Based on the novel by Anthony Price and originally aired in the UK as part of the "Chessgame" television series, this British spy thriller stars Terence Stamp as David Audley, former Oxford professor turned intelligence agent.
The Soviet chess player Anatolij meets the American chess player Freddie in Italy where a grand chess championship is held. There, their pasts and love affairs starts to affect the competition, forcing them to face their inner feelings.
I like the books that this series was based on, and the series has some good qualities, but the problem is that Terence Stamp is the same dull, boring piece of wood that he is in everything else that I've seen him in.
Given the relatively slow pacing of some of these productions the actor playing Audley needs to lift the story up, and Stamp's lifeless, wooden performance drags them down. Which is a shame because the rest of the cast are good, with the under-rated Carmen Du Sautoy on fine form.
Worth a watch if you like slower paced spy fiction but could have been great with a leading actor who could actually act.
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