IMDb > Computer Chess (2013)
Computer Chess
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Computer Chess (2013) More at IMDbPro »

Computer Chess -- An artificially intelligent comedy about computer chess programmers set some decades ago - when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed more up for grabs...


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Release Date:
7 November 2013 (Germany) See more »
An artificially intelligent comedy from the director of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation.
A 1980s-set story centered around a man vs. machine chess tournament. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Peeling away layers to find the bleak sameness See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kriss Schludermann ... ADVANTAGE Member
Tom Fletcher ... DEEP SPEED Member

Wiley Wiggins ... Beuscher
Patrick Riester ... Bishton
Kevin Bewersdorf ... Cameraman

Gene Williams ... MONSIEUR D'ECHECS member
Jim Lewis ... John

Cole Noppenberg ... CAPA X Member
Myles Paige ... Papageorge
Gerald Peary ... Henderson
James Curry ... Carbray
Bob Sabiston ... McVey
S. Kirk Walsh ... Hotel Clerk
Daniel Metz ... Reini Urban (as Daniel C. Metz)
Stephen Wheeler ... Panel Skeptic
Mark Blumberg ... NOOG Member
Eric Newton ... Klaas
Robin Schwartz ... Shelly
Kevin Welch ... Hersh
Brandon Thomas ... Dever
Bert Herigstad ... Luke
James Cooley ... COMPAQ Lugger
Cyrus Albertson ... Keyboardist
Kat McCullough ... Go Away Please
Margie Beegle ... Monica
Terry Beegle ... Fred

Cyndi Williams ... Pauline

Chris Doubek ... Dave

Tishuan Scott ... Keneiloe
Annie LaGanga ... Carol
Bill Wise ... Roger

Jonny Mars ... Thomas
Rebecca Beegle ... Ingrid
David L. Dunn ... Set Up Crew Man
Gordon Kindlmann ... Schoesser
Anne Dodge ... Masha Schoesser
Jane Kindlmann ... Baby Jane
Stewart Gray ... Interested Onlooker
Edith Mannix ... Mrs. Papageorge
Dustin Guy Defa ... Photographer
Elena Eidelberg ... Bartender
Collie Ryan ... Singer
Camron Rushin ... Patuxent Member
Gabriel Alack ... Super Extra
James Armstrong ... Super Extra
David Basnight ... Super Extra
Ron Blanton ... Super Extra
Sean Burke ... Super Extra
Robert Carrillo ... Super Extra
Ben Cholok ... Super Extra
Kevin 'Bev' Collins ... Super Extra
Jim Crews ... Super Extra
Corey Crowley ... Super Extra
Dan Davis ... Super Extra
Jeff Davis ... Super Extra
Wolf Dilworth ... Super Extra
Tommy Dore ... Super Extra
Adam Dziuk ... Super Extra
Dan Eggleston ... Super Extra
Bradley Eversley ... Super Extra
Michael Feinstein ... Super Extra
Lee Feller ... Super Extra
Bill Fichtner ... Super Extra
Michael Field ... Super Extra
Benjamin Finkel ... Super Extra
Josef Foerster ... Super Extra
Richard Gaines ... Super Extra
Russ Gardner ... Super Extra
Bernardo Garza ... Super Extra
Julian Gonzalez ... Super Extra
Lyon Grauity ... Super Extra
Ryan Green ... Super Extra
Steve Harvell ... Super Extra
Zach Hennig ... Super Extra
Andy Hopkins ... Super Extra
Austin Horne ... Super Extra
Misty Horne ... Super Extra / Woman in Pool
Jon Huebner ... Super Extra
Nate Jackson ... Super Extra
John Kaatz ... Super Extra
Parteesh Kaul ... Super Extra
Kris Kern ... Super Extra
Jimmy King ... Super Extra
Michael Latta ... Super Extra
Kenneth 'Buffalo' Liverman ... Super Extra
Corey Lockwood ... Super Extra
Trent Lockwood ... Super Extra
Audrey Lopata ... Super Extra
Marie Luna ... Super Extra
Lee Mendez ... Super Extra
Joshua Mendoza ... Super Extra
Michael Nguyen ... Super Extra
Alan Oliver ... Super Extra
Johnny Pacia ... Super Extra
Rod Paddock ... Super Extra (as Rodney Paddock)
W.A. 'Pete' Peters ... Super Extra
Ari Phillips ... Super Extra
Ben Ploughman ... Super Extra
Ralph Power ... Super Extra
Vincent James Prendergast ... Super Extra / Friedensen (as Vincent Prendergast)
Jason Reyes ... Super Extra
Howie Richey ... Super Extra
Christopher Robinson ... Super Extra
TJ Robinson ... Super Extra (as T.J. Robinson)
Trey Robinson ... Super Extra
David Rosenbaum ... Super Extra
Jerry Rutherford ... Super Extra
Stephen Salisbury ... Super Extra
Josh Sklar ... Super Extra
Daniel Smith ... Super Extra
Yonaton Smith ... Super Extra
Robert Sparks ... Super Extra
Steve Startakov ... Super Extra
Bradley Tamkin ... Super Extra

