Season 2 Episode 7

The Most Dangerous Match

Aired Unknown Mar 04, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes

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Episode Summary

The Most Dangerous Match

When a chess grandmaster realizes that he is unable to defeat his rival at a tournament, he resorts to murder and makes it look like suicide. But Columbo isn't fooled... and the victim isn't quite dead.

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  • l'antichristo has really said it all. Harvey is a joy to watch, and such an antithesis to the old man Harvey: young, brilliant, ego-ridden, and --surprisingly---very hard of hearing. The old man is continental, with a thick accent, relaxed, full of humor.moreless

    I supose that as long as there have been chess matches, there have been people who HAVE to win---so why do we feel that the young man, Harvey, represents what's wrong with the world today? Me, at all costs! Me, even if he's better. Me, even if I have to, yes, kill him.

    The scene in the restarant, where both men are drawn into playing a chess game with all available eating and seasoning utensils (the checkerboard tableclth inspires them) is SO wonderful!

    The old man, who is so sweet, he is alost uncomfortable with the knowledge that he is the better player, never suspects a thing, until he is lured into a horrible death. Um...almost.

    Thank God for Columbo--one of only two men who can make me laugh without swearing, and who actually blushes when anyone sugests anything having to o with sex!moreless
  • Spoilers

    It is a delight to watch Laurence Harvey as a neurotic chess player, who schemes to murder the opponent he cannot defeat at the chessboard. This movie has wonderful pacing and several cliffhanger moments, as Harvey\'s plot several times seems on the point of failure or exposure, but he manages to beat the odds yet again. Columbo wages a skilful war of nerves against this high-strung genius, and the scene where he manages to rattle him enough to cause him to make a mistake while playing chess is one of the highlights of the movie, as Harvey looks down in disbelief at the board, where he has just allowed himself to be checkmated. The climax is almost as strong, and watching Laurence Harvey collapse completely as his scheme is exposed brings the movie to a satisfying finish. Highly recommended.

Lloyd Bochner

Lloyd Bochner

Mazoor Berozski

Guest Star

Jack Kruschen

Jack Kruschen

Tomlin Dudek

Guest Star

Heidi Bruhl

Heidi Bruhl

Linda Johnson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At the closing scene, the garbage cruncher is chewing away, and Columbo is yelling to Clayton. Clayton reaches up to his ear and yanks down, as if ripping out his hearing aid. Moments later, he does the same thing.

    • When Clayton is preparing to sneak up to Dudek's room, he meets Columbo at the elevator. He is wearing his hearing aid. As he comes out of the elevator, the hearing aid is out. He hides close to Dudek's room and then walks in... wearing the hearing aid again.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (After discovering that the toothbrush in Dudek's suitcase is not his but his roommate's)
      Mazoor Berozski: Lieutenant, then Tomlin Dudek could not have packed his own suitcase.
      Columbo: That's what I was trying to get around to, sir, yes. And if somebody else packed it who didn't know that he wore dentures then...
      Berozski: Then his accident was not an accident!
      Columbo: I, uh, thought you'd like to know, sir, that, uh, I think that is a possibility, yes sir.

    • Columbo: The murderer just had to be a deaf man.

  • NOTES (1)