Yet Another "Chess" Film?!
Every now and then, chess aficionados get all excited about their beloved game making a guest appearance on the big screen. Too often, however, the excitement quickly turns into bitter disappointment when they discover that the filmmakers were not quite attentive to chess detail. And no, I am not referring to the orientation of the board (h1 is of the wrong color), or the position on the board making absolutely no sense. These are ridiculous oversights which could have been easily fixed if the filmmakers cared enough, which of course they have no reason to, when chess is just a prop to the main plot. But what if the main character is a chess player, and the plot focuses on chess? How much effort should the filmmakers expend to ensure that from a chess player's perspective, the plot and the details are plausible? Is it worth the time and energy considering that chess players make a tiny fraction of the target audience?
These questions might be worth pondering as recently, multiple "chess" films ("Le Tournoi", "Pawn Sacrifice") have been released. "The King's Pawn" directed by Jonah Bleicher and produced by Rob Cristiano, is yet another short chess film. The story is based on the controversy surrounding the Kasparov vs IBM matches of the 90's, but unlike "Pawn Sacrifice" does not claim to be "retelling" the story. Of course, Pawn Sacrifice has been the subject of some mild (for chess players that is!) criticism from many chess players who were not pleased with some of the liberties taken with the story. However, I have a feeling that at least one GM (no spoilers!) is not going to be pleased with his (implied!) portrayal in The King's Pawn.
So why should you watch The King's Pawn, and what is unique about it? Well, imagine that an IM-strength player with no experience in filmmaking had a chance to participate in every stage of the process, from writing and revising the script, "prepping" the actors, "advising" on set, and commenting on the final cut; what effect would this have on the final product? Is it possible to find the right balance between the artistic freedom of the filmmakers and the insolent demands of the chess player for accuracy?
Find out by watching the film in the link below,
"The King's Pawn"
Watch the trailer here: