There is a colloquial saying, ‘the book was better!’ Yes, mostly this is very prevalent especially among the Harry Potter fans. Talking about chess, most of the budding chess players rely on chess books a lot more than chess movies. There are some brilliant chess movies out there that are absolute wonders. They throw light on every aspect of the lives of players, fictional and non-fictional including social and political factors. These chess movies help paint a vivid picture in the minds of their audience. Here is our list of must-watch movies for everyone reading this article:
- Pawn Sacrifice
- Searching for Bobby Fischer
- Bobby Fischer Against the World
- Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine
- Queen of Katwe
Let us look at each one of these individually.
Pawn Sacrifice is a biography of the legend Bobby Fischer. It was released in 2015 and is currently doing a solid 7.0 rating on IMdb and a 72 on the tomatometer. The movie shows us the childhood of bobby fischer depicting his prodigal abilities well. Tobey Maguire does justice while playing the role of Bobby Fischer. Set in the period of the cold war, the movie wonderfully showcases the battle between the Russians and the Americans in this gripping movie. This movie is a suspenseful thriller. It is not just for chess enthusiasts, but for anyone that can spare 2 hours. It is worth every minute!
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596345/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/pawn_sacrifice
Magnus is a one hour eighteen-minute documentary about one of the most successful players in the history of the game. Released in 2016, it is rated 7.1 on IMdb and 81% on the tomatometer. Some of the highlights of this movie include his struggles with bullying as a kid and his rise to the World Number 1. It includes his battel against Kasparov and Anand in vivid detail. Definitely a movie that one wouldn’t want to miss out on. The film garnered such great attention that a documentary had to be released after the debut.
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5471480/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/magnus_2016
Searching for Bobby Fischer
This 1993 classic is still running a solid 7.4 rating on IMdb and a 100% on the tomatometer! This movie is based on the book, ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’ by Fred Waitzkin. It depicts the story of a childhood prodigy who happens to be Fred’s son, Josh. His son does go on to become a highly acclaimed international master. This movie brought about a chess revolution of sorts in the United States.
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108065/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/searching_for_bobby_fischer
Bobby Fischer Against the World
Another movie on Bobby Fischer? Yes! We can’t get enough of him. He was such a unique and unconventional player who revolutionized the way the game is played today. It features his encounter with multiple players from the Soviet Union. He was fearless to have taken on and defeated players from the soviet union during the cold war. Naturally, he was never inclined towards politics and only wanted to play chess with good opponents. The 2011 release boasts a 7.4 rating on IMdb and a 88% score on the tomatometer.
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1777551/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bobby_fischer_against_the_world
Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine
Most parts of the world consider Garry Kasparov to be the greatest chess player that ever lived. In 1997, there was a ground-breaking match that ended with a computer beating the World Chess Champion. The computer program that accomplished this feat was developed by IBM and called ‘Deep Blue’. Garry was at the peak of his career here. He was challenged to a game against this computer, where he conceded the match in round 6. Directed by Vikram Jayanti, this 2004 documentary is going at a strong 6.8 on IMdb and a 76% on the tomato-meter.
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379296/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/game_over_kasparov_and_the_machine_2004
Queen of Katwe
This is the highest-rated movie on our list. We will tell you why. This movie is based on the book, ‘Queen of Katwe’. It talks about the life of Phiona Mutesi. Phiona is a chess player from Uganda who has risen up to represent herself at international platforms from humble beginnings. Her story is one of the most inspiring and motivational journeys of any person. She has risen from poverty and learnt the game through an encounter by chance. This 2016 movie is one of the highest rated chess movies out there with a strong 7.4 on IMdb and a rocking 93% on the tomato-meter. This is a wonderful cinematographic experience. It is produced by Disney pictures and shot in Africa.
Check out the IMdb page here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4341582/
Check out the Rotten Tomatoes page: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/queen_of_katwe_2016