Searching for Bobby Fischer

In this classic from the 90s, seven year old Josh discovers speed chess in a New York park and instantly falls in love with the game, absorbing its basic rules and strategies with ease. After showing a prodigious affinity for the game, