Chess Wizard - The Thing (1982)

Promotional image of MacReady and the Chess Wizard, The Thing (1982).

The Chess Wizard is a fictional dedicated chess computer which appears during the opening scenes of the 1982 film The Thing. During the establishing shots of U.S. Outpost 31 helicopter pilot, R.J. MacReady, he plays a game of chess against the machine, which interacts with a synthesized female voice. Losing the game, a frustrated MacReady destroys the machine by pouring a glass of J&B Scotch whisky into it.


  • McCready's chess game was an actual Apple II computer program. On set, the crew tried to photograph it operating in the same frame with actor Kurt Russell, but the results were considered unacceptable. For photographic purposes it was converted to twenty-four frame analogue video, recorded onto 3/4 inch tape and played back later, which resulted in an acceptable image.[1]
  • The only female presence in the film is the voice of the chess computer, voiced by Carpenter regular (and then-wife) Adrienne Barbeau.


  1. Stuart Cohen (March 20, 2012). Two or three things you didn't know... (English) (Blog). Blogspot. Retrieved on 2015-06-28.
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