Shows "C"

AMERICAN VESION PLOT SUMMARY The play’s American incarnation has noticeably different settings, lyrics, song orders, and a completely different Act 2 from the British version. In particular, in the American Chess the entire show is about one chess match, not two. Act 1 involves the first part of the match, which is held in Bangkok, Thailand, while Act 2 handles the conclusion, and is set in Budapest, Hungary. Also, the incumbent champion is switched in the American version (that is, to Anatoly Sergievsky rather than Freddie Trumper) as is the winner of the Sergievsky–Trumper tournament. Prologue In 1956, a Hungarian revolutionary, Gregor Vassy, calmly explains to his 4-year-old daughter, Florence, the history of chess, before the two are separated in the midst of a violent rebellion in Budapest. Act 1 Decades later at an international chess tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, the wild-tempered American challenger, Freddie Trumper, arrives with his second and presumed lover: a now-adult Florence. At a press meeting, Freddie loses his temper with the reporters as Florence scolds them for their sensationalism. The current world champion, a Soviet Russian named Anatoly Sergievsky, discusses this with his second, Molokov. Afterwards, in private, Anatoly cynically reflects on how his career as world champion has been characterized by empty fame. Meanwhile, Florence grows frustrated with Freddie’s seedy financial agent, Walter, and complains to Freddie that her intellectual capabilities are under-appreciated. The opening ceremony features merchandise vendors and Walter relishing in the tournament’s moneymaking opportunities; the American and Soviet delegates each vowing their side will win; and the beginning of the tournament’s first round. When Anatoly begins eating yogurt during the match, Freddie accuses him of cheating before storming out of the arena, leaving Florence to negotiate with the tournament’s Arbiter, Molokov, and Anatoly, eventually promising to retrieve Freddie. Florence later scolds Freddie, and they fight about the tournament’s politics until he viciously turns the argument toward her missing father; alone, Florence begins to realize her need to abandon Freddie. Instead of heading off to the Generous Sole restaurant for the reconciliatory meeting Florence has scheduled between Freddie and Anatoly, Freddie is sidetracked by the Bangkok nightlife, leaving Anatoly and Florence awkwardly alone together; however, they eventually embrace as romantic feelings arise before being finally interrupted by Freddie. Anatoly apologizes for the yogurt incident and Freddie returns to the match, but only after a hefty bribe. Distracted by the loss of Florence’s love, however, Freddie flounders, finishing the most recent round with one win and five losses; one more loss will cost him the match. Furious, he blames his problems on Florence, who finally leaves him as he reflects on his stature. Florence contemplates her new freedom from Freddie, while Walter secretly arranges for Anatoly to defect from the Soviet Union to the United States. When a mob of reporters ambush Anatoly and ask about his newfound relationship with Florence and why he is deserting his country, he tells them that he will never truly leave his country, and his land’s only borders lie around his heart. Act 2 Eight weeks later, everyone is in Budapest to witness the conclusion of the match between Anatoly and Freddie. Florence is elated to be back in her hometown, but dismayed that she remembers none of it. Molokov offers to help her find her missing father and starts “investigating”. Freddie, under protestations from Walter, is confident that he will win. Florence and Anatoly are now openly lovers, though their relationship is complicated by the arrival of Svetlana, Anatoly’s estranged wife, in Budapest. Anatoly discovers that Molokov is threatening his brother’s family to get him to return to Russia and begins to break down, losing a string of matches and leaving the score tied at five games all. Molokov and Walter, interested in exchanging key individuals for their respective countries, collaborate to achieve their separate goals, and