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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 »
3,912 ( 578)
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 »


The movie shows the warm-hearted prostitute and Pres. Nixon watching the match on T.V., separately of course. The image of the games was not shown on T.V. Shelby Lyman would receive the moves by teletype live and move the pieces on a demonstration board on the wall. Then he would discuss the move with one or two knowledgeable guests, like Andy Soltis, etc. The movie omits any reference to Shelby Lyman. See more »


Paul Marshall: [entering the room during another one of Bobby's rants] What are we talking about?
Father Bill Lombardy: The Jews.
Paul Marshall: Huh...
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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 60 Minutes (1968) See more »


Written and Performed by Carl Perkins
By permission of Wren Music Co., A Division of MPL Music Publishing, Inc.
On Behalf of Carl Perkins Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting movie with a solid performance from Tobey Maguire
16 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

I think I have seen a few movies about chess and like in all movies concerning competitive sports I know that it could be very interesting and inspiring. So don't assume that this is a boring movie because of its theme.

This is based on the real life of chess legend Bobby Fischer who after he became world champion, he lived a secluded, solitary life possibly because of a mental illness which made him paranoid.

I am not a fan of Tobey Maguire (poor choice for Spiderman IMO) but he gives a convincing performance in this. His tantrums and his stares as he is building irrational thoughts about conspiracies and imaginable dangers are s strong plus to the film.

The pace of the film is also good and the music by the veteran James Newton Howard follows the emotions with grace.

Overall: Recommended

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