Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Josh: Maybe it's better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it's OK.
Vinnie: He didn't teach you how to win, he taught you how not to lose. That's nothing to be proud of. You're playing not to lose, Josh. You've got to risk losing. You've got to risk everything. You've got to go to the edge of defeat. That's where you want to be, boy - on the edge of defeat.
Josh Waitzkin: But...
Vinnie: But what? Play. Never play the board, always the man. You've gotta play the man *playing* the board. Play *me*. I'm your opponent, you have to beat *me*. Not the board, beat *me*.
Bruce Pandolfini: Bobby Fischer held the world in contempt.
Josh Waitzkin: Well, I'm not him.
Bruce Pandolfini: You're telling me.
Bruce: You have no idea what I want. What is chess, do you think? Those who play for fun or not at all dismiss it as a game. The ones who devote their lives to it for the most part insist that it's a science. It's neither. Bobby Fischer got underneath it like no one before and found at its center, art. I spent my life trying to play like him. Most of these guys have. But we're like forgers. We're competent fakes. His successor wasn't here tonight. He wasn't here. He is asleep in his room in your house. Your son creates like Fischer. He sees like him, inside.
Fred: You can tell this by watching him play some drunks in the park?
Bruce: Yes. You want to know what I want. I'll tell you what I want. I want back what Bobby Fischer took with him when he disappeared.
Fred: He's better at this than I've ever been at anything in my life. He's better at this than you'll ever be, at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift, and when you acknowledge that, then maybe we will have something to talk about.
Bonnie: He's not afraid of losing. He's afraid of losing your love. How many ball players grow up afraid of losing their fathers' love every time they come up to the plate?
Fred: All of them!
Bonnie: He knows you disapprove of him. He knows you think he's weak. But he's not weak. He's decent. And if you or Bruce or anyone else tries to beat that out of him, I swear to God I'll take him away.
Bruce Pandolfini: [sets each chess piece up] Now, which one is you?
Josh Waitzkin: What do you mean?
Bruce Pandolfini: Which one is you?
Josh Waitzkin: They're just pieces.
Bruce Pandolfini: [places King in front of Josh] This is you!
Josh Waitzkin: [talking to a friend on the phone] I'm playing chess with my dad.
Josh Waitzkin: Chess. It's a game, like Monopoly.
Bruce Pandolfini: His chess ideas are like pieces of his body he's reluctant to give up. For instance, he simply can't cope with being told not to bring his queen out too early in the game. Why shouldn't he? He's won many a game in Washington Square doing exactly that, why is this suddenly wrong?
Fred: Try getting him to brush his teeth sometime.
Bruce Pandolfini: What I'm trying to teach him and what he's learning there are two very different things. Park hustlers play tactics, not position. They rely on wild, unpredictable moves meant to intimidate their opponent. Great in a two-minute speed game for drug money, but it'll cost Josh dearly in real games.
Fred: Well, he's learning some new words!
Bruce Pandolfini: I was wondering if you could keep him from playing there so much.
Bonnie: No. It'd kill him not to play in the park. He loves it.
Bruce Pandolfini: It just makes my job harder.
Bonnie: Then your job's harder.
Josh Waitzkin: [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 squares on the board. His hotel room, he said, had too nice a view. None of this has anything to do with chess of course. But maybe it did. If he won, he'd be the first American world champion in history. If he lost, he'd just be another patzer from Brooklyn.
Tournament Director: Ok. I want to remind you to conduct yourselves like adults. I don't want any trouble. You know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're going to watch the game, do so from behind the player. No throat noises. No comments. No eye contact. Nobody cares if you're guilty or not. If you all behave yourselves, I think we'll all have a very good time. I'm not kidding.
Tournament Director: [walks away]
Parents: [follows him complaining] My son can't play w/ - My daughter needs her own clock...
Parents: [more various complaints]
Tournament Director: [spins around and shows serious look. Everyone shuts up, and he walks away again]
Parents: [starts complaining about him] Oh! This is unfair!
Josh Waitzkin: You've lost, you just don't know it yet.
Bruce Pandolfini: To put your son in a position to care about winning and not to prepare him is wrong!
Man #1: I did not pull on my ear!
Man #2: You pulled on your ear, when my son...
