One is the Real World, which is represented by Bangkok – a city full of excitement and excess, too interested in the pursuit of physical pleasure to pay much attention to the cerebral world of Chess…
The other setting is the Chess World, which is represented within the Chess Arena. Within the confines of the arena chess is the only thing that matters. All other concerns should be left at the door, but it doesn’t quite happen that way…
Between these two worlds lie the lives of several people who find themselves not only playing the game of chess, but being used as pawns themselves in a political game much bigger than chess. The world’s media is watching every move they make, both on the board and off it. Somehow they have to try and find the right moves to win the personal battles within their own lives.
Where does the game end and life begin? Sometimes you are forced to make moves that you don’t really want to - and make them with fear. At other times you plan your moves and make them with confidence. No matter which type of move is being made the outcome can never be predicted and so we set up our pieces and watch to see what happens.
ANATOLY World Chess Champion (A Russian)
Anatoly has won the championship once before, but since then has been experiencing problems in his personal life. He and his wife have found it difficult to deal with the demands imposed upon them by the all-powerful KGB affiliated people who control the world of chess in Russia. This has resulted in the deterioration of their marriage and a noticeable decline in the quality of Anatoly’s chess playing.
FREDDIE The new challenger (An American)
During the playoffs for the tournament Freddie has played some impressive chess - creating huge media interest in the process. He has fast become American’s new golden boy – their first hope in some time for a win against the Russians. A bit of a loose cannon before he met Florence, he was often involved in ‘across the board’ brawls and arguments with his opponents. She helped him to control his temper, but he is now reverting to his old ways.
FLORENCE Freddie’s right hand woman, his ‘second’ and lover.
She has worked long and hard to get Freddie to where he is today. She is the key to his success. Before he met her he had nobody to help control his nervous energy - to channel it towards his game. Lately, since he has been doing so well in the playoffs, and been receiving rave reviews from the press, he has begun to revert to his old self. This has proved difficult for Florence to deal with, but she’s trying her best to get him under control once again. So far she has had little success and is feeling somewhat drained by his excesses.
MOLOKOV Anatoly’s second and head of the Soviet Chess Federation.
Molokov is worried. He knows Anatoly is having problems with his concentration and could very easily lose his title. He also knows that Freddie is playing some extremely good Chess and will be very difficult to beat. Molokov’s task is to make sure that the championship title is retained by Russia, no matter what he has to do to achieve this objective. With the help of his KGB allies, Molokov knows that anything is possible!
WALTER Head of marketing for the American Chess Federation.
Although this man is head of the Chess Federation he is also a ruthless Businessman. His main aim is to extract as much money as he possibly can from the tournament. The exclusive love of chess is not something to which he subscribes. He will take any opportunity that comes his way to make money.
ARBITER The man in control of the tournament.
His only love is for chess. Nothing can distract him from his task of making sure that all the rules are adhered to. This is the one man who still believes that chess is a game of cerebral supremacy and nothing whatsoever to do with money, fame or politics.