'Bobby Fischer Against the World' is a documentary feature exploring the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable, ... See full summary »


Liz Garbus
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Fischer ... Self (archive footage)
David Edmonds David Edmonds ... Self - Author
Anthony Saidy Anthony Saidy ... Self (as Dr. Anthony Saidy)
Susan Polgar Susan Polgar ... Self
Henry Kissinger ... Self
David Shenk David Shenk ... Self - Author
Gudmundur Thorarinsson Gudmundur Thorarinsson ... Self - Match Organizer
Boris Spassky Boris Spassky ... Self
Mikhail Tal Mikhail Tal ... Self (archive footage)
Garry Kasparov ... Self
Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Botvinnik ... Self (archive footage)
Tigran Petrosian Tigran Petrosian ... Self (archive footage)
Russell Targ Russell Targ ... Self
Larry Evans Larry Evans ... Self - Former Champion
Shelby Lyman Shelby Lyman ... Self


'Bobby Fischer Against the World' is a documentary feature exploring the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable, from his troubled childhood, to his rock star status as World Champion and Cold War icon, to his life as a fugitive on the run. This film explores one of the most infamous and mysterious characters of the 20th century. Written by Anonymous

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Tracing the life of the troubled chess genius from brilliant beginning to troubled endgame. See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Though Bobby Fischer later denounced the United States of America, at the time, Bobby embraced the Cold War rhetoric, declaring the match "The Game of the Century" was "the free world against the lying, cheating hypocritical Russians." See more »


Bobby Fischer: I don't consider myself to be a genius at chess. I consider myself more to be a genius who just happens to play chess, understand? I could be doing, and I can do any number of other things, you know?
See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.20 (2011) See more »


The Ballad of Bobby Fischer
Written, Recorded and Performed by Micah Ellison
From the CD Party on Top of the Word by Tik Tok 2009
See more »

User Reviews

He let chess out of the board
30 October 2011 | by sideriteSee all my reviews

A very comprehensive documentary about Bobby Fischer, this film doesn't constitute in itself a masterpiece of the documentary genre, yet its subject is very interesting to me.

Bobby Fischer is this brilliant chess player coming out of Brooklyn and literally living the American dream. He starts playing at 6 years old, quickly outshining players in his categories, reaches a moment when he fights the Russian chess world champion in the height of the cold war and wins, thus making popular the game of chess even in an anti- intellectual country as the US and revolutionising the game of chess itself.

Alas, soon after he pretty much goes insane, with bouts of paranoia and psychosis and ridiculous antisemitism (he was Jewish himself). The greatest win of the chess world was in the same time its greatest loss. It is painful to watch this great mind shrink and die under the weight of mental illness. The film is merciless in displaying it and does as much in bringing forth the legend of the greatest chess player of all time as it does to totally demolish it in the end. It is one of those stories where you would wish for the main character to die right after he wins the world championship. Too sad.

As for the chess itself, there was none. It is strictly a layman's story, about Bobby the man and of the people around him and the human footprint of his existence.

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English | Russian

Release Date:

6 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bobby Fischer Against the World See more »

Filming Locations:

Reykjavík, Iceland


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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