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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  • 6 years ago


    tiodan asked: "is there consensus that he is a serious contender for that title strictly on the basis of his play, or has he been bumped up a few notches because he was american?"


    Thats a great question. In my personal case...I admire Fisher and follow his games because I consider him an artist of the 64 squares. His games are simply amazing...and sometimes so logical and simple that would make any amateur think that they can also be World Champions one day.....just like Capablanca. On the other hand, I do try to distant Fisher the player from the other Fisher we got to know after he won the World Championship. Until now, when I'm reading the book Endgame, I have not bothered to get an insight on what happened to Fisher's mind after he became World Champion.


    But as much as we can admire Fisher for his games, we can't forget the great battle he also fought outside the chessboards. Remember that at the time he became World Champion, the championship cycle was a private club practically owned and run by the Russians who would only favor the Russians. So Fisher had to come in and deal with monopoly....and of course, beat the Russians convincingly at their own game....which of course he did with outstanding results.

  • 6 years ago


    @ qixel - yes, it's a good photo isn't it. One thing the reviewers seem to agree on is that there are a lot of previously unseen photos of Bobby that have been unearthed for the film.

  • 6 years ago


    I would like to remind everyone that Fischer said that America got what it deserved the day after 9/11. He didn't just say a "few bad things" or some stange rants" or just typical delusional stuff. If he was just "crazy" then I guess Osama bin Laden is also just "crazy" and not one of the most evil men alive. To speak of his talent is one thing, but to defend his actions are simply impossible as far as I am concerned.
  • 6 years ago


    I know better than to enter into any discussion about might as well be a discussion about religion or politics...

    But I do think your photo of Bobby wearing the visor is just great, Ryan.

    I had read about him wearing it, but never had come across a photo before.


  • 6 years ago


    Hopefully this film will give us an insight into the man who, surely, brought more players to this great game - myself included - than anyone else in its history.

    Okay, I accept this was partly to do with the media focusing on him because the Cold War was still on and Russia versus USA at ANYTHING was considered newsworthy. But the man still had to qualify to play Boris Spassky, and then beat him, under the most unbelievable pressure, applied externally by others and internally by himself.

    I neither want to condemn or condone his off-board actions as I am not sufficiently well qualified so to do. This film may change that.

    But what I do know is that, thanks to Bobby Fischer chess became the most popular pastime around the world in the early 70s and I discovered its all-consuming beauty, and for that I am grateful.

    I stopped playing in the years when my family was growing up, but play again now and am as absorbed (and as frustrated) as ever. All thanks to Bobby Fischer because otherwise I feel sure the game would have passed me by.

  • 6 years ago


        listen, when he was in his prime - a 105 wins in a row against the worlds strongest gm's( of course he was nuts much like mad hatter but chess allowed him to forcus and keep the mental part at bay),poison pill pawn was taken by him and win where others said it could not be done, movement of the white bishop in the queens gambit, end game lore,he was the first 2800 and i'm sure in a 10 game set he could win 7 games against any player (he stayed away from draws).being 68 i saw much of it. in those days i  was a strong player and knew greatness when i saw it. yea, lasker, cabl. morphy, the russians, the modern k.s all great but not in his class..!!!

  • 6 years ago


    Bobby Fischer vs Kasparov; both in their prime:   Bobby all the way!  His MANY unbelievably brilliant chess games against awesome competition PROVES that he IS the MOST remarkable chess genius of ALL time!   He beat the Russians at their own game!  And ya know something, he did it on his own!  I love you, Bobby!  Thank-you very much for allowing me and my wife to be your friends!  May, you rest in piece Bro!  For those of us that truly knew you:   You da Man!!!

  • 6 years ago


    i always find these discussions of 'who was the best/greatest ever' to be really interesting. ultimately i don't think the question can be answered, but i do want to ask: is there consensus that he is a serious contender for that title strictly on the basis of his play, or has he been bumped up a few notches because he was american?

  • 6 years ago


    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.

