Bobby Fischer Against The World

  • SonofPearl
  • on 2/16/11, 12:03 AM.

bobbyfischer_against_the%20_world.jpgA new film about the American chess genius entitled "Bobby Fischer Against The World" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival recently and is now due for a wider release after Music Box Films announced that they have bought the theatrical distribution rights.

The HBO backed film will premiere on HBO before a wider theatrical release in the US.  It will also be released in Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Berlin Film Festival—February 15, 2011—Music Box Films announced today that it has acquired all US Theatrical, DVD, and Digital Rights to Liz Garbus’ film Bobby Fischer Against the World which recently screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in the prestigious Documentary Premieres Section.

The deal was negotiated by David Koh & Stanley Buchthal of LM Media GmbH on behalf of the Director and Producers along with Ed Arentz & Bill Schopf of Music Box Films. HBO Documentary Films plans an Academy Qualification followed by a TV broadcast on HBO. A coordinated Theatrical, DVD and Digital Release by Music Box Films will follow.

Bobby Fischer Against the World is a co-production of HBO Documentary Film and LM Media GmbH and was Produced & Directed by Liz Garbus. Produced by Stanley Buchthal, Rory Kennedy, Matthew Justus. Executive Produced for HBO by Sheila Nevins. Executive Produced by Dan Cogan, Nick Fraser, Maja Hoffmann, Martin Pieper. Senior Producer for HBO Nancy Abraham. Co-Produced by Christoph Jorg & David Koh. Cinematography by Bob Chappell. Edited by Karen Schmeer and Michael Levine. Music Composed by Philip Sheppard.

Considered by many to be the greatest chess player to ever live Bobby Fischer Against the World is the first and definitive biopic of the prodigy and chess champion and is a general study of genius and madness. His trajectory propelled him from child prodigy to world class champion at age 29 and then into a nosedive of delusions and paranoia. Fischer was a recluse for decades before resurfacing for a bizarre final chapter as a fugitive. Rare archival footage and insightful interviews with those closest to him expand this captivating story of a mastermind’s tumultuous rise—and fall.

Mongrel Media will release in Canada, Madman Entertainment will release in Australia & New Zealand, Dogwoof will release in the UK, and Ealing Studios International is handling and representing the rest of the World on behalf of the Producers at this year’s EFM Market in Berlin.

Liz Garbus said, “I’m so grateful for my extraordinary partnership with HBO Documentary Films and Stanley Buchthal, which brought the film to this point. I now look forward to HBO introducing the film to the world, and am thrilled that Music Box Films will be expanding the film into theaters and on DVD. Music Box has an outstanding lineup of films, and I am very proud Bobby Fischer Against the World will be amongst them.”

Ed Arentz and Bill Schopf stated, “We are excited to bring this great film to US audiences. This is the definitive movie on Bobby Fischer and we are proud that it is our first documentary film that we are releasing.”

Liz Garbus is the director of The Farm: Angola, USA, The Execution of Wanda Jean, Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech.

Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has quickly established itself as one of the leading distributors of non-English language feature films in the US in theatres, onDVD/Blu-ray and via Video-on- Demand. Music Box’s release of Guillaume Canet’s TELL NO ONE was the most popular and sucessful foreign-language film of 2008 and in 2010, the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson trilogy of international mega sellers dominated the foreign-language film market. The first in the series, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, with over $10 million in US box office was one the most popular international releases of the decade. Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre , Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

A list of reviews can be found here.

Picture by Music Box Films

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  • 4 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    The greatness of Fischer can be drawn from the analogy that a Queen is worth about 9 Pawns, with Fischer as the pawn unit.  This is due to Fischer's singlehand dominance against an entire system, contrasted to Kasparov's school of development including a former World Champion as his teacher.  But between Fischer and Morphy, Paul Morphy would then be the real pawn unit for Fischer obtained knowledge with Soviet literature.

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you Bobby for being one of the best if not the best chess champion in history! All those critcs who downgrade & try to compare Bobby with other champions of this day stop it , he was one of a kind.    Stop casting stones at the man ,if he was a live you still would be complaining.Surprised

  • 5 years ago


    @ trulyfroggy - Look here.

  • 5 years ago


    Bobby Fischer played chess sooo well.

    Really want to see his games.

    Do you know where to see them?

