Film - The Luzhin Defence (2000) - Presented by Barbara Steffek-Hill
Chess genius Aleksandr Ivanovich “Sascha” Luzhin (John Turturro) has been immersed in the game since childhood. Leo Valentinov (Stuart Wilson) cons his father into allowing the boy to leave home, promising Sascha will meet the right people. For fourteen years, Valentinov instead uses him for a meal ticket. With no warning, Valentinov abandons hapless Sascha. Despite the betrayal, Sascha achieves the status of maestro and arrives at an Italian resort to play against a formidable opponent for the championship. A hotel guest, strong-willed Natalia Katkov (Emily Watson), catches his fancy. Within two days Sascha proposes marriage despite not even knowing her name. During an elimination contest, Sascha spots Valentinov, come to make his sinister presence felt. Barbara Steffek-Hill presents a series of classic and contemporary films from her personal favorites.