Pawn Sacrifice... My Ignorance


The movie Pawn Sacrifice was great, and although there were some inaccuracies I still feel it is the best chess movie I have seen besides The Luzhin Defense.

In my previous post I said Pawn Sacrifice was true to chess and the event itself, the 72 Championship. However, after watching one of my favorite GMs lecture - Yasser Seirawan - I realized that my knowledge of the 72 Championship and even Bobby Fischer isnt as strong as I thought it was.

See the lecture here:

Apparently the "bishop blunder" from game one was not a blunder at all. In fact the move ...Bxh2 was a deep consideration by Bobby. The exchange of the Bishop for several pawns wasnt the only idea. Bobby did not just capture a pawn in a hasty step, as the movie shows. He also did not resign immediately after. The concept of ...Bxh2 is to create a passed h pawn. See the lecture video.

The move that was a blunder was the later ...Ke4, and yet Bobby played out the endgame. Both Spassky and Fischer were chess geniuses, and this kind of error on Fischer's part was certainly going to stir up any audience.

Furthermore the exaggeration of the blunder is even more heinous because of how the whole game is portrayed. Spassky never walked around at this point and he never said anything to Bobby. The fact is that the chessly person that was hired to care after the chess integrity in the movie may have also had poorer knowledge of the event.

So is my plight. I have been playing chess for 15 years now, and yet I do not know my chess history as well as I should. When I post, I usually write in a stream of consciousness kind of way... Spilling out my thoughts as the come.

This post comes after consideration of my previous post's lack of research.

Still... The movie is a must see and is enjoyable for the chess player.