinct de l'ange with Hélène Vincent, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Cluzet und Lambert Wilson. After a long pause during which he directed no films, Dembo directed his last film Nina's House. On 11 November 2004, Dembo unexpectedly died in Paris under the symptoms of an intestinal obstruction. He was buried in Israel. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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