CheckMating – the chess dating game

by ChessBase
4/5/2004 – The subject of the little (6 min 33 sec) movie is tantalising: a woman tests her dates over games of chess, with each contest taking on the mood of the relationship. She's in full control, knowing exactly what she wants in a man – until she finds it. More...

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The film was written and directed by William Azaroff and stars Amy DeBourget with an assortment of men. Azaroff shot the film in Seattle in one 18-hour day. "The production was charmed," he says. "From the minute I mentioned the idea for the first time to my first film festival acceptance, everyone wanted the project to happen and it gained a momentum of its own. It was a wonderful film to make."

The producer is Atom Shockwave. You can watch the entire movie at the Atom films web site. It is available in a number of different bandwidths and for Windows Media or Real formats.

This is the girl who checks out her dates with a game of chess.

Not easy for the suitors, she appears to be a fairly competent player.

Naturally the movie has used the services of the Great Chess Phantom. This person has dedicated his (or her – nobody has ever seen it) life to making absolutely sure that in all chess movies produced in America – and elsewhere for that matter – the board will unfailingly have a black square on the bottom right-hand corner. Some people do not believe that the GCP exists, but what are the odds of getting it wrong in every single movie?

Another thing the Great Chess Phantom does is to ensure that "Hollywood captures" are used. These are executed by pushing the captured piece aside, replacing it with the capturing piece and then, in a separate action and often with a little flourish, picking the captured piece off the board. If you are a club player you should practise this technique (instead of the mundane lift-off-and-replace swoop). It's the only way you are ever going to get into a Hollywood movie.

The point of the chess game – but it rarely works the way the suitor envisions

The film is rich in symbolism, most of which we did not catch. But there are short reviews to help you form a judgement the CheckMating story.

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