Gary Teague ... Super Extra / Computer Chess Player
Ed Trevis ... Super Extra
Rob Van Gieson ... Super Extra
Aiden Williams ... Super Extra
Duncan Williams ... Super Extra
Terri Williams ... Super Extra
Jim Wynn ... Super Extra

Directed by
Andrew Bujalski 
Writing credits
Andrew Bujalski 

Produced by
Scott Colquitt .... co-producer
Morgan Coy .... co-producer
Andrew Finnigan .... co-producer
Brooke Finnigan .... co-producer
Carlyn Hudson .... co-producer
Houston King .... producer
Alex Lipschultz .... producer
David McClafferty .... associate producer
Gary Stewart .... co-producer
Drew Xanthopoulos .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Matthias Grunsky (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Andrew Bujalski 
Production Design by
Michael Bricker 
Art Direction by
Madison Fisk (supervising art director)
Caroline Karlen 
Costume Design by
Colin Wilkes 
Makeup Department
Charli Brath .... hair stylist
Charli Brath .... makeup artist
Allie Towell .... additional makeup artist (as Allie Towel)
Art Department
David Yépez Conley .... prop fabricator (as David Conley)
Jeff DeRiso .... on-set dresser
Lindsay Greene .... property fabricator
Deneice O'Connor .... property master
Adee Serrao .... graphic designer
Anthony Lavadera .... art department production assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
Kevin Bewersdorf .... sound recordist
Paavo Hanninen .... sound recordist
Eric Masunaga .... sound mixer: Modulus
Joel Sadler .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Nick Smith .... compositor
Nick Smith .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Aaron Abolt .... key grip
E.J. Enriquez .... additional cinematography
E.J. Enriquez .... assistant camera
Scott M. Hathaway .... additional assistant camera
Evan Ho .... additional assistant camera
Emmett Kerr-Perkinson .... gaffer
Thomas Vo .... camera engineer
Jim Wynn .... additional camera advisor
Drew Xanthopoulos .... assistant camera
Casting Department
Ivy Davila .... extras casting
Alice Graulty .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mikaylah Bowman .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Alex Milan .... assistant editor
Nick Smith .... colorist
Transportation Department
Catherine Licata .... picture car coordinator
Other crew
Alex Barrera .... production assistant
David Bellarosa .... production assistant
Russ Corley .... vintage computer technician
Corey Crowley .... production assistant
Louis Doerge .... production assistant
Lindsey Edge .... cat wrangler
Taylor Finley .... production assistant
George Fournier .... production assistant
Caleb Garcia .... production assistant
Frances Harshaw .... cats provided by
Peter Kappler .... chess game designer
Peter Kappler .... programming consultant
Gordon Kindlmann .... additional programming
Ben Kullerd .... chef: Put This In Your Mouth Catering
Caitlin Lundin .... sous-chef: Put This In Your Mouth Catering
Kat McCullough .... production assistant
Mystie Pineda .... cat wrangler
Caroline Wallace .... production assistant
Stephen Wheeler .... additional programming advisor
Wiley Wiggins .... additional programming
Mark Duplass .... special thanks
Adam Dziuk .... special thanks
Richard Linklater .... special thanks
Ira Sachs .... special thanks
Yonaton Smith .... special thanks (as Yonatan Smith)
David Zellner .... special thanks
Nathan Zellner .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Pauline:Peter, did you ever stop and ask yourself how many squares are on a chess board?
Bishton:64. It's an 8 by 8 grid.
Pauline:Well... but don't you see how limited that is?
Bishton:No, it's actually very complex once you start to think about it as a programming problem. Just the number of possible games explodes exponentially with each move, it's close to 10 to the 120th power. And to try and compute all those games might take even longer than humanity would be around to do so.
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20 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Peeling away layers to find the bleak sameness, 11 November 2013
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

