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Encyclopedia > Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer is an acclaimed film of 1993 based on the life of Joshua Waitzkin. Adapted from the book of the same name by Joshua's father Fred, the film was written and directed by Steven Zaillian. Image File history File links 30m. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as—in metonymy—the field in general. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Joshua Waitzkin born December 4, 1976, New York City) was a child-prodigy chess player who won the U.S. Junior Chess championship in 1993 and 1994. ... Steven Zaillian (born on 30 January 1953 in Fresno, California, USA) is an American screenwriter, film director, editor and producer, of Armenian descent. ...


In this film, Josh Waitzkin's family discovers that he possesses a gift for chess and they seek to nurture it. They hire a strict instructor, Bruce Pandolfini (played by Ben Kingsley) who aims to teach the boy to be as aggressive as Bobby Fischer. The title of the film is a metaphor about the character's quest to adopt the ideal of Fischer and his determination to win at any price. However, the main conflict in the film arises when Josh refuses to adopt the misanthropic point of view of Fischer. Furthermore, Josh goes on to win on his own terms with the kind of gracious sportsmanship that Fischer rejects. Chess is an abstract strategy board game and mental sport for two players. ... Bruce Pandolfini is an acclaimed chess champion, teacher and coach. ... Ben Kingsley Sir Ben Kingsley (born Krishna Bhanji on December 31, 1943) is an Academy Award-winning English actor. ... Bobby Fischer. ... In language, a metaphor (from the Greek: metapherin) is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects. ... It is sporting to shake the hand of ones opponent after the end of a game. ...


The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall) at the 1993 Academy Awards, while it won the category at the American Society of Cinematographers the same year. Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent film awards in the United States and most watched awards ceremony in the world. ... The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) is not a labor union or guild, but rather an educational, cultural and professional organization. ...


Fischer has cited the movie as just another example of a "Jewish conspiracy" to make money off him and sully his reputation at the same time, on the grounds that the film's producers used Fischer's fame to promote the movie yet paid him nothing for it.


Trivia


At the end of the movie, Josh is seen playing a tough opponent named Jonathan Poe in the final tournament. The character Jonathan Poe was not the actual name of Josh's opponent, however. His real name was Jeff Sarwer. Near the end of the game, where Josh offers Poe a draw, Poe rejects the draw and play continues. Sarwer rejected the game in the real world as well. Josh played Sarwer to a draw (the two kings were the only pieces left on the board), and he kept the championship, as he was top seed. As in the movie, Josh had to see twelve moves ahead, but the actual moves are unknown: no one saved the scoresheets, and no one could remember the moves sequence later. Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... Image File history File links This image is used in the standard chess diagram template. ... In chess, a draw is one of the possible outcomes of a game, the others being a win for white and a win for black. ...


Depicted to the right is the position of the game before Josh offers Poe the draw. The position did not occur in the real Waitzkin-Sarwer game; it was contrived by Josh Waitzkin and Bruce Pandolfini specifically for the movie. The following moves are executed (see algebraic chess notation): Algebraic chess notation is the method used today by all competition chess organizations and most books, magazines, and newspapers to record and describe the play of chess games. ...

  1. ...gxf6
  2. Bxf6 Rc6+
  3. Kf5 Rxf6+!
  4. Nxf6 Bxf6
  5. Kxf6 Nd7+
  6. Kf5 Nxe5
  7. Kxe5?? a5
  8. h5 a4
  9. h6 a3
  10. h7 a2
  11. h8=Q a1=Q+
  12. Kf5 Qxh8 0-1

In the October 1985 issue of Chess Life, Grandmaster Larry Evans stated that the position and sequence were unsound; Jonathan could still have won (note the double question mark after White's move 7, signifying a serious blunder).