    If he had not been an antisemite though, I suspect all would have been forgiven, and maybe he would just be described as eccentric and nonconformist and persecuted by the government, as opposed to being described as "mad"  by an army of armchair Jewish psychologists.

    "Madness" is an inherently inciteful and prejudicial term without any precise meaning and straight out of the 19th century:

    "He was quite mad."

    "Yes, quite.  Mad as a march hare.  Crazy as a Loon."

    I'm sure this upcoming HBO feature will have all the objectivity of your typical TV docudrama.  Can't wait.

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    I am forever fan of Kasparov and Fischer... both are the best in their times... and in my opinion, the two occupied the 1 & 2 spots of the greatest chess players of all time.  and if they play with each other, it would be a "Fairy Tale Come True" in chess world! and for sure, plenty of greatest games of all times will be produced by the two greatest chess players of all time playing with each other! sad to say, it's only a fairy tale that they play with each other though... and with the film, I would surely get myself a copy for collection and i'm excited to have one!

    RIP Bobby.. you will forever be remembered in the chess world hundreds of years from now!

  • 6 years ago


    I remember the 70's match Spassky/Fischer. It was quite moving to see an American with such potential. I was 15 yrs. old and it seemed that all of the country, or even, the world was wondering if he could defeat the greatest chess player / players (USSR) in the world at that time. So, naturally, I began to track this chess event and eventually my own interest in chess.  I would like to give THANKS, to Mr. Fischer. He was indeed a leader of many to come ! 

  • 6 years ago


    Kasparov vs Fischer. Fischer was nice, but kasparov took no prisoners. Kasparov all day. Maybe young fischer would put on a good show though.
  • 6 years ago


    I can't wait to watch this documentary. I have been a huge Fisher fan since I was 7 years old.....and a huge Kasparov fan since the 1980's. And for all the folks posting here about what the outcome of a Fisher vs Kasparov match would have been....I really think Kasparov would have taken Fisher to the cleaners. Fisher was great, but Kasparov eventually outplayed anyone. Kasparov is the greatest player to ever play this game.

  • 6 years ago


    I think the earlier comment by Narniacalls was very odd to say the least. To accuse someone of embracing madness is akin to accusing someone of embracing cancer. Bobby was one of the greatest chess players of all time. Many players will attest to his kindness and courtesy, he was for instance the only GM who found the time to visit Tal in hospital, when he fell ill during a major tournament that he and Bobby were both competing in. Yes he could be difficult but he stood on his principles even when it cost him dearly. He said some terrible things but when you read the rambling incoherent statements he made, it is obvious he was struggling with major mental illness. He was a truly tragic figure that any person with an ounce of decency should feel some compassion for. I look foward to seeing this film.

  • 6 years ago


    Kasparov or Fisher - global politics and US hegemony - really guys, could Tom Seaver strike out Babe Ruth?  Ohhh, what if Dimaggio played cricket?  Who cares?  Brilliant chess and a diseased mind.... maybe they will talk about Alekhine too...  The story of Bobby Fisher is sad, and worth seeing - I look forward to the movie, and the new biography being published.  "Deranged criminal" ?!?  open your mind.

  • 6 years ago


    poor Bobby, he did nothing wrong but say some stupid things, and we tolerate that everyday from many people here in the US, if anybody hates him, just remember the only person he truly hurt was himself. he may have needed profesional help, because it's obvious that he did have phsycological disorders. so many of us play chess today because of him. 

    RIP Bobby

  • 6 years ago


    why would anyone make a movie about Kasparov, Botvinik, Alyokhine or Kapablanka if they are not americans? Poor Bob... Not the strongest player after all

  • 6 years ago


    Kasparov about Fischer: "perhaps the most mythologically shrouded figure in chess".(wiki)

  • 6 years ago


    He was a deranged criminal. His ability to play chess counts for zero to me now. As a child, I idolized him. He embraced his madness and his hatred. I have no interest at all in seeing this movie or any other about him.

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