Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy.Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The chess piece that Josh finds in the park at the beginning of the movie appears to be a replica of a knight from the Isle of Lewis chess men, the earliest chess pieces found in Europe, dating back to the twelfth century. Harry and Ron are seen playing with similar pieces in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001). See more »
When Josh is watching Vinnie play Shirazi, Katya (Josh's sister) looked up at her mother and say, "Joan, I want to go home". See more »
[about Bobby Fischer]
In the days before the event, the whole world wondered if he would show up. Plane after plane waited on the runway, while he napped, took walks, and ate sandwiches. Henry Kissinger called and asked him to go for his country's honor. Soon after arriving, he offended the Icelanders by calling their country inadequate because it had no bowling alleys. He complained about the TV cameras, about the lighting, about the table and chairs, and the contrast of the ...
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The original film ends with a title card stating that Josh still plays chess
along with several other activities, indicating that he has a well-rounded life. When the film was broadcast on NBC in 1996, this title card was updated: it now stated that Josh was working to become a grandmaster, and that he now considered Jack Kerouac, not Bobby Fischer, to be his primary influence.
For chessplayers and non-chessplayers alike, this is a secret gem of a movie.
Anyone who have watched Josh Waitzkin's tutorials in the Chessmaster computer-game will probably have done some research into who he is, and probably this movie will have popped up somewhere in your search.
For all of you who have found the movie that way: Go rent or buy it.
For all the rest: Go rent or buy it.
Why?: Cause it's not really about chess at all. It's a story about a 7 year old kid, taking a very keen interest in a hobby (and being VERY, VERY good at it), and also a story of his family and teachers pressuring him.
Besides a strong cast of people like Fishburn, Kingsley and Montegna, it also has some humorous moment (like the tuna-sandwich guy (William H. Macy)).
All in all, very watchable for everyone, and one of the first movies I've felt like commenting on here.
Only drawback: The link to Fischer was unnecessary, and doesn't add anything to the movie.
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