One gripe from some chess players is the way Josh is seen offering the draw. In the film, he sticks his hand out and says he's offering a draw, waiting for Poe to shake his hand. The proper procedure is for a player to make a move first and then verbally offer a draw (without a handshake offer). Many children who have seen the movie mimic Josh's action. The reason this is improper is that it obstructs the opponents view of the board while trying to decide whether to accept the draw offer, it also tends to psychologically rush the decision as some players feel bad about ignoring their opponents handshake offer for so long. In practice the player being offered the draw can think about it as long as she or he has time on their clock and can either answer verbally or decline the offer simply by making their own move, which again may be blocked by the opponents outstretched hand.


Another minor error in the film are the chess timers being set to 12:00 instead of the standard 6:00.


Some famous chess players have brief cameos in the film. These include: Joel Benjamin, Roman Dzindzichashvili, Kamran Shirazi and the real Bruce Pandolfini. Chess master Asa Hoffmann is played by Austin Pendleton; the real Hoffman didn't like the way he was portrayed (his dialogue is taken almost verbatim from the nonfiction book, but the manner in which he delivers his line is different). Chess expert Poe McClinton, still a park regular, is seen throughout the film. Pal Benko was supposed to be in the movie, but his part was cut out. Joel Benjamin (born March 11, 1964) is a chess Grandmaster. ... Roman Yakovlevich Dzindzichashvili (b. ... Kamran Shirazi (b. ... Bruce Pandolfini is an acclaimed chess champion, teacher and coach. ... Pál Benkő (born July 15, 1928 in Amiens) is a chess grandmaster, author, and composer of endgame studies and chess problems. ...


The girl ranked 82nd which Josh plays in the final tournament is actually Katya Waitzkin, Josh Waitzkin's little sister.


Vinnie, the character played by Laurence Fishburne, is based in part on the real life Vincent Livermore and in part on the real life Joseph Lincoln, both regulars at Washington Square Park chess games throughout the 1980s. Livermore, regarded as a master-strength player, died of AIDS in 1993. Lincoln died of a heroin overdose in 1996. In an interview with the New York Post shortly before his death, Lincoln said he had never seen the film. Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix Revolutions Laurence Fishburne III (born July 30, 1961) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and occasional stage actor. ... A chess master is a chess player of such skill that he can nearly always beat players of the general strength found in chess clubs, who themselves typically can nearly always prevail against the level of play generally possessed by the average player in the general population. ... Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ... The New York Post is one of the oldest newspapers published in the United States. ...


Kingsley plays Bruce Pandolfini as having a Scottish accent, a gray buzzcut, and a cold and distant air. The real Bruce Pandolfini is very different: he has curly brown hair, glasses, a mustache, and a friendly and soft-spoken demeanor (he has a cameo in the film; he is the kibbitzer who refers to Jonathan as a "young Fischer"). Josh Waitzkin is quick to point out that Kingsley's portrayal is fiction and not to be confused with fact.


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bobby Fischer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5103 words)
Fischer and others alleged that because of the number of "Russian" players involved in the tournament (the Soviet Union dominated international chess competition throughout most of its history), it was possible for them to agree on short draws among themselves and concentrate their full efforts on the non-Soviet contingent.
Fischer, who insists to this day that he is still the World Champion because he never lost a title match, demanded that the organizers bill the match as "The World Chess Championship," although at this time Garry Kasparov was the recognized FIDE champion.
Fischer's sudden re-emergence was apparently triggered when some of his belongings, which had been stored in a Pasadena, California storage unit, were sold by the landlord who claimed it was in response to nonpayment of rent.
Searching for Bobby Fischer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (930 words)
Searching for Bobby Fischer is an acclaimed film of 1993 based on the life of Joshua Waitzkin.
The title of the film is a metaphor about the character's quest to adopt the ideal of Fischer and his determination to win at any price.
Fischer has cited the movie as just another example of a "Jewish conspiracy" to make money off him and sully his reputation at the same time, on the grounds that the film's producers used Fischer's fame to promote the movie yet paid him nothing for it.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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