Bobby Fischer Against the World

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The first documentary to explore the dramatic life of the late chess champion, Bobby Fischer.


Brilliance was a prison for Bobby Fischer, the American Grand Master whose genius at chess appeared linked with mental instability. In 2008, he died alone in Iceland. In 1972, he had the globe in thrall, facing Russian World Champion Boris Spassky in a battle that would prove to be a major propaganda win in the Cold War. Documentarian Liz Garbus expertly conveys Fischer’s stature, stress and the art of chess, splicing friends’ recollections with interviews from the man at the time. She also doesn’t shy away from his ugly years as a self-hating Jew, spouting racist rage in exile. A moving look at a figure who could beat everyone but himself: “I don’t believe in psychology; I believe in good moves.”

A compelling look at the tragic and bizarre life of an enigmatic champion.