A prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany is a rather unlikely setting for a comedy sitcom and perhaps it would be hard to get it greenlit nowadays. But back in the sixties this was apparently not a problem, because not only did Hogan’s heroes run for six seasons, it also won two Emmy awards. Robert Hogan is the main character, who leads secret operations for the allied forces from a prisoner camp. The camp is lead by Wilhelm Klink,1 assisted by an incredibly stupid sergeant with the stereotypically German name of Schultz. Klink and Hogan have a weird relationship, where Klink has a grudging respect for Hogan but thinks himself smarter and Hogan has a friendly contempt for Klink and knows himself smarter. At the beginning of the twenty first episode of the fourth season, the two are facing off on the chessboard.
Hogan is playing white. He doesn’t seem to be taking the game very seriously. Shortly after the above screenshot, he gets up to pilfer some documents from Klink’s desk and to eat his chicken while he is pondering his next move.
The archaic pieces are understandable given the setting of the show, but they make reconstructing the position quite a bit harder. And it is quite hard anyway. Frustrating, even. The camera is closing in on the board, we get a lovely view of black’s queen’s side and for a moment it looks like we might get a beautiful shot of the whole board, but then the camera pans over to Klink and we lose sight of the board.2
The pieces to the left of the d file I am completely confident about. The pieces to the right are little more than conjecture. In this position, after a rather long think, Klink plays Nxc3 and announces mate. Presumably, there is a rook or queen somewhere on the e-file.
Or, alternatively, they messed up.
Realism: 2/5 I, unfortunately, cannot be too harsh, here, because I don’t know what’s on half the board. What is there is not too promising but also not complete rubbish.
Probable winner: Black. Well, red actually. Even if it isn’t an actual checkmate, Hogan seems to have accepted defeat.