Recently Watched: “Pawn Sacrifice”


Yesterday afternoon Vanessa and I took a trip to The Flicks theatre in Boise to see “Pawn Sacrifice”. The film chronicles the exciting rise and sudden disappearance of American chess great Bobby Fischer, played by Tobey Maguire.

A movie about chess, or one particular chess player, might not sound exciting to most, but the life of Bobby Fischer is definitely one worth peering into. I grew up not knowing much at all about Fischer, until I read Frank Brady’s “Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall” a few years ago.  The story of Bobby Fischer is fascinating and the lead up to his face off with the Soviet Union in 1972 is a thrilling tale.

“Pawn Sacrifice” does a wonderful job of simultaneously illustrating Fischer’s eccentric behaviors, his troubled mind and his incredible brilliance. Tobey Maguire does an excellent job displaying all of these traits. Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg are both wonderful in their roles as well, as their characters try desperately to keep Fischer on track to defeat the Soviet champion, Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber).

The excitement of the final showdown between Fischer and Spassky is electric. It might be hard to imagine becoming excited for a series of chess matches, but director Edward Zwick does an exceptional job captivating the audience.

As the 1972 chess match ends the film concludes rather quickly and fades to black. I was left wanting more, however I feel like ending the film so suddenly is appropriate considering Fischer faded into obscurity rather quickly as well. I recommend checking out “Pawn Sacrifice” whether you have any real interest in chess or those who have played it. The film tells a dramatic story well, and is enjoyable to watch throughout.


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