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<   No. 1872   2008-03-12   >

Comic #1872

1 {scene: A chess tournament. Two players sit engaged in battle across a table, watched by seated spectators following the game on a giant board on the wall behind them.}
1 [caption]: International Masters Championship. Kronsteen v. McAdams.
1 Kronsteen: {drinking a glass of water} Hmm... a message on my coaster. "You are required immediately - Number 1"
2 Kronsteen: Check.
2 McAdams: <sigh> I resign. Congratulations sir, that was a brilliant coup.
3 {scene change: An office on a luxury yacht}
3 [caption]: Some time later...
3 Number 1: What kept you, Number Five?
4 Kronsteen: Pulling out early would have looked suspicious. I had to finish my game... which advanced me to the semi-finals. Spassky had an eye infection, delaying Week Three...

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This is the scene following the opening credits of From Russia With Love. It's a great scene, with an absolutely incredible set (the upper portions of which were actually a matte painting, since the room they filmed it in wasn't tall enough for the look they wanted).

Interestingly, the fictional Kronsteen and McAdams are shown playing an actual historical championship chess game: Spassky versus Bronstein, from the USSR Championship, played in Leningrad in 1960.

The gag in this strip actually echoes Ian Fleming's novel in content, as explained in this article [link archived version on]. Unfortunately, the film does not include the words of explanation given by Kronsteen for why he delayed his departure from the tournament.

2018-10-28 Rerun commentary: The set seen in the first two comic panels here is not the same as the one from the movie. i.e. I didn't use movie screencaps as the background. I don't remember exactly what I did but it looks like I superimposed a chessboard image over a photo of the interior of some church or cathedral or other that I took. Unfortunately with most of the details obscured by the giant chessboard, I can't recognise which church it is.

I have a lot of photos of churches and cathedrals (and those are just the ones I've posted publicly). For historical reasons, they often have impressive and fascinating architecture.

There's an interesting green light visible in panels 1 and 2 as well. You can see it reflecting off the floor, the table, and the tops of people's heads in the audience. I don't remember where or why that came from either.

Very informative author's notes, these, aren't they?

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