To this day, many consider Robert James Fischer to be the greatest chess player ever. With the entire world watching in 1972, the eccentric genius took on Boris Spassky of the U.S.S.R. in what was not just merely the “Chess Match of the Century”, but also the main battlefront of the Cold War. After the smoke had cleared, the Russians had lost the Soviet supremacy of chess and Bobby Fischer although achieving his dream, was driven further into his delusional world.
Although Bobby Fischer’s story has achieved legendary status, director Edward Zwick does a superb job of recounting Fischer’s life in a fresh light on the silver screen. All of Bobby’s famous eccentricities resurfaced through the brilliant acting of Tobey Maguire. Tobey and Zwick took no less than seven years shaping their masterpiece on Bobby Fischer and it shows in every scene. Also noteworthy is Liev Schreiber’s role as Boris Spassky. I must admit that I never would have considered Tobey and Liev for the roles of Fischer and Spassky but after seeing their inspired performances in Pawn Sacrifice, I feel very fortunate to be a chess coach and not a Hollywood director. Indeed the only moves more brilliant than Bobby Fischer’s in the movie were made by Director Edward Zwick in the casting.
To say that Pawn Sacrifice is the best chess movie ever sells it short. Pawn Sacrifice, regardless of genre, is one of the best movies of the year.
**Note: While this movie is spectacular, many of the adult themes make it unsuitable for children. Please be wary of bringing your youngster to enjoy this film.