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 & 5 nominations See more »
(226 articles)
User Reviews:
If you're sick & Atari'd of forgettable films, you should add this to your Coleco-tion 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Josef Maxwell ... Chess Player
Nicholas Marino ... Extra (uncredited)

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)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alex Lipschultz .... first assistant director
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 Edward Doerge .... production assistant (as Louis Doerge)
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)
Reini Urban .... thanks
David Zellner .... special thanks
Nathan Zellner .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Cameraman:Do you think a human being will ever beat a person at chess?
John:Oh... between a human being and a person? My money's on the computer.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Ooo La LaSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
If you're sick & Atari'd of forgettable films, you should add this to your Coleco-tion, 3 October 2014
Author: rooprect from New York City

"Computer Chess" is a trip. It's a trip back to the 80s when nerds reigned supreme (if only in their rather limited social circles). More than that, it's a mind trip of dweebish proportions. We'll get to that later. First a few things you should know: The movie is almost entirely in black & white, rather grainy & unappealing video (4:3). This can be somewhat tiring on the eyes, compared to the 1080p digital glory we're accustomed to. But before you pass judgment you should know that the filmmakers purposely used an old Sony AVC-3260 b&w tube camera from the 70s. Director of photography Matthias Grunsky explains:

"These tubes also have a very specific soft character, which would not be easy to recreate in post. The cameras had electronic issues and sometimes would generate electronic noise when touching the camera body or the lens. All these artifacts combined add a transcendental character to the image and help express the sometimes unexplainable things that happen between man and computer in our story."

So right off the bat you can see that the film is artistically motivated. Whether you decide that it has significance, or whether you think it's just an annoying gimmick is up to you.

The second thing you should be ready for is near the end it makes a leap of logic concerning technology, in particular, artificial intelligence. Normally I don't care when science fiction films go off the deep end like that, but this film is closer to historical fiction (and does a great job, except for this one glitch). Overall it presents the rather ho-hum reality of technology in the 80s, and the humor is that 80s technology sucked! That's why it came as a surprise in one scene where suddenly technology surpasses what we could even hope for today. But I admit that plot twist is essential to the story & message. So, my fellow pocket-protected geeks in the audience, try to take it in stride.

The rest of the movie gets nothing but high praise from me. It's surprisingly accurate, and if you haven't guessed, I was an 80s kid who grew up thinking "Pong" and the Radio Shack TRS-80 were the greatest things the human race could ever achieve... so I knew that mentality well. How hilariously ironic it is to watch a movie about a conference of nerds who are lifelong-obsessed with creating a computer chess simulator which, today, wouldn't hold the average gamer's attention span past the welcome screen. But irony is the backbone of this film, and if you enjoy ironic comedies like "Ed Wood" (about the worst director who ever lived), "Best in Show" (about a bunch of freaks competing for whose dog is prettiest) or the unintentionally hilarious documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (about an 80s metal band called... can you guess?), then I think you'll get a real kick out of "Computer Chess".

An extra little push over the cliff, which some audiences may not like but I found intriguing, is the hyper stylistic approach to cinematography. Although visually bland (black & white video), there are some artistic tricks that the director used. For example, despite the nuts & bolts visual presentation, the director achieved a degree of surrealism by using quirky edits (unexpected, disorienting jump cuts) as well as deliberate audio synch mismatches. This compliments the rather surreal turn of events that occur--things that make you wonder "WTF just happened?" Some scenes seem totally random and disconnected, but memorable nonetheless. And without spoiling anything, I can say that "Computer Chess" has one of the most WTF endings I've ever seen.

Definitely not for audiences wanting to be dazzled by theatrics, visuals and fantastic plots, "Computer Chess" is a very minimalistic yet highly entertaining step back in time, giving us the rare opportunity to appreciate the absurdity of "hi-tech" in hindsight. The whole film happens over the course of 3 days in a roadside motel. But it's still a masterpiece. Sort of like the famous minimalist film "Das Boot" shot entirely in a submarine but full of depth & meaning, this movie shot in 2 or 3 rooms with no props but a bunch of dusty old computers really packs a lot. Maybe an alternate title for this nerdfest could be "DOS BOOT".

Hey, laugh it up. I worked a long time on that stupid pun.

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The characters in the film represent chess pieces MaximusTCR
thought this was documentary cahammill
Segment in Colour gulija
So what's with the ending? (spoiler) KrillinKC
Room 217 musicbymartin
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