Ian McDonald’s “Algorithms”: An Exemplary Documentary

Among the less hyped films at Iffi 2012 was a remarkable documentary uniformly applauded by the people who saw it – a film about sport but neither involving sporting celebrities nor about the excitement of international sport. Algorithms is, instead, about three blind chess players from India and the man who is mentoring them. Filmed over three years from just before the World Junior Blind Chess Championship in Sweden in 2009 to just after the next championship in Greece in 2011, it follows three talented boys from different parts of India and a blind player-turned-pioneer who wants all blind children to play chess. Competitive chess is a grueling game but could prove compensatory to those with physical disadvantages.

There are not so many courses open to documentaries about disadvantaged people and the one usually taken is to plead for their ‘inclusion’. Pleading for their inclusion may appear the right thing to do but it
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