Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pawn Sacrifice

Pawn Sacrifice is the "based upon a true story" biography of Bobby Fischer from a young age up to his 1972 World Chess Championship match with Boris Spassky.  For me the movie was a different take on Fischer.  We know that sometime after his 1972 match that Bobby went off the deep end with his paranoia, but the movie portrays the process starting well before then.  It is hard to know for sure how accurate the movie is, but according to things I have read it is mostly accurate.

Which is interesting, because something the movie barely touches on is how brilliant Fischer was.  Prior to his 1972 match with Spassky, he was competing with some of the best people who ever lived and beating them easily.  After a bad start in the 1972 match, Fischer had little difficulty beating Spassky, even though Spassky was the world champion and one of the greatest players ever.  Prior to this match, Fischer had never beaten Spassky.  This is because Fischer hit his peak in the 1971 to 1972 time period.

My favorite Fischer quote is, "I don't believe in psychology.  I believe in good moves."

I like how the movie touches on Fischer's childhood and the Cold War drama that was being played out in the 1972 match between the American Fischer, and the Soviet Spassky.

I didn't think that Tobey MaGuire could play Fischer.  For one thing, he is much shorter.  But he seems to nail it.  It is a great performance.  He doesn't quite have the voice right, nor the Brooklyn accent, but his portrayal of Fischer is very good.

I see some similarity between Fischer and Steve Jobs.  Both were brilliant self centered men who often lashed out at others.  Jobs was probably way more outgoing and the saner of the two men.

Like the Steve Jobs movie, Pawn Sacrifice focuses heavily on conversations between the characters.

For chess players:  A-
For everybody else:  B

If you want to see the best documentary about Fischer, rent Bobby Fischer Against The World.

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