The author, Ian Fleming, was a real British Naval Intelligence Secret Service Agent during World War II. Many of the events in the James Bond Series are similar to actual real events during the war and during the Cold War that immediately followed the shooting war. Ian Fleming often did not even change the names or he used the names of real people for his characters.
For chess players, the most interesting scene comes from the beginning of the movie, depicting a chess championship. During the chess game, Kronsteen, the master strategist for SMERSH, receives a message on the bottom of a glass of water he is handed stating "You are required at once". This order meant that he must resign the game for the Championship. However, Kronsteen disobeys the order even though knowing that disobeying the order would be punishable by his death.
This scene in the book and the movie is based on an actual real chess event. In the 1951 Match for the World Chess Championship, the challenger, Bronstein, was playing the champion, Botvinnik. Bronstein was a point ahead in the match and a pawn ahead in the next to last game. All Bronstein had to do was draw or win that game and he would have been World Chess Champion.
Yet, Bronstein thought 40 minutes about this position and then, inexplicably, resigned the game in this position and his chance for the World Chess Championship.
Did Bronstein receive such a message from his KGB Colonel? Why did Bronstein think 40 minutes and then resign? Did not those 40 minutes give KGB Colonel Baturinsky time to hand Bronstein a note telling him to resign? The world has been asking these questions ever since.
For the rest of his life, Bronstein was repeatedly asked that question: "Did or did not the KGB order you to throw the 23rd game?"
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About the Author
Ian Fleming (1908-1964) was an English author, journalist, and intelligence officer. He is best known for his series of spy novels featuring MI6 agent James Bond codenamed 007. Many of the James Bond books were later adapted into movies and the film franchise continues to be popular to this day. Fleming's experience as a intelligence officer provided the background for many of the Bond novels. Fleming was also the author of the beloved children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.