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The Most Dangerous Match

I never liked this episode, can't find the reason, maybe it has some claustrophobic atmosphere for me, a lot of action takes place in the hotel. I try to force myself to like it more everytime I watch it, but I can't. Something is missing
- who is Linda for Dudek? she is Clayton's ex fiancee and now she is on Dudek's "team"?
- I don't like final clue, I don't know what is missing there but for sure something for me
- one thing I can never understand. When Columbo meets Clayton he says something about his cousin wearing thick glasses. What is he saying?
- Columbo says the checked all French restaurants because of the garlic. Isn't it a little far fetched? they use garlic only in French restaurants?
- "a lot of people forgetting chess sets these days" <-- good line :) I love this little suggestions from Columbo
- Dudek was one of the most sympathetic victims in the whole series (although we don't have a chance how sympathetic was the uncle from Suitable for Framing)
- the chess journal. That could be the final clue.. it is kind of strong. Especially that everybody knows that in chess always the white colour begins. So if the waiter said that Mr Dudek started with salt, it was obvious that he played white colour
- this is also the episode with a very late death. 57 minutes passes until that happens

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

The thick glasses line is just a sort of "nerd" joke. Even though it's kind of a cliche.

Making such a connection between garlic and French restaurants is kind of reaching. There are Italian restaurants, and probably a lot of others.

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

If it's any consolation I did not like this episode either. Went to slow. Boring. Didn't understand the last final clue. So I'll pass on this one

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Steve
If it's any consolation I did not like this episode either. Went to slow. Boring. Didn't understand the last final clue. So I'll pass on this one
I'll try and explain the final clue since it's in the ballpark of what I do for a living. The way the grinder worked and why it shut off when Dudek fell in is a safety feature. They don't show it, but inside the control panel is what is called a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). This PLC is controlling a bunch of different modules (inputs and outputs) which are wired to different devices. Some of these devices are limit switches. Some of these limit switches are right under the gate/door that opens when something is put into the grinder. If the grinder is off, they can put whatever they want in there and then start it up to grind. If the grinder is on and something gets put into it, the limit switches will send a signal back to the PLC and the PLC will send a signal to the emergency stop and the grinder will shut down. This is a safety feature to keep someone from falling in and getting killed. When Dudek was pushed in, the grinder was on and it shut off. Clayton, being a deaf man, did not hear it shut off and didn't realize that Dudek didn't die. Dudek, however, was lucky that someone didn't come along and turn the grinder back on without checking why it stopped in the first place. This is still a weak ending because anybody that has ever been around industrial equipment like a grinder knows that you can tell if it's on or off due the vibrations, or lack of, through the flooring at the top of the grinder.

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

The most annoying thing about this episode is that Dudek is a decent man who does not deserve to be killed and Columbo takes so long investing the attempted murder it gives Clayton the chance to finish the job.

There are some good bits in this story but it's not a classic by any measure.

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Top ten episode!

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

I love "Dangerous Match" - classic example of how Season 2 played a lot with the "Columbo" formula. Clayton may SEEM like the typical arrogant, confident villain, but deep down he's tortured by his insecurities and fears. And the Lieutenant plays on that to bring him down - distracting him during the chess exhibition, flustering him, causing him to make mistakes.

On the subject of Dudek... he certainly SEEMS kind and friendly, but is he really? Sometimes I get the impression that he's doing exactly what Columbo does to Clayton - seemingly friendly and avuncular, but really trying to get under the guy's skin. Especially by having his ex-wife along and constantly bringing her up!

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Yes, I agree DirQ. He brings up Linda Robinson as if it's so innocent, "I only mention her as the arranger of this match, not because she was your fiancé". I think it's right after this that Clayton says to him, "I'm well aware of your psychological ploys and I'm immune to them." (or something to that effect). To which Dudek replies slyly, "Immune???" It's a great moment as it reveals that Dudek is quite aware of exactly what he is doing. Later, Dudek mentions that perhaps there are "one too many beautiful ladies" (again referring to Linda Robinson. He tells Clayton that "it's obvious you have been distracted" after he demolishes him in the match at the French restaurant, but all along he is enjoying the idea that he has planted the seeds of doubt in Clayton's mind and he can see how quickly they are growing.

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

It's easy to say now that someone else has brought it up, but I've always wondered the same things about Dudek. I never really wanted to BECAUSE of that nice personality of his.

At least the final thing he says to Clayton (except for what he says when he sees his suitcase) is a genuine "chummy" one instead of just a trick - "So it IS about a lady!"

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Is anyone on the forum a good chess player? If so, can you answer if the scene where Dudek plays the whole game himself practically before saying checkmate. Is this realistic? Does he really know the moves Clayton has to make based on Dudek's moves? or do you have any other comments?

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Mark
Is anyone on the forum a good chess player? If so, can you answer if the scene where Dudek plays the whole game himself practically before saying checkmate. Is this realistic? Does he really know the moves Clayton has to make based on Dudek's moves? or do you have any other comments?
I think Dudek made his moves on the assumptions that that is how Clayton would have played the game based on the most logical moves. Clayton, however, could have played the game illogically, but some of his assumptions were correct. You don't want to be down too many pieces to your opponent as this limits what moves you can make and protecting the queen is important since it's the most powerful piece. But, sacrificing the queen is an option if your next move will put you at an advantage.

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

This is from the Trivia section for the episode on IMDB.Com

The final combination of the chess game played between Dudek and Clayton in the restaurant and finished in Dudek's hotel room was actually played in game Wolthuis-Alexander, Maastricht 1946. Dudek demonstrated the line leading to mate, in the actual game black resigned after the first move of combination, Qxb4. Also, Columbo, when reading from Dudek's notation, says that Black resigned on the 41st move. In the actual game from 1946, the sequence takes place earlier in the game (Black resigned on the 25th move).

Re: The Most Dangerous Match

Interesting, thanks! I'm 57 and still never learned chess for some reason.