English (Available dubbed in French)
Arkady Balagan, born in the Soviet Union, rocketed to chess stardom after a string of tournament victories, all played at blitzkrieg speed. He soon became a celebrated World Champion.
In Vancouver for a tournament, Balagan sees his fiancée, Rosemary, killed in a drive-by shooting while he’s at his hotel’s entrance. Police call it mistaken identity. But Balagan thinks he was the real target – Vladimir Putin’s revenge for his giving millions to Russian pro-democracy groups.
Heartbroken and fearful, Balagan won’t leave the hotel. He’s broke within months and looking for ways to stay when his casual remark about a missing boy turns out to be right. Soon the boy’s father, under police suspicion, pleads with Balagan for help. It’s a turning point, since Balagan can juggle many intricate scenarios in his head simultaneously to determine which one is true. This abstract skill of his is put to work solving a real-life mystery.
Suddenly his super-brain is in demand again. He can stay in his room, earn money and pay the hotel bill. He just needs associates to supply the facts he uses to imagine events and even mentally interview the dead. For leg work, there’s Sam, a student and chess fanatic, and Alcina, a hotel maid from Guatemala. He talks through his theories with Danni, the hotel bartender, who is also his source for contacts.
Above all, he wants to know who killed Rosemary and why. Her sister, Pippa, helps but it seems Balagan can solve every mystery except his own.
Cast/Participants: Shawn Doyle, Patrick Gallagher, Katharine Isabelle, Carmen Aguirre, Melanie Papalia, Lisa Ray, Torrance Coombs, Veena Sood