Man #1: I scratched my ear!
Man #2: Oh! You're a liar!
Man #3: Come on break it up.
[comes to separate the two]
Man #1: [instead grabs Man #3's shirt and slaps him in the face] I don't care!
Everyone Else: [goes chaotic]
Tournament Director: [while working at a table sees this and sighs, and then escorts them to jail cell on floor below]
Dad with Beard: If your son wins this game and my son wins his, they'll be playing together.
Fred: [normal tone] Wow. I can hardly wait.
Dad with Beard: [getting defensive] Hey! It's only a game!
[sighs and rubs face]
Dad with Beard: I'm gonna get myself a tuna fish sandwich. Can I get you a sandwich - ?
Fred: No that's ok...
Dad with Beard: [cutting him off] I'm gonna get you a tuna fish sandwich.
Josh Waitzkin: [throwing baseball inside mansion against the wall] Come on, Bruce!
Bruce Pandolfini: All right.
Bruce Pandolfini: [throws the baseball. It hits and breaks a fancy floor lamp] Ooh.
Jonathan Poe: [after beating Russian Park Player] Trick or Treat.
Bruce Pandolfini: It's white's move.
Josh Waitzkin: How many points is it worth?
Bruce Pandolfini: It's just an opening move.
Josh Waitzkin: I want to know how much it's worth.
Bruce Pandolfini: Just do it for its own sake. Do it for the love of the game.
Josh Waitzkin: I want to know how many more points I am away to getting the certificate.
Bruce Pandolfini: Forget the certificate.
Josh Waitzkin: Why?
Bruce Pandolfini: I don't know.
Josh Waitzkin: What do you mean?
Bruce Pandolfini: I don't care. It's... white's move.
Josh Waitzkin: I want the certificate.
Bruce Pandolfini: [sighs] You want the certificate. You have to have the certificate.
Bruce Pandolfini: You won't move until you get the certificate.
Bruce Pandolfini: Fine. You win.
[gives him copy of certificate]
Bruce Pandolfini: Here's your certificate.
Josh Waitzkin: [takes it]
Bruce Pandolfini: Fill it out. It doesn't mean anything. It's just a piece of paper. It's a xerox of a piece of paper. Do you want another one
[gives Josh another copy]
Bruce Pandolfini: Do you want 10?
[gives Josh few more copies]
Bruce Pandolfini: Do you want 20?
[continues stacking them on chess board one-by-one]
Bruce Pandolfini: 30? I've got a whole briefcase full of them. They don't mean anything, though.
Bonnie: [entering the room]
Bruce Pandolfini: They mean nothing.
Bonnie: Get out of my house.
Bruce Pandolfini: [sits there grimly a moment and then collects the certificates and prepares to leave]
Bonnie: [goes over to comfort Josh]
Bruce Pandolfini: [while getting coat on] To put a child in a position to care about winning and not to prepare him is wrong.
Bonnie: Get out of my house.
Bruce Pandolfini: [leaves]
Bonnie: [comforts Josh]
Bruce: Do you know what it means to have "contempt" for your opponent?
Bruce: It means to hate them. You have to hate them Josh, they hate you.
Josh: But I don't hate them.
Bruce: Well you'd better start.
Fred: You know you could give up the game, and that would be all right with me. In fact, I want you to give it up.
Josh: But I can't.
Fred: Why not?
Josh: Because I have to play. *I* have to.
Bruce Pandolfini: Look deep, Josh. It's there. It's twelve moves away, but it's there. You've got him.
Bruce Pandolfini: Paraphrase: Look at the board, can you see it?
Josh Waitzkin: I can't see it.
Bruce Pandolfini: [violently knocks pieces on the floor] Can you see it now?
Vinnie: What's that?
Josh Waitzkin: Schliemann attack.
Vinnie: Schliemann attack? Where'd you learn that from, a book?
Josh Waitzkin: No, my teacher taught me.
Vinnie: Oh, your teacher. Well, forget it. Play like you used to, from the gut. Get your pawns rolling on the queen's side. Come and get me.
Bonnie: You have a good heart. And that's the most important thing in the world.
[after the first lesson]
Fred: So were you two talking about chess up there?
Bruce Pandolfini: No, it didn't come up.