Columbo: The Most Dangerous Match


Chess is never merely a game, my friend.
Produced in 1973, “The Most Dangerous Match” was the closest thing to a cold war episode seen in Columbo.  An American chess master and grand champion is matched against a kindly, old gentleman coming out of retirement who, in his own right, is still considered the world’s best.  See how a classic game of chess, played with salt and pepper shakers, can crack the best of us.

The villain, victim, method, and motive

Emmett Clayton, a chess master, likes martinis, steak, and a good horror movie. Dislikes being made a fool of. Would kill to win a chess game. Will kill if he loses one.

Tomlin Dudek, reigning out of the Soviet Union, is still recognized as the world’s best even after his retirement due to illness. Coming across as a kind, caring, old man, it simply hides his abilities to conduct psychological games and lure his opponents into traps. He loves snails with garlic.

After an attempt to shove Tomlin Dudek into a trash compactor failed, Emmett Clayton tampers with medication with deadly results.

This is a chess board where Emmett Clayton loses the game over snails and garlic. No one must know the truth.

 

Columbo facts and trademarks

Arguing over a loud trash compactor, Columbo figured the crime had to be committed by a deaf man.

Lt. Columbo learns about:
Environmentally friendly trash compactors.  How chess players are a remarkable bunch.

Mrs. Columbo:
Went to visit his mother-in-law for a few days.

Dog
Taken to the vet for excessively scratching his ear.

This Old Man:
Not heard.

Brown paper bag:
Not used. 

San Francisco:
Not visited.

Chili and ice cream:
Offered to take Emmett out for ice cream.   Went to a French restaurant instead.

Shoes:
Not discussed.

“The Most Dangerous Match”, Season 2 Episode 7

Previous episode: A Stitch in Crime
Next episode: Double Shock


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