Szach i mat! (1967) - full transcript - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Based upon the story of Ludwik Umojski

It’s open. Please come in.

No. It’s a misunderstanding.

I was told you were waiting for me…

Signor Bartolomeo?

Of course.

Forgive me.
- I'm not offended. Besides, you know…

insult, anger, and those problems
don’t bother me now as you know…

But I see you have here
a chess problem to be solved.

Mate in three moves.
- I’m a novice chess player.

I can see it.

You make a move with a knight,
which seems to be the most natural,

but really it only undermines the
accomplishment of our aim, which is very


Really, I would never think of that.

Of course, you would, eventually.

I remember I solved this problem when
I was 6 or 7, but it took a whole hour.

Shall we play?

Oh, with pleasure, but…
- No, no...

I’ll give you a queen start.
Or it won’t make sense.

And in the meantime
I’ll tell you about myself.



You have to cover up with the queen.
- But I'll lose her then!

It’s the only way you can save yourself.

It won’t help.

You're wrong.

Bartolomeo, please...
- Yes, yes, it won’t last long.

Mr Jacobo will win the game.

He’ll win? And how will he do it,
my future son-in-law?

Even the devil couldn’t help Mr Jacobo,
and even you won’t, Bartolomeo!

And yet!
- Bartolomeo, please!

What’s interesting is that pawn on G3…

and now it’s much better!

No, I can’t play like this!

You must decide
which one of you will play me!

I would gladly recall this move,
the situation is hopeless…

So, please, have a seat instead of
Mr Jacobo and perform a miracle!

I hope he loses!

I have no more strength.

I’m taking your queen… And check!

Of course.

It’s impossible.

And yet!

Please lose, Bartolomeo, lose!

And now… Check-mate!

Can you see the brighter squares?

They were added later on,
because the chessboard was destroyed,

just as my marriage happiness…

He would never forget it…
I embarrassed him.

Did you love that girl?

She was the light of my life.

Her father took her abroad,
he knew I would do anything.

And I fell into an apathy,
I can’t say for how long…

I haven’t seen you for a year,
maybe even longer…

Bartolomeo, are you still playing?

Am I playing?
- Chess, of course.

- It’s a sin to waste such a talent.

Not to mention the money.

As a matter of fact, you look terrible.
- I’m broke.

And you say it? I don’t recognize you!
Please listen to me, my friend!

There is a rich Englishmen, who comes
for a few days under the acanthus leaf.

He looks bored when he plays, but wins
every time, and we remembered you.

It’s not even about the money
as much as of honour.

We’re embarrassed
by that northern herring!

Bartolomeo, are you the son of Italy?

The son of Italy is broke.
And for sure he'll be playing high.

Don’t bother with the money. I have it.

You'll take the prize.
If you can win.

Sir, why is Bartolomeo waiting?
He should go ahead with the bishop!

Yes, with the bishop,
and in the meantime he’ll lose a knight.


Are you blind? There, at the side!

But I mean...
only with the pawn, only the pawn!


Bravo! A move worthy of a master!

Bravo, Bartolomeo, Bravo!

I can see you made
good use of the money you won.

We Englishmen can see it at first glance.

While we were playing,
my appearance depressed you,

so I’m ready to let you have revenge.

I’m not used to throwing my money away.
I don’t have a chance!

You’re joking!
- I know what I mean.

But I’m ready to repay you
for your gentlemanly gesture.

I propose for you a wealthy life...

satisfaction for all your needs
and 200 pounds sterling every quarter…

It’s an awful lot!
And what do have to do?

One thing only. To play chess.

Whenever I want you to play,
and with whom I choose.

I don’t know what your aim is?

Our common good. Nothing else.

Think of it, Bartolomeo.
You’ll return as a rich man, very famous.

The people who made you suffer
will look differently upon you

and on what they have done to you…

Escape with your rook!

Your rook!

Bartolomeo. You’re obliged
to play only with whom I choose.

Is everything ready?
- Yes, sir.

Come, I’ll show you to your room.

Why do you have such a big wall outside?

We say that our home is our castle.

And it’s difficult to imagine a castle
without high walls.

Let it be.

The room is fine.

I’m glad you’re satisfied with it.

What a strange keyboard this piano has…

Because it’s a strange piano!

I can play a little bit…

I don’t doubt.
You’ll play chess with it.


Those numbers aren’t abstract decoration.
Please, make a move with a knight.

But how?
- As normal.

Make it go where you want it to stand.


It’s simple, isn’t it?

You know what? It’s interesting?

Practice, whenever you can.
You also have a normal chessboard.

A professional library.
And a museum.

But it’s famous Beni Say from Syracuse!

And that’s Arturo Copacabana,
and that’s Vincent Pedestierna!

I see you know your great predecessors,

Many of them them were my guests.

As a proof of our friendship,
they approved the making of these casts.

I hope I can ask you to make the same.
- Me among them?

Only a moment of pain…
And yes. It’s ready. Wonderful.

It's ready.

