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11 Movie Chess Scenes Where The Board Is Set Up Wrong

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Once you start to look for them, you see chessboards everywhere. In commercials, print ads, TV shows, and movies, chess is a go-to symbol for class, intelligence and the drama of strategic one-upmanship. However, very often – by some estimates almost 50% of the time – the board is set up wrong. For whoever is in charge of these things, here's a tip: from the perspective of the player, the bottom left corner square should be black. The bottom right corner square should be white. Here are 11 movies where a chessboard appears in the wrong orientation.

1. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Ivana Humpalot: Do you know how we keep warm in Russia?
Austin Powers: Oooo hooo! I can guess, baby!
Ivana Humpalot: We play chess!

Not like this they don't. A real Russian would never make this mistake!

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Image Courtesy Chess In Cinema

As the voiceover states during this shot of a chessboard, "in prison, a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied." Perhaps, after he has finished painstakingly carving and polishing rocks into a chess set, he switches up the board orientation to challenge himself a little?

3. Hands of a Murderer (1990)

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In this Sherlock Holmes movie, the devious Moriarty comes to Holmes's apartment to confront him. A highly metaphoric game of chess ensues. But the board is set up wrong! Is this yet another twist in their complicated cat-and-mouse game? Holmes never explains.

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Image Courtesy of Chess In Cinema

When Clarice goes to consult with a pair of entomologists, she finds them playing chess—badly. They've set up the board with the wrong orientation! But they are also using beetles as chess pieces and a live beetle as a chess clock. (The player has to make a move before the beetle crawls from one end of the board to the other.) So, it's just kind of all around different.

5. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde (2003)

Image Courtesy Of Chess In Cinema

When you want to signal important officialdom in a movie make sure you've got the required elements: Massive oak desk? Check. Cushy leather desk chair? Check. Giant antique globe? Check. Deluxe burnished wood chess set? Oops!

6. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

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Who set this chessboard up the wrong way? Just another one of the many mysteries of The Da Vinci Code.

7. History of the World: Part I (1981)

Granted, it's difficult to get a good perspective on the board when you're setting up a life-sized chess game.

8. What's New Pussycat (1965)

Et tu, Woody Allen? Say it ain't so! In his defense, this was his first movie, and he wasn't directing. Chessboards make frequent appearances in his later films, and they are always set up correctly.

9. Blade Runner (1982)

It's hard to tell on a light-up board, but the bottom right corner of the opposing player is clearly black here. Then again, who knows what the rules of chess will be in the future?

10. Never Say Never Again (1983)

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You can tell that this is a game being played by the bad guys, because James Bond would never make such a mistake.

11. The Seventh Seal (1957)

That's right, the most famous chess-related movie of all time has a scene with the board set up wrong. But as we all know, Death doesn't play by the rules.

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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink


Big Daddy


Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison




Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns


Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)


Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)


October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)

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Every New Movie, TV Series, and Special Coming to Netflix in October
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While October means self-curated horror movie marathons for many people, the biggest thing happening on Netflix just might be the return of Stranger Things. But that's not happening until October 27, and there’s a lot more happening outside the city lines of Hawkins, Indiana on the behemoth streaming network this month (like the premiere of David Fincher's Mindhunters and the return of Schitt's Creek). Here’s every new movie, television series, comedy special, and documentary making its way to Netflix in October.   

October 1

88 Minutes

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song

Before Midnight

Blood Diamond

Boogie Nights

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Cleverman: Season 2

Death Sentence

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Eagle vs. Shark

Eyes Wide Shut

Generation Iron 2

Ghost Patrol

I Love You, Man

Ice Guardians

Lockup: Disturbing the Peace (Collection 1)

Made of Honor

Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Must Love Dogs

Never Let Me Go

No Reservations


PJ Masks (Season 1)

Set Up

The Reaping

Tokyo Idols

Tommy Boy



October 2

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

Sleeping with Other People

October 3

13 Demons

Rodney Carrington: Here Comes The Truth

Cult of Chucky

The Survivalist

October 4


October 5

Bonus Family (Bonusfamiljen) (Season 1)

Schitt’s Creek (Season 3)

The Fosters (Season 5)

October 6

ID-0 (Season 1)

Skylanders Academy (Season 2)

Suburra (Season 1)

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Word Party (Season 3) 

October 7

Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life

Middle Man

October 10

Christina P: Mother Inferior

The Skyjacker’s Tale

October 11

Donnie Darko

October 12

Fe de Etarras

October 13

El Especial de Alex Fernández

Kingdom of Us

Mindhunter (Season 1)

Super Monsters (Season 1)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

The Babysitter

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Voltron: Legendary Defender (Season 4)

October 15

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses

Lego: City (Season 1)



She Makes Comics

West Coast Customs (Season 6)

October 17

Patton Oswalt: Annihilation

Slasher: Guilty Party

October 19

Wedding Unplanned

October 20


Haters Back Off (Season 2)

One of Us

Smurfs: The Lost Village

The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story


October 23

Meet the Robinsons

While We’re Young

October 24

Wanted (Season 1-2)

The Mist (Season 1)

October 25

The Hateful Eight

The Final Master

La Querida del Centauro (Season 2)

October 26

Strange Weather

October 27

Stranger Things 2

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

October 28

Pup Star: Better 2Gether

October 30

Judah Friedlander: America Is The Greatest Country In The United States

October 31

Zumbo’s Just Desserts (Season 1) 



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