  • 5 years ago


    "All is vanity"

  • 5 years ago


    Bobby fisher... what wasted talent....

    Fischer, who had taken the highest crown almost singlehandedly from the mighty, almost invincible Soviet chess empire, shook the whole world, not only the chess world, to its core. He started a chess boom not only in the United States and in the Western hemisphere, but worldwide. Teaching chess or playing chess as a career had truly become a respectable profession. After Bobby, the game was simply not the same.

  • 5 years ago


    There is life after Fischer........

  • 6 years ago


    for a review i did of "bobby fischer against the world":


  • 6 years ago


    "Victor Korchnoi said no russian could beat him, and was exiled to Switzerland after that"

    Victor Korchnoi was not "exiled" to switzerland. Korchnoi defected and I believe it was in Germany.

  • 6 years ago


    Bobby was a true" Warrior Of The Board "  love him or hate him he shocked the world when he crushed the "Russian Machine" that ruled the chess world during the 70's. He brought back to America a win that opened the door to many that play the game today.Sad that he allowed bitterness to rule his soul.Let this be a lesson to all that hold bitterness in their hearts.

  • 6 years ago


    ahhh Yimin,

    you posted:     quote:


    by yimin123 - 4 days ago
    Member Since: Jul 2010
    Member Points: 62

    Okay people those who put massive wall of comments about kasparov will beat fischer and stuff let me ask you is the match fair in the first place?

    -kasparov will study thousands of fischer games

    -kasparov have hundreds of GMs to prepare openings for him

    end quote.


    a couple minor points:  a. fischer didn't give the chess world "thousands of fischer games", he gave less than 1000 published gems to the world, I believe.

    Robert James Fischer
    Number of games in database: 971
    Years covered: 1953 to 1992
    Current FIDE rating: 2780
    Highest rating achieved in database: 2785
    Overall record: +451 -88 =249 (73.0%)*
       * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
          Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
          183 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

    raise total by one, USCF just published a previously unknown game from Fischer.

    and I doubt that kasparov would actually trust "hundreds of GMs to prepare openings for him" as there are probably only a couple dozen he would rely on to help him prepare for a match.


    posted as a user's opinion.

  • 6 years ago


    If Fischer was part of the Soviet machine, then maybe he'd be better than Kasparov, maybe...but then it is a question of who is more talented if they all had equal access to equal resources.  Then the answer is Capablanca with honorable mention of Morphy.  

    Even Bobby Fischer, the greatest chess player ever, understood the greatness of Capablanca, the greatest chess player ever.  So who cares of about the savantic non-existent battles of Fischer vs Kasparov, possibly the 3rd-or-4th-bests-ever.  

    Nobody remembers 3rd or 4th, except that Daughtry guy from American Idol that one happens.

  • 6 years ago


    Okay people those who put massive wall of comments about kasparov will beat fischer and stuff let me ask you is the match fair in the first place?

    -kasparov will study thousands of fischer games

    -kasparov have hundreds of GMs to prepare openings for him

    -kasparov can use moves from all those engines

    if fischer did not forfeit 1969 WC cycle and the match took place in moscow and fischer plays the russians(petrosian/spassky) in Moscow, those "honest" Russians will have 1000 people working in backstage figuring out the best move after each move and tell the players when they "go to washroom"


    And those who say kasparov is better than fischer

    Has fischer EVER taken back a move after his hand leaves the piece?(its recorded in news in game kasparov vs judit.polgar)

    Has kasparov ever beaten anyone 6-0 in an canditate match?

    Do fischer have GMs and engines to prepare game for him?

  • 6 years ago


    perhaps the real concerns about fischer, especially for the americans, is how to become top class player like RJF without becoming like RJF in terms of : 1. No time for girls, 2. Dropping out of high school, 3. Becoming hard to please to meet demands, 4. Aloof with anything outside of chess.  It's sad that because of these the US of A lost a great talent in Josh Waitzkin.

  • 6 years ago


    Lets see the game of Bobby Fischer called " Against Einstein theory " that was wonderfull game Cool

  • 6 years ago


    Kasparov would beat Fischer since he is 20 years younger and less of a coward (psychology counts).  It would not matter if it were prime Fischer versus prime Kasparov...Kasparov has the benefit of learning 20 years of more modern lines/theory.  This is why the Gracies no longer dominate MMA, since fighters afterwards grew up studying them and why the 1974 Miami Dolphins at their peak would get pwned by the Detroit Lions that went 0-16.  I can say all of this and be correct even though I am neither a good chess player, a mixed martial artist, nor an American football player. 