Do you know, as a southern man
you were very patient!

What a head, that brow!

Dear Meg can see his work
as if it was already done!

Finished here, Master?

Yes, I’ve started the cast, now I’ll go
to finish my work, Sir. Goodbye.

And now, we deserve some alcohol.

That wasn’t very pleasant…

Chateau Margaux!
Each of my guests has praised that drink!

I’m glad to meet you at today’s seance!

I well understand that many of my guests,

aficionados of the beautiful game of chess,
will think it only a mirage,

that phenomenon you’ll now see
can’t be connected with common sense,

but you can check it,

just choose from a few experts.

And this is my invention!

A brilliant chess-player named Bartolomeo!

Please forgive me. Before the act,
my master wants to ask you,

if Bartolomeo can play with our unbeaten
chess-player Muhammed ben-Yosef.

Whatever it costs, of course.

Of course, it is a great honour.

But may I ask, what will happen
to Muhammed if he loses?

Of course. If he loses,
my master will give him a gift.

A kind of silken braided cord…

So then, gentleman,
let's start.

There’s no free room! We've sold
every ticket for the whole month!

I came here particularly…
- I think you made a mistake, Sir.

You won’t find an amusement park
with a fairground hut.

But I… I have a letter of recommendation.

Please leave it here,
and wait for an answer.

You made a second mistake, Sir.

I guess you’re from the continent.
Good-bye, Sir!

It’s insolence!

Unbelievable, he’s a genius!

But he won’t win with Sir John!

I’m not that sure.

Does any one of you
want to try his luck?

My master wants to ask
if Bartolomeo can be sold?

Unfortunately, not.
I’m really attached to him,

and he’s attached to me also.

My master will talk about it with you
once again tomorrow.

We’ll be waiting.

Please, bring me my coat, gloves and hat.

I want to go into town.
- I can’t comply with that request.

Of course. So I’m a prisoner.
Eventually you made it clear.

Can you tell me,
why I'm imprisoned?

You’ll have to ask my master about it.

And do you know it’s illegal

and you can go to jail
as a partner in crime?

I’m only doing my work.

And if we speak of judges…

There will be no judgement.
- What do you mean?

What do you want. Besides,
do you have any more requests?

Go to hell.

Do you understand now
why you can’t leave my house?

I begin to understand. What is it?

A mechanism. Which replays each
of your moves made on the keyboard.

But why give it my face,
it could have yours

or Gem’s face, or whoever else?

I had a purpose in it.

You see, you’re a brilliant chess-player,
and I’m a brilliant engineer,

together we give our viewers satisfaction
for which they pay greatly.

They’re intrigued with the puppet,
which can’t be beaten in a chess game.

Of course they don’t know
that each of their moves

is recorded by the keyboard
hidden in your room.

And while playing
with the puppet of Bartolomeo,

they play with Bartolomeo alive.

And when it breaks?

I predicted that.

Then it can be replaced only
by the real Bartolomeo.

That’s why I gave it your face
and I can’t let you out of my house.

No one can see you alive.

And how long it will last?

I don’t know. A year, two years…

A year or two?
It’s terrifying!

What’s terrifying about it?

I’m keeping my contract...
you’re becoming rich and famous!

I don’t want your money,
I want to return to Italy

and play for my own pleasure!
- You’ll return there one day, but not now.

And what if I choose not to play?

Then Gem will have you.

He has a special room.

This time I predicted everything.

I made some mistakes
with your predecessors.

And what happened to them?

You saw their death masks in your room.

Yes, now everything is clear.

So return to your room and go to sleep.

And if you can’t sleep take
the pill from the table. Good night!

I’m glad to meet you at today’s seance!

I well understand that many of my guests,

aficionados of
the beautiful game of chess,

will think it only a mirage,

that phenomenon which you’ll now see
can’t be connected with common sense,

but you can check it,
just choose from a few experts.

And this is my invention!

A brilliant chess-player
named Bartolomeo!

I have to think a while.

As long as you want, Sir!

I want to give you a chance to win!

As a matter of fact, he has already lost
and any reconsideration won’t help him.

I still believe in Sir Edward’s skills.

It’s impossible that the dead thing
is unbeatable!

I've made a move.

I’m waiting, Bartolomeo!

I’m waiting!

Is your automaton fallible?


Yes, Sir?
- Please check string number 1.

Yes, Sir.


I believe that they received
a fine punishment.

They were both hung.

- A master’s move!

You’re in a hopeless situation.

No human could find a way
to save himself now.

We’ll see.

Jerzy? Please, listen,
I have a chess problem...

I’m writing…

Wait a minute.

Hello? I have a solution.

Fine. G8…
OK, I know what to do next.

And yet, there is still
an effective defence.

Check... mate!

You’ve made a pact with the devil!

No. It’s just a counting machine.

And it was invented by humans.

But if a human invented it,
so I should win the game…

But I have to think a while…

It has me at a loss, that machine….

Unfortunately. My time is up.

Maybe we’ll finish it next time.

Farewell, Master.