I can sit through the most ponderous Joe Swanberg film, the most ridiculous thing ever directed by the Duplass brothers Jay and Mark, respectively, and can even tolerate monotony bestowed upon a talky independent movie in terms of my affection and devotion to the mumblecore movement in cinema. However, when watching a film by the proclaimed "godfather" of the movement Andrew Bujalski, I find myself in a figurative wrestling match between myself and his films. His films are well shot, wonderfully lit and captured given the minimal budgets, and are believably conducted from an acting standpoint, but when the characters open their mouths, not much interesting comes out and when the plot "gets going," not much noteworthy seems to happen. Arriving at the conclusion of his directorial debut Funny Ha Ha, his follow-up effort Mutual Appreciation, and now, his latest endeavor, Computer Chess (arguably his best reviewed film), I am met with nothing other than emptiness, isolation, and very little to write about.

When I enjoy a film that falls in line with the mumblecore movement, bearing a micro-budget, naturalistic dialog, simple but thoughtful acting, themes classified under the title of social realism, and a basic plot that offers much discussion, I'll talk about it for days and write a long, healthy review of the film. When I don't enjoy a film of the mumblecore movement, I'll struggle for sometimes over an hour trying to summarize why I didn't enjoy it. Films like these rely so heavily on character and realism that not liking the film likely means that you didn't like the characters for some reasons.Your tolerance for simplicity, tone, and character needs to be relatively high or the film is likely to escape you. Computer Chess escaped me early on and neither I nor it every reconnected.

The story concerns a computer chess tournament circa 1980's, when the home-computer/computer revolution was jut gaining momentum. People were in awe at the fact that a person can play a machine in a game like chess and have a chance at losing. The power of a machine shaped like a large box was greatly underestimated and tournaments for computer chess and other basic video games became relatively common. The picture is aesthetically complete, showing the players as probably how they were. Many of them wore button-down shirts, vests over their shirt, pocket-protectors, thick-rimmed glasses, had neatly combed hair and a fine-trimmed mustache, along with the benefits of khaki pants and their brain power.

Long story short, they were geeky, but they also were the reason why computers advanced so much in such a relatively short period of time. One look into the history books - or this film, in particular - and you see their equipment was clunky, slow, and unreliable. If they wanted better materials, they couldn't utilize the internet to their advantage. All they could do was do what they could with what they had, and they became the technical pioneers of a larger-than-life industry that many of us take for granted today.

Writer/director Bujalski does a nice job on the environment and the atmosphere of the picture, making the entire project have the look and possibly the aroma of a 1980's chess tournament. The computer and software equipment they had defines the very principles of primitive technology, and Bujalski shows this by incorporating memorable computer sounds of the time, along with the believable execution of an early computerized chess tournament. The black and white photography the film bears only emphasizes this quality. It also helps a film with weak or uninteresting material to make up for it in the aesthetic department, but unfortunately, Computer Chess can't entirely rebound.

Reviews of Computer Chess have marveled at the existential value of the picture. Most everyone has hailed the set design and the aesthetic work (my sole attraction before and after watching the film). And some claim that there's a great meditative style to the picture that offers a valuable viewing. I was free of almost everything in that vicinity watching the film. Bujalski's commitment to recreating an odd, specific time-frame in history deserves significant recognition, but the story he concocts around alienating characters leaves a lot to be desired. When admiration for the history subsides and fascination with aesthetics simmers, what you have is another film with a tiresome story. Like peeling away at the unique looks of a human being to find we're the same on the inside; that's never any fun.

Starring: Kriss Schludermann, Tom Fletcher, and Wiley Wiggins. Directed by: Andrew Bujalski.

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The characters in the film represent chess pieces MaximusTCR
So what's with the ending? (spoiler) KrillinKC
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Felt like an Albert Brooks movie IMDBosh
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