Raymond Keene

Chess: Elementary

The latest Sherlock Holmes film, A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey jr and Jude Law, pays distinct homage to Conan Doyle’s one direct reference to chess in the Sherlock Holmes canon. Although in The Dying Detective Holmes and Watson repair for ‘something nutritious’ at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, then the traditional hub of London chess, the only actual mention of the game comes in The Retired Colourman, where Holmes asserts that chess expertise is the mark of a scheming mind — a quote that makes it into the film script.

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