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Before Making a Move, Check for a Mate to Help

Aside from a chalkboard with Chinese algebra, chess may be the hardest board to read.

Like most kids in 1993, Searching for Bobby Fischer had a profound effect on me in terms of how gritty films could translate into cinematic works of art. Then there was this new game called chess. And chess is a wonderful game. At the exact moment you think you’ve mastered it, you quickly realize there’s an entirely new playbook to be learned. Unlike other games, chess requires a relentless mind in ways that equally generates adrenaline and emotional bursts of insanity. The case study for this type of intoxicating paranoia is, fittingly enough, the legendary Bobby Fischer.

See the 2014 film Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire as the aforementioned Mr. Fischer.

In the spirit of attempting to climb into the mindset of a brilliant, world-class chess player, the easiest path may be for a brilliant, world-class chess player to climb into our head.

The following video will explain.

Seeing myriad moves that lead to success that few people in the world can envision is truly a gift.

What’s his hourly rate?


Insanity’s Checkered Life

There are a billion reasons to love and hate chess.

Pawn Sacrifice seeks to highlight justifications for both ends of that spectrum.

Tobey Maguire (Bobby Fischer) escaped into the legendary chess player for a movie he said was 10-years in the making. For most people (including myself), Bobby Fischer is the one name we know in the chess universe. Most notably, this stems from a film in which a 7-year old boy from a middle-class family in New York City found himself inadvertently “searching” to channel Fischer’s world-renowned skill in the 1993 classic, Searching for Bobby Fischer.

In a recent interview, Tobey Maguire revealed just how difficult chess is to play, let alone succeed against the best. The mental toll, if pushed to the highest levels, is enough to drive any sane person mad. This is one of the driving forces in Pawn Sacrifice, which is based on a true story. However, the psychological illness caused by the strenuous nature of chess didn’t stop Maguire from relishing in the blind luck mastery of today’s chess champion.

That’s insane.

Whether you have to drive diagonally across town, north and then west or straight up the road, seeing Pawn Sacrifice this weekend seems like a worthwhile move.

Bobby Fischer’s Cold War

Relentless, unnerving, genius.

The astonishing, yet tortured story of chess mastermind Bobby Fischer is mesmerizing. A lot of it has to do with the impossibly overwhelming knowledge needed to play chess at the highest level and this is portrayed in a new trailer for Pawn Sacrifice that takes us through Fischer’s life to the Cold War showdown against┬áBoris Spassky that defined him forever. Chess is a fun and stressful game, designed with the difficulty of an epic labyrinth and the time constraints of a 100-meter sprint in a speed game. In fact, there are various time keeping methods, including one created by the aforementioned chess master himself.

Fischer, who had not played a public game since winning the world championship in 1972, patented a chess clock in 1988 that added an increment of time after a player completed a move and hit the button on top. For example, in a speed game, a player could begin with five minutes and receive an additional 10 or 15 seconds after making each move

—Encyclopedia Britannica

In life, we are constatly confronted by choices, each presenting a different path and set of consequences, good and bad. The decisions we make define who we are. Keeping this in mind, consider Fischer’s dilemma of contemplating an infinite number of options with only one correct move for each decision. And there’s a time limit, with the ramifications of moving the wrong chess piece all but likely resulting in complete disaster. As the trailer below shows, this intensity was real and raw because of his equally brilliant Soviet Union opponent.

Plus, the whole world was watching.

And just like the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game at the 1980 Winter Olympics between the United States and the Soviet Union, Bobby Fischer was also in a colossal Cold War battle against the Russians…and himself.

This movie looks as awe-inspiring as the “Bobby Fischer Trap.”


The Search is Over

(Entertainment Weekly)

(Entertainment Weekly)

There he is!

That makes total sense for fans of the powerful 1993 movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, which was based on the true story of a young prodigy’s pursuit towards reaching the chess status of the legendary player. The poster above is Tobey Maguire, who will be portraying the chess champion in the film, Pawn Sacrifice. The movie is due out in September of this year.

Even without a trailer, this poster alone will likely spark quite a bit of buzz because of the naturally intriguing enigma of chess and, perhaps, the equally enigmatic mind of a master chess player. As is custom with anyone considered a genius (no matter the profession), people are captivated to understand how and why these individuals think the way they do.

Bobby Fischer is no exception.

Pawn Sacrifice will have a couple hours to reach an entertaining checkmate with the audience.

Hopefully, the movie makes the right gambit.