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>
Joshua Waitzkin is depicted as the next Bobby Fischer in the film and a genius chess prodigy, however the portrayal is immensely exaggerated. Although he became an International Master at the age of 16 (a title which most top players manage to attain much earlier, at the age of 12-14) he never managed to gain the top tier title of Grandmaster. Moreover, the peak Fide Elo Rating he reached was 2480 in 1998 at the age of 22, which was then more than 300 rating points lower than Garry Kasparov who at the time topped the rankings. Last but not least, there are currently (May 2017) 1453 players all over the world rated higher than Joshua Waitzkin and 82 in the US. See more »
When Josh's mom throws Bruce out of her house, he gets up from the table twice. 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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It's one of the toughest jobs a father faces--how hard should you push to "make a man" out of your young son.
"Searching for Bobby Fischer" offers a gentle and unexpected answer: You should listen for your son to tell you how "manly" he wants to be. Young Max Pomeranc is letter-perfect as the chess prodigy who refuses to become ruthless despite the prodding of his father and his surrogate-father. Joe Mantegna and Ben Kingsley give moving performances as men who can be convincingly converted to the truer, sweeter morality of a young child who doesn't need to be "tough" in order to be good. Watch for an understated, underrated performance by Joan Allen as the mom. A beautifully photographed, beautifully paced drama that should reduce anyone with more empathy than a statue to heartfelt tears.
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