Shows "C"

strange, new-found love. Walter tips off the press as to this recent news story and they ambush Anatoly and Florence. When the mob of reporters asks Anatoly why he is deserting his country, he tells them that his land's only borders lie around his heart. Act 2 A year later, Anatoly is set to defend his championship in Bangkok, Thailand. Freddie is already there, chatting up locals and experiencing the Bangkok nightlife because he is now Global TV's special presenter for this year's championship. Florence and Anatoly are now openly lovers, and worry about Freddie's sudden reappearance as well as the impending arrival of Anatoly's estranged wife, Svetlana, from Russia, which Anatoly suspects is part of Molokov's plan to shame him into returning to the Soviet Union. Molokov, meanwhile, has trained a new protégé, Leonid Viigand, to challenge Anatoly, while spying on Anatoly and plotting his downfall. Walter, now Freddie's boss at Global TV (and clearly a CIA agent), manipulates Freddie into embarrassing Anatoly on live TV during an uncomfortable and eventually heated interview between the two former opponents. Molokov, who indeed is responsible for Svetlana's presence in Bangkok, now blackmails her into making Anatoly lose the match. Walter, who has been promised the release of certain American agents if he can ruin Anatoly's play, informs Florence that her father is still alive though imprisoned in Russia, and that he too will be released if she can convince Anatoly to lose. Neither of these ploys work to get Anatoly to throw the game, however. As a result, Molokov and Walter team up to get Freddie to personally persuade Anatoly and Florence, knowing that Freddie is vengeful toward Anatoly and interested in winning back the love of Florence. The couple, though, refuses to negotiate with Freddie. Svetlana and Florence talk one-on-one for the first time about their respective romantic relationships with Anatoly. Florence ultimately admits that it would be best for Anatoly to return to Svetlana and their children. Anatoly, meanwhile, is sent an anonymous letter telling him to go to Wat Pho, which he does; to his surprise, Freddie appears, having decided to merely facilitate a brilliant match, regardless of his own personal conflicts with Anatoly. Because of this new change in attitude, Freddie informs Anatoly of a significant flaw in Viigand's play that will help Anatoly win. In the deciding game of the match, with the score at five games all, Anatoly manages to take a superb win against Viigand, and realizes that it may be the only success he can achieve in his life at this time. The victory comes even as Svetlana castigates Anatoly for wallowing in the crowd's empty praise and Florence expresses similar annoyance with him for casting aside his moral ideals. Later, Florence confesses her sentiments that he should return to his family in the Soviet Union and the pair reflects on the conclusion of their romance. Walter later approaches Florence with the news that Anatoly has defected back to the U.S.S.R., meaning that her father will certainly be released. He startlingly admits, however, that no one actually knows if her father is still alive. Florence breaks down, telling Walter that he is using people's lives for nothing, before repeating Anatoly's prior sentiments that her only borders lie around her heart. THE CAST: - M5 F2, with chorus playing multiple roles • Frederick: arrogant, temperamental, American; 30s. • Florence: attractive, clever confident; 30s. • Anatoly: quiet, gentle, Russian; 40s. • Walter: smarmy, sly, American; middle age. • Molokov: cold, Soviet leader; middle age. • Arbiter: no-nonsense, authoritative; middle age. • Svetlana: domestic, dependent, Russian; 30s. MUSICAL NUMBERS: Act 1 1. “Prologue” — Instrumental 2. “The Story of Chess” —The Arbiter and Ensemble 3. “Merano” † 4. “Merano" — Mayor and Ensemble