"Columbo" The Most Dangerous Match (TV Episode 1973) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



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  • A chess player murders his opponent before a big match. Lt. Columbo must out-maneuver this crafty, but craven, killer.

  • 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.

  • A chess grandmaster plots to kill his arch rival who decides to make a comeback after retiring years earlier, but when the victim survives the first attempt on his life, the grandmaster then decides to fatally poison him before he can regain consciousness.

  • Chess grandmaster Emmett Clayton's title, not to mention his ego, are threatened when an ex-girlfriend convinces retired Soviet player Tomlin Dudek to challenge him. Dudek is Clayton's superior in every way at chess, but Clayton refuses to accept defeat. He plots to murder his erstwhile rival before the match can take place. His only obstacle to unquestioned domination of chess: a police lieutenant who knows all the right moves to put Clayton behind bars.



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