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Chess in Comic Books and Films

Chess in Comic Books and Films

The Planet Greenpawn

Chess in Comic Books and Films


A keen hobby of mine is trying to guess the names of my Comic
Book Heroes or Villains just by looking at the costume they wear.

Usually I get it completely wrong . For instance when I first saw this guy.
Title here

I thought ‘That must be ‘The Housewife Scary Man’. (spiders...get it?)

Recently a friend gave me this because it had some chess inside it.
Title here

The villain or maybe he is the hero, you cannot tell. The story line
is as confusing to me a as Rook ending played by Vasily Smyslov.

Right away I had his name as ‘Horse Head Man!’.
Title here

I was very close. He is called ‘The Horse’.

And this is what qualifies as ‘...having chess in it.”
Title here

And in this frame.
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Black has two light squared Bishops and White appears to have 9 pawns.

Why do they always get it wrong! recently I watched this.
Aquaman v Hawkgirl
The chess bit comes in around about 2:30.

Aquaman (who I originally guessed was called ‘ Monkfish Man’ ) is playing
chess with Hawk Girl (my first thought was here is ‘Worm Eating Woman. )
Title here

Title here

The arbiter is called .Amazo (‘Giant Yellow Cool Dude’ ).

Aquaman after telling Hawk Girl she is pitiful at chess beats her and as
always the chess set is thrown all over the place. Aquaman plays Amazo
and this position is reached with Amazo claiming it is checkmate............
Title here

....It’s not and the board is round the wrong way.

Which brings me on very nicely to a chess game played in this.
Title here

This is the final position with White having played h6-h7.


“Checkmate! “ says the Sheriff

Thank Goodness for ‘Look and Learn’.
Title here

They use to have a chess column that was always correct.
Title here

Can you see the solution. Answer at the bottom of this page.

How about if I give you an idea from an RHP game.

pawnfondler - xt4jc RHP 2006


green pawns

red goblin grimshaw
Walter Grimshaw (1832 - 1890) and Antonin Novotny (1827-1871)
were problem composers, both have a similar theme named after them.

The Novotny is when a piece is placed on a square (usually a sacrifice) and
no matter how it is captured, it interferes with the action of another piece.
The interference square in question is where a Bishop and Rook cross.

As always better explained with a diagram. This is one from actual play.

M. Palac - G. Andruet, Chianciano, Italy 1989 (White to play)


White cannot give mate with Qf7 because of the f5 Rook
White cannot give mate with Qh8 because of the e5 Bishop

However the Rook and Bishop cross paths at f6 so the move is 41.Rf6+
If the Rook takes it mate on h8 and if the Bishops takes it’s mate on f7.

Here is an excellent Novotny from an actual OTB game.

K. Stancil - R. Goletiani, Philadelphia 2004



The Grimshaw is the same thing but without a piece moving
to the critical square where the Rook and Bishop cross paths.

A Novotny is rare in OTB games bur a Grimshaw is even rarer.

Here is the bones of a Sam Loyd problem which I have taken a free liberty with.
not to make it easier for you to understand, but to make it easier for me to explain.

White to play and mate in two moves.


The first move is 1. Qd6


Black is in Zugzwang. 1...Bf6 cuts off a flight square 2. Qd1 mate.

The Novotny themes are:
1....Rg7 2. Qxe5 mate. Black cannot play 2...Bxe5 the Rook is stopping it.
1....Bg7 2. Qg6 mate. Black cannot play 2...Rxg6 the Bishop is stopping it.

As I said a Grimshaw is very rare indeed. RHP has a Grimshaw Blunder!

patzdaddy - Macroman RHP 2008


red doom

Five more games, including three from this year, to add to the collection
of toe curling blunders that lay hidden within the RHP vaults of despair.

First is two games that contain the same theme.

dinamo - amfilohije RHP 2011


Same idea, mate in the corner with a Knight v a Rook’s Pawn.

Ogey - coconguyen RHP 2004

White finds the only way to lose this game.


Now three games from 2017. A mate from a clear blue sky.

Hermocreek - t25 RHP 2017


Black is winning easily. Then remembers to castling rule.

MGRIF - ricewind1972 RHP 2017


We bring down the curtain with another delightful Helpmate, this time from Black.

ebonyismydog - DerPolitzei RHP 2017


green pawns

The solution to the ‘Look and Learn’ mate in two moves.


1.Qa6+ Kxa6 2.Bc8 mate.

If the King does not take the Queen then White mates on the next move.

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 172713

Posted to The Planet Greenpawn

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Last Post 11 Dec '17
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Blog since 06 Jul '10