Keira Knightley and chess

by André Schulz
10/3/2020 – Almost ten years ago, English actress Keira Knighley caused a stir among motorbike enthusiasts when she roared through the streets in style for a promotional clip on a Ducati 750 Cafe Racer. Now the chess community can rejoice, as the royal game was featured in Coco Chanel’s latest promotional video with Mrs Knightley. | Photo: Coco Chanel

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Coco Chanel!

Keira Knightley fans — who isn’t? — and motorbike fans will certainly remember the aesthetically pleasing advertising clip for Coco Chanel from 2015. Keira Knightley wakes up in her delicate pink bed linen, which happens to be the colour of the advertised Coco Chanel perfume. Then you see her in a pale pink leather suit with a pale pink jet helmet climbing onto her Ducati 750 Cafe Racer, also painted in the most delicate pink. She floats pale pink through the city, which by the way is completely empty. At a traffic light three men stop next to her. A slight turn of the accelerator, a jump over a staircase — and she’s off. Arrives in time for the photo shoot in an elegant palazzo. Fashion shots. The young good-looking photographer strokes her hair. Away with her petrol-smelling overall. Coco Chanel!

This beautiful scene stands out pleasantly from the motorbike ride in the following film excerpt. Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson drives her motorbike without any trace of pale pink. Instead: risky overtaking manoeuvres and reckless driving. She puts herself and others in danger. No wonder that some places in Germany want to ban motorbikes from their streets completely. Tom Cruise (without suitable protective clothing and without a helmet!) and Simon Pegg do not behave any better either. It doesn't work like that! This film excerpt serves here exclusively as a deterrent in contrast with the previous clip — no Coco Chanel!

No more motorbikes — it’s the chess fans’ turn:

In her new advertising clip for Coco Chanel, Keira Knightley returns to her hotel room — a suite — in the evening after a busy day, quickly replays a game or analyses an endgame before going to bed. She takes out a pretty little box with the chess pieces — which she always carries with her — and sets up a chess set on her bed. There is a knock at the door. A chess partner? Coco Chanel!

Perhaps this clip is the prequel to a commercial that Keira Knightley made for Coco Chanel two years ago. After a party, she ends up playing chess with a partner in bed. And again: Coco Chanel!

Keira Knighley's first contact with chess as an actress, however, took place five years ago in the film “The Imitation Game”, when she worked as a codebreaker with Alan Turing and Hugh Alexander in Bletchley Park, helping to decipher the Enigma machine.

And Coco Chanel? The French fashion entrepreneur, good friend of the German diplomat Hans Günther von Dincklage and SS officer Walter Schellenberg, worked for the opposite camp. She was “Agent F-7124” and worked for the German occupying forces during the Second World War.

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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