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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

Crescent Medieval Chessmen No. 18

Crew members of the nuclear submarine HMS Ranger play chess in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Crew members of the nuclear submarine HMS Ranger play chess in The Spy Who Loved Me.
photo © EON, United Artists
photo © EON, United Artists
Close-up of the chess set in the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me.
photo © EON, United Artists

photo from eBay
A Crescent Medieval Chessmen No. 18 set comes with a red box and 32 weighted pieces, but not a board.
photo from eBay

photo from eBay
The box, which is clearly seen in the film as well, has gold text "Crescent" Medieval Chessmen No. 18 (with weighted bases) made in England.
photo from eBay

photos from eBay
The pieces are inspired by Medievel characters.
photos from eBay

In one of the first shots of the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me the crew of British nuclear submarine HMS Ranger play a game of chess.

The players use Crescent Medieval Chessmen No. 18 and a red and black carton chess board.

The Crescent chess pieces come in a red box with gold text and includes 32 pieces with weighted bases but not a board. The red box and some of the pieces can be clearly seen in the film.

The Crescent Medieval Chessmen No. 18 set was made in England in the 1970s and can still be found on eBay UK for less than £25.

In the original script for the film, the chess game is mentioned like this:

At the table1 two ratings - JONES and FRASER - are playing chess. JONES moves a piece. FRASER studies the board frowningly, then relaxes with a gesture of defeated disgust.

With a grin, JONES picks up a piece of chalk and turns to a slate on the wall beside the serving hatch. On it is chalked -"JONES 148, FRASER 3". JONES licks a finger and alters "148" to "149".

JONES: "Don't worry. You got another whole month to find out the Bishop moves diagonally."

In the final film "Eddie G. Fraser" is the one that watches the game and one of the characters playing is named "A. C. Andrews".

The chess pieces are used to show the sudden shaking and vibration of the submarine, caused by Karl Stromberg's supertanker Liparus.

The chess board

It's not confirmed which board is used in the film and we don't see a good close up of it. The board has a red edge and looks like a carton folding board.

vintage 1970s chess board red edge

I found a similar looking board on eBay (pictured above), from the "Berwick Chess Presentation Set" (reference #416), which is also a 1970s board from England.

Product Code: 
al069

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