Dangerous Moves (1984)
"La diagonale du fou" (original title)

 |  Drama, Thriller  |  24 May 1985 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akiva Liebskind
Alexandre Arbatt ...
Pavius Fromm
Marina Fromm
Henia Liebskind
Wojciech Pszoniak ...
Le grand maître Felton - l'équipe de Fromm
Miller, l'équipe de Fromm
Tac-Tac, l'équipe de Liebskind
Hubert Saint-Macary ...
Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind
Pierre Michaël ...
Serge Avedikian ...
Pierre Vial ...
Anton Heller
Bernhard Wicki ...
Jacques Boudet ...
Benoît Régent ...


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. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

24 May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Moves  »

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In the final game, Pavius and Akiva play the French Defence / Paulsen Attack. The moves are as follows: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 Nh6 8. Nc3 Nf5 9. Na4 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Qa5 11. Bc3 b5 12. a3 Bxc3+ 13. Nxc3 b4 14. axb4 Qxb4 The film ends here; at this point, it is much too early in the game to determine who will win. See more »


Early in the film, Liebskind describes a move as "Rook to G-10". There is no G-10 on the chessboard; the numbers only go to 8. This error is in the subtitles only and was a mistranslation; the actual line ends with "huit", French for eight. See more »


Pavius Fromm: Check. Check.
Akiva Liebskind: Mate! Mate!
[wins one match]
See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

The Cold War in a chess game
19 September 1999 | by (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Disputing the world title of chess, sit down in chairs opposite two soviets. However, none of the two is Russian: one of them, the champion, is Jewish. The other, the challenger, is a Lithuanian, political exile that is refugee in another country. This game will be a mirror of the Cold War: each movement is dangerous, each play is strategically important. Who is the best? The communist Jew, obedient to the Soviet state, or the Lithuanian traitor, enemy of the proletarian revolution? A beautiful end, where the game in itself has, for both, a larger importance than the world title and they consequences. A good film, with reasonable tension, great representative of the rare Swiss movies.

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