The Chessmaster, The Artist, The Priest and The Gypsy

Robert Cole

Best Screenplay
In the summer of 1943. Russian chessmaster, Alexander Petroff seeks refuge from war in Barcelona with his friend, terminally ill artist, Pippi Sanchez, Pippi makes a living painting propaganda for the regime he despises. A bomb explodes in the train station on Alexander’s arrival, killing Civil Guardia Police. The explosion destroys his representation of Generalissimo Franco, The Catholic Church and The Spanish Civil War. Despised Guardia Captain Montero, who fancies himself an expert chess player, leads the investigation. Pippi introduces Alexander to beautiful, polyamorous gypsy, Yolanda, his former lover. Yolanda hates the regime for their persecution of the gypsies. Yolanda quickly ensnares Alexander. Another lover, Father Xavier, is tormented by his lusty affair with Yolanda and the Catholic Church’s incestuous relationship with the fascists. During the investigation Pippi’s flask is found and when he comes to restore the artwork Montero takes him into “custody” for questioning; a death sentence for many. Alexander plays an epic chess match with Montero for Pippi’s release, humiliating Montero. Alexander knowing Montero isn’t a good loser decides they all should flee. When Yolanda says good bye to Xavier, confessing her part in the bombing, he has an epiphany, renouncing his vows and goes with them. “The chessmaster, the artist, the priest and the gypsy” flee Barcelona and head to Lisbon in Pippi’s Hispano-Suiza to find a ship bound for America. Vengeful Montero gives chase with his young lieutenant Anabal who has become disillusioned with the brutality of Montero and fascism. Montero intercepts them at the Atlantic beachhead commanding a rematch at gun point. After another epic loss, he orders Anabal to execute them, but he can’t pull the trigger. Pippi has a pistol with one bullet he’s reserved for himself. Yolanda takes the gun and in a tension filled moment kills Montero and Pippi dies in Yolanda’s arms. Once in Lisbon, Yolanda runs into former lover, co-conspirator Rodrigo who could be the father of her child. She decides to In the end, Alexander and the gypsy, the priest and the Chessmaster go wherever the road leads.