Check and mate

see also


click on the images to download them in high res

Check and mate (La regina degli scacchi)

Check and mate (La regina degli scacchi)

original title:

La regina degli scacchi

directed by:



set design:





film run:




release date:


festivals & awards:

Seventeen year old Maria Adele, pretty and intelligent, has a knack for chess. She's got the makings of a real champion.
Watching her playing expertly on five different checkerboards at the same time, Emilio, a young journalist seeks her out for an interview. Searching among her deceased mother's belongings for a childhood photograph, Maria Adele realizes that she's been adopted. Yet Emilio’s real aim is not the girl, although he greatly admires her skills.
He is really after Sterlizia, a somber figure who acts as the girl's master and mentor but who - he suspects - has a past as a child abuser. Maria Adele is hurt, and feels betrayed by her loving adoptive father for not disclosing the truth; betrayed and misused by Emilio, whom she suspects of pursuing the scoop of a lifetime. So, while Sterlizia's shady past is brought to light, Maria Adele retreats into her inner and recurrent nightmares.
A ray of light will come from the desperate Sterlizia, who, through his job at the Juvenile Court, is in a position to help Maria Adele find her real mother.
The woman she finds is withered and hard, with no joy or love left to give, but Maria Adele decides to go and live with her. It is only when she confronts her, then loses a chess game for the first time, that the past will come back to her with all its force, and the real meaning of her worst nightmares will finally