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Cheating Death: The Anti-logic of the Chess Match in the Seventh Seal

While the game in fact takes up only a minor portion of the film, it is introduced in the very first scene, and as such establishes itself as the central act in the story. At the beginning of the game, Antonius plays by the rules. He tries to outwit Death by a combination of Bishop and Knight, which apparantly Death overlooks. However, he is himself outwitted, as Death poses as his confessor and gets him to explain his strategy, thereby causing it to fail. Even after this happens, in the next chess-scene, Antonius seems pleased that he is playing . . .

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Frederik has studied History and Cultural Studies at University of Copenhagen and University of California San Diego. He is currently working for Copenhagen Architecture Festival x FILM.