CIPC #333: Prime suspect S2 E1, Operation Nadine

Even in the nineties, women and men were still treated very differently. A case in point: when we meet inspector Barnaby from Midsomer Murders or inspector Lewis from Lewis, they usually have enough dead bodies to provide a university full of medicine students with all the cadavers they need for their autopsies. But, as we see in today’s subject, inspector Tennison from Prime suspect1 has to make do with one measly corpse. Not even a fresh one. It’s dug up more or less by accident form someone’s backyard.

During the investigation of that sad, single corpse, our inspector ends up interviewing a middle aged man who once owned the burial place. He’s a man of class as well as means, for on his windowsill there is a chessboard. Probably, a game or an analysis session has been interrupted by the police’s arrival.

Getting a good reconstruction was pretty much impossible: I didn’t find a high definition version and the chessboard appears only in the background. Moreover, the pieces are somewhat stylised and a bit too shiny for a clear picture. Nevertheless, I have made an attempt:2

If this is really the position on the board — and that’s a big if — then white probably just played Bc5-d6+. Otherwise, c4 would have been a logical choice, picking up the bishop on d5.

Sadly, the people in the scene keep talking about the property where the body was discovered and the time the murder probably happened. The fact that there’s a perfectly fine chessboard just sitting there is never even acknowledged. No wonder people don’t have much confidence in the police.3

Realism: 2/5 How did these kings end up where they are? What did the rook come to h3 for? It must have been a wild game, but stranger things have happened.

Probable winner: Black has an extra exchange. It’s still a complicated position, but that should give him a distinct advantage.

1. [Presumably, suspects like four and six are never covered.]
2. [My prime suspect for best diagram editor.]
3. [Or my diagram reconstruction skills.]