Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy. Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Josh Waitzkin, the subject of this movie, has won the U.S. Junior Chess Championships since the movie was made. See more »
"Errors" such as the McDonalds cups seen in the movie being from the early 90s and not mid-80s are not goofs. Although the real life events happened in the mid-80s, the movie makes no attempt at all to stay in period. The cars, computers, clothes, etc., are contemporary to the film and not from the 80s. See more »
[about Bobby Fischer]
In the days before the event, the whole world wondered if he would show up. Plane after plane waited on the runway, while he napped, took walks, and ate sandwiches. Henry Kissinger called and asked him to go for his country's honor. Soon after arriving, he offended the Icelanders by calling their country inadequate because it had no bowling alleys. He complained about the TV cameras, about the lighting, about the table and chairs, and the contrast of the ...
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But also a great movie period. The characters are well developed and I
think that the reactions of the parents and the chess playing kids is a
great metaphor for sports in general. The one kid (Poe) is deprived of
almost everything else but chess. It's not hard to see him ending up
like the guys in the café, spending their time on nothing but chess,
lost to life. The ending was a bit hokey, as even I, with my low chess
skills, would have recognized what was going to happen with just the
two pawns left on the board but it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the
movie much. The interaction between Morgan and his dad and Josh and
Morgan is great, and Josh's empathy for Morgan contains lessons in
sportsmanship for any parent. You should see this movie.
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