What does make this espionage thriller remarkable is it's plausibility... Now, in 2020, we would never give a second thought to an international chess competition but like many others, I recall the fuss made when the world championships really did become an intellectual version of the cold war between the USSR and the USA. Go back to the Cuban missile crisis, when the world was on the brink of an holocaust; and "Josh Mansky" (Bill Pullman) is a neglected US chess champion called upon to take on a Russian Grand Master "Gavrylov" in Warsaw. It's clear from the outset that this is far more than just a series of games of chess; though the strategy and nerve garnered from his skills playing certainly add to those required to carry through with his perilous mission and sure don't do "Mansky" any harm. The one thing it does lack, however, is any degree of sophistication. The Russians are portrayed as little short of ignorant brutes and Pulman's alcoholism, though central to his character, is overplayed to the extent that it distracts quite a bit from the subtlety of the scheme - and makes him a really unlikeable hero. Not sure I'd watch it again, but it does give quite an interesting retrospective on the world frequented by John le Carré!