    If its a matter of talent and access to the same resources, then who knows? Fischer did what he did all alone (or at least with far inferior playmates than "the Russians"), but Kasparov beat everyone and dominated tournaments for 2 decades, so even though GK had the benefit of the "Soviet machine", he still did what no one else could do, and in a more modern era to boot. 

    Capablanca would crush them all if he tried under equal circumstances.  He is Cuban. 

    This is why there should be a regular season and playoff in PROFESSIONAL chess with tournaments held all over the world in advance of knowledge of participants so no one can claim conspiracy, with a champion crowned each year...then you'd know who is a one-hit wonder champion (if such exists) or a dynasty (if somebody wins 8 out of 12 years and cannot duck the best competition, chances are they are truly great).

    If you are a petty thief, then you are a petty thief, even if a rapist/murderer calls you a petty thief, thus the indiscretions of the U.S. government have no bearing on Fischer's hatefulness. 

  • 6 years ago


    Its interesting to me that so many people are giving a medical diagnosis for Bobby Fischer,  someone they never even met! The US has bombed Hanoi and Saigon, Iraq, Belgrade and many other places for many years. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Fischer also said the US has no right to exist because it was stolen from the Indians and Israel has no right to exist because it was stolen from the Arabs. The Jews are always crying about the holocaust when they treat the Palastinians just as badly as the Nazis treated them. According to Larry Evans Fischer's terms for a world's championship rematch were the same  terms that the Russians had demanded from him in the original match. 

    In short if one were to examine each and every claim made against Fischer you will find a reasonable explaination. And so methinks there was method to his madness!

  • 6 years ago


    Fischer v Kasparov hmmm sorry for me it is a no brainer. People cite Fischer's will to win but exactly the same was said about GK. People cite Fischer's dominance but Fischer was the strongest player in the world for only three years 1970-1972. 1960-1970 he played Spassky 5 times lost 3 drew 2 won 0. Kasparov was the strongest player in the world for 20 years. Fischer won the title saw Karpov come through and never played again, as I said elsewhere today if it had been a rematch with Spassky does anyone doubt he would have played cos I don't. Kasparov played everyone they put in fornt of him and beat them before going out on his shield against Kramnik. Anyone here really think Kramnik is better that GK. Fischer is undoubtably one of the very greatest chess players of all time but if you put him up against GK he comes up short because GK was mentally stronger and let's face it chess ain't played out on a field.

  • 6 years ago


    Having grown up as a tournament player in the late 60s and early 70s, I was excited by all the chess greats from Steinitz to Fischer. Quite frankly, I was more a fan of Botvinnik and Petrosian from a stylistic point of view. 

    However, it was apparent to all that the Soviet Union was the chess power, and did all it could from both a training and political point of view to maintain its hegemony.  This clearly included fixing tournaments so that a favored player would win by pressuring his Soviet co-competitors to draw and/or lose.  We clearly witnessed this in Paul Keres's losing to Botvinnik in the 1948 championship tournament, where we now know he was threatened with prosecution as a Nazi collaborator (a lie) by the Stalinist regime.  Nevertheless, the level of Soviet chess artistry was superb, moral issues not withstanding.

    It is in this context that Fischer's singlehand struggle was so impressive, and his play so inspiring.  He did it virtually alone.  But it broke him mentally.  I have known loved ones who were deep in the throws of paranoid schizophrenia, and it is never pleasant.  Those afflicted often lash out at the world in the most hurtful ways possible, exacerbated when they are highly intelligent.

    Anyone with an ounce of clinical understanding will admit that Fischer was severely disturbed.  And yes, his bizarre pronouncements were odious.  However, medical and legal precedent would clearly label him as functioning with diminished capacity.  I would suggest to all those engaged in the various polemics that they step back from their personal nationalist and/or political stances and evaluate Fischer in the context of his time and his obvious illness.  He was a tragic genius.   I say this as a person with Jewish (among other) heritage, as a person who survived the 9/11 explosions, and as a Buddhist who seeks to look at things as they are; not as anger, hate, or nationalism would drive us.  To quote the motto of FIDE, "Gens una sumus"-- we are one people.

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