Name all the chess films you can off the top of your head, go: There’s Boaz Yakim’s “Fresh,” “Brooklyn Castle,” Andrew Bujalski’s “Computer Chess” and easily the best of them all, “Searching For Bobby Fischer.” But few and far between are classic, and almost all pieces of chess narrative always circle back to Bobby Fischer, the American prodigy who captured the imagination of the world when he faced off against some of the greatest chess minds the Soviet Union has ever produced.
There have been documentaries on this subject, even past movies, but no one’s really made the definitive film about Fischer, his troubled mind and his famous matches in the Soviet Union. But Filmmaker Ed Zwick (“Glory,” “The Last Samurai”) has given it a shot, with Tobey Maguire in the lead as Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as formidable Russian chess opponent Boris Spassky. (Here’s our review from last year’s Toronto International Film Festival). Here’s the official synopsis:
In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, Pawn Sacrifice chronicles Fischer’s terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.
“Pawn Sacrifice” also co-stars Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Rabe and Robin Weigert. The chess drama is due in theaters September 18. Watch below.