Aram, a young man from Marseille of Armenian origin, blows up the Turkish ambassador's car in Paris. Gilles, a young cyclist who was passing at that precise moment, is seriously injured.

Henri Verneuil was born Achod Malakian of Armenian parentage on October 15, 1920, in Rodosto, Turkey, and his family fled to France and settled in Marseilles when he was a young child.

World Chess Champion Akiva Liebskind (Michel Piccoli) faces his former pupil Pavius Fromm (Alexandre Arbatt), who defected to the West from the Soviet Union five years earlier, for the World Chess Championship in Geneva, Switzerland.

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