Bobby Fischer Against the World

Release May 27, 2011 (Limited)
Director Liz Garbus
Genres Documentary
Studio HBO Documentary Films/Mongrel Media
Length 90 mins.


American chess phenom Bobby Fischer went from lonely child to chess prodigy, global superstar, angry recluse and finally fugitive from the law.

Fischer was raised in Brooklyn by a Jewish single mother whose Communist leanings put her on the FBI's list as a suspected spy. Often alone, Fischer taught himself to play chess at six. In 1958, at age 14, he was the U.S. champion. Then in 1972, Fischer unseated reigning Soviet champ Boris Spassy for the world title in Reykjavik, Iceland, a match that dominated world headlines, pushing Watergate, Northern Ireland and Vietnam off the lead story. But Fischer's behavior was causing gossip, as he showed up late and banned TV cameras from the room.

After his win, Fischer became increasingly eccentric and reclusive, retiring from professional play. Twenty years later, he returned for a rematch against Spassy in Belgrade, which lead to his indictment by the US Government for ignoring UN sanctions against Yugoslavia. Facing prison time at home, Fischer spent a decade evading arrest, often spewing anti-Semitic and anti-American rants. He was almost unrecognizable as the man whose early promise and dashing looks helped make chess the most popular game in the world.

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