This blog includes spoilers from the chess scene in this movie so you have been warned
A Game of Shadows was the second movie directed by Guy Ritchie.The interesting thing about this movie is that it included a chess scene.It was towards the end when Sherlock Holmes and his enemy Moriarty sat down on a balcony in the winter at night.
They decided to play a 5 minute blitz game.Moriarty had the white pieces.Unfortunately we didn't get to see much of the board position as the camera zooms in on a small part of the board and is more interested in the facial expressions of the actors.
After a while both players seems to forget about the clock.Holmes sacrifices his queen and Moriarty says : I think you just lost your most valuable piece.
Holmes says: But a winning strategy sometimes necessitates sacrifice.
After that both players says their moves without looking at the board.They use descriptive notation instead of algebraic notation used nowadays as the movie takes place in 1891.
The game ends with a discovered checkmate by Holmes.
The unusual chess clock used in this movie was manufactured by Fattorini & Sons of Bradford,England.It made its debut in London in 1883.
The game in this movie was inspired by the match Bent Larsen vs Tiger Petrosian in 1966 in Santa Monica.However in the movie they started with a different opening beginning with c4 and it was from move 25 for black they used a different variation and the colours were reversed.
We can't see the exact opening line but we can see that white starts with c4 and black responds with e5.They don't show white´s second move but black´s second which is d5.Later we can see on the board that white has developed his knight and g-pawn and has taken black´s d-pawn with his c-pawn.On his fifth move he move his bishop.Black has developed his f-knight and takes white´s pawn.
So possible opening lines could be 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nf6 4.g3 Nxd5 5.Bg2 or
1.c4 e5 2.g3 d5 3.cxd5 Nf6. 4.Nc3 Nxd5 5.Bg2
I have included three games.First the original game between Larsen and Petrosian.
Then the game between Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in this movie but only the end cause they dont show the whole game.
And finally also a game between Holmes and Moriarty from the book "The Final problem" which this movie borrows some elements from.
The games were analysed with the engine "Stockfish 5" with 4 minutes/ move.