The film is based on the main character's monologues, pierced with drama and ups and downs of the fight for the chess crown, as well as passion for opera. The youngest grandmaster in the world before WWII broke out, Smyslov had every chance to join in the fight for the chess crown right then and play a match against the world champion Alexander Alekhine. The war had delayed this goal by 16 years. He could have become a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre, as he was an excellent baritone. At the age of 62 Smyslov accomplished a sporting feat: he became the third world chess player after Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. It's considered unlikely that such an achievement will ever be surpassed. Smyslov’s search for harmony was accompanied by intense work in spiritual and religious spheres.