Emmett Clayton has a nightmare before an important chess match: he and his opponent are chess pieces on a giant, fog-covered chess board. Clearly he's worried about his match with Tomlin Dudek, a kindly old fat Russian. Later, the two meet, not coincidentally, in a French restaurant, where they begin using the salt and pepper shakers and other objects on the table as chess pieces. The game continues in Clayton's apartment - secretly, because both Dudek's doctor and his coach would throw fits if they knew the diabetic Russian was out late, eating rich foods with his opponent. Clayton loses the impromptu game and has a nervous fit, from which Dudek tries to calm him down. The next day, Clayton decides he must murder Dudek before the match. He concocts a scheme that makes it look as if Dudek had met with an untimely accident in the hotel's trash compactor, but our rumpled and seemingly disorganized Lt. Columbo is on the case.
Did You Know?
Laurence Harvey, the actor who played Emmett Clayton, unfortunately passed away the same year this was released. See more
As Columbo and his sergeant are examining the crime scene at the trash compactor, they both put their hands on the railing being dusted for fingerprints and palm prints by the print technician only inches away. See more
Well, chess *is* the ultimate test of the human mind, isn't it?
You think so? I always thought it was women.