Mission: Impossible: Season 2, Episode 17

A Game of Chess (14 Jan. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
7.8
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The IMF's target is an international chess grandmaster who also is planning to steal gold seized from the opposition movement of an unnamed Soviet Bloc country. Rollin poses as an amateur ... See full summary »

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Title: A Game of Chess (14 Jan 1968)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Nicholas Groat
Curt Lowens ...
Captain Stevya
Lou Robb ...
Clerk
Jason Johnson ...
Referee
Will J. White ...
Sergeant
Michele Guarini ...
Opponent (as Michael Guarini)
William Wintersole ...
Mueller
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Storyline

The IMF's target is an international chess grandmaster who also is planning to steal gold seized from the opposition movement of an unnamed Soviet Bloc country. Rollin poses as an amateur chess player, helped by a computer Barney is running that is unbeatable at chess. The plan, devised by Phelps, also calls for a devious way of snatching the gold from both the chess player and the authorities. Written by Bill Koenig

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14 January 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The tape scene where Jim Phelps receives his taped instructions is re-used from the episode "Trek" broadcast earlier this same season. The scene takes place in a telephone booth, and to obtain the photograph accompanying the tape recording, Phelps (Peter Graves) unlocks the coin box to remove a small, folded envelope containing the photo of their opponent. The photo that Phelps supposedly looks at is much larger than the small envelope he removes from the coin box but has no visible creases. (The contents of the envelope in the earlier episode was a small folded news article.) See more »

Quotes

Person on Tape: Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Two weeks ago, a million dollars in gold bullion, intended for the underground in one of the anti-Western satellites, was intercepted by that government's military police. Preparations are now being made to ship the gold behind the Iron Curtain. This loss to the underground movement will set back for years any chance of liberty in this country. The man you are looking at is Nicholas Groat, whose reputation as a brilliant chess master has given him entrée and enabled ...
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User Reviews

 
A good episode with one flaw...though I doubt if folks at the time noticed.
26 May 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

flaw--having a computer beat a grand master is most likely possible but he COULD win

A chess grandmaster also has some larceny on his mind, as he's planning on stealing funds in a bank vault that belong to an opposition movement in his Communist Bloc nation. So, the plan is to use a computer to feed Rollin the chess moves in order to make him unbeatable and get the attention of this grandmaster. Then, using the computer, they'll help him rob the vault. Naturally, the IM Force doesn't intend to really help him!

The big problem about this episode is that the writer assumed that you could make a computer that could ALWAYS win the chess match. However, in highly publicized matches years later, Garry Kasparov played a computer and managed to win...at least some of the matches. So, the best computers of the 1980s and 90s, still could not guarantee wins against humans. In fact, when Kasparov did lose matches, the did split several of the games making up the match. However, considering that folks in the 1960s didn't know this and thought computers were magic, this is mostly a problem for folks today watching reruns.

Overall, a decent and involving episode.


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