Chess in Bollywood

Chess is a symbol of intelligence, a way to signify for a person or brand that they have thought far ahead of their competition. That’s why it’s no wonder that chess has featured directly or indirectly in many movies all across the world. Today we will focus on a few bollywood movies that have used the game to get a point across.

  • Chhichhore

This one has a special place in our hearts thanks to Sushant Singh Rajput. Even though the involvement of the game was minimal, this one is definitely special.

This game was played between former world champion Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in the World Championship 1990, organized in Lyon, France. A similar game was played in the movie, where Bevda/Baldev was white. The key difference in the game and movie was that towards the end, Bevda came up with a move that was not played by Kasparov in the actual game.

  • Rustom

(0.22 – 0.32 seconds)

The game played in the movie is well known as the legal trap or Blackburne trap. White sacrifices the queen and delivers a forced mate with his knight. This is a very interesting trap that many chess players fall into when they start the game.

We did a video on this trap ourselves that you can watch here. Mind you, it’s a queen sacrifice, so not for the faint hearted!

  • Wazir

(0.24 – 0.41 seconds)

In the scene Amitabh Bachchan explains the check mate to Farhan Akhtar. It is white’s turn to play and his Knight is under attack, but he ignores it and plays Bxh5!+ Rxh5 and now follows the mate with Qxh5+ g6 Qxg6#

  • Shatranj Ke Khiladi

(15.29 – 16.40 Seconds)

In this scene, Munshiji explains the history and modern rules of the game. Earlier the the white Queen was placed on e1 while the King was placed on d1 and the pawn could only move one square from its initial position.

These were few of the examples from bollywood where chess was used to convey strategy or long term planning and to use chess as a subtle hint towards a twist later in the movie.

‘ Jab haathi ke aage ka pyaada marta hai, to yeh haathi tabahi macha deta hai’.

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