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Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

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Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.



(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
4,418 ( 769)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Bobby Fischer
... Boris Spassky
... Paul Marshall
... Father Bill Lombardy
Edward Zinoviev ... Efim Geller
Alexandre Gorchkov ... Iivo Nei
... Joan Fischer
... Regina Fischer
... Teenage Bobby Fischer
... Young Bobby Fischer
... Young Joan Fischer
... Donna
... Carmine Nigro
... Ivanovich
Brett Watson ... Lothar Schmid


During the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In 1972, Bobby Fischer faced the Soviet Union in the greatest chess match ever played. On the board he fought the Cold War. In his mind he fought his madness.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual content and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site |  »





Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La jugada maestra  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,053, 20 September 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,436,062, 13 December 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



| (archive footage)| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The year 1972 was packed with watershed events across the globe, including the winding down of the war in Vietnam, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, the Watergate break-in and Richard Nixon's groundbreaking trip to China. But it was an international event of a very different kind that dominated headlines that summer. In Iceland, Bobby Fischer, America's foremost chess player, faced the reigning champion, Boris Spassky of Russia, in a series of matches that held the world spellbound. Around the world, people were captivated by a mano-a-mano fight between two masters of the so-called "game of kings." Eastern European players dominated the chess scene, and Fischer unknowingly became an avatar for the United States and its Cold War battle for dominance with the Soviet Union. This movie chronicles Fischer's pursuit of the chess world's ultimate prize and the price he paid for his victory. This is the major subject of this movie. Fischer is played by actor Tobey Maguire and Spassky is portrayed by actor Liev Schreiber. See more »


Fischer lost to Spassky in the first half of the round robin, with black, and drew in the second half, with white. Fischer and Spassky were tied for first entering the last round, but did not play each other (having already played twice). World Champion Tigran Petrosian drew with Fischer, while Spassky defeated Jan Hein Donner (who finished last), making Spassky the tournament winner. See more »


Bobby Fischer: So what do you do, Donna?
Donna: I screw people.
Bobby Fischer: Ahhh me too... Listen, I was thinking of getting rid of my virginity.
Donna: Is that right.
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Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the name of the character Cyril (played by Shawn Campbell) is misspelled "Cryil". See more »


References ABC's Wide World of Sports (1961) See more »


Along Came Betty
Written by Benny Golson
Performed by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers
Courtesy of Concord Music Group, Inc.
By Arrangement with Time Step Music
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the surprise movies of the year that deserves a bigger audience than it will get. I really enjoyed this & recommend it
23 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

"Bobby won't crack, he will explode." Ever since he was a young boy Bobby Fischer (Maguire) has been obsessed with chess. His dream of becoming the youngest world champion ever has been crushed by the Russian's way of playing and he slowly starts to lose his mind. Wanting to prove to everyone, and himself that is is the best in the world he sets up a series of matches with Boris Spassky (Schreiber), the best player in the world. As the match draws closer Fischer begins to descend further into madness and it starts to affect his ability to play. I knew very little about the real story of Bobby Fischer before watching this so most of this was new to me. For a movie about chess I have to say the movie was actually pretty exciting to watch, and Maguire really surprised me with his acting. I'm not sure how historically accurate this is but watching it the tenseness was there and you really felt uncomfortable for and with Bobby. One of the surprise movies of the year that deserves a bigger audience than it will get. I really enjoyed this and recommend it. Overall, great acting and great drama. More movies like this should be made. I give it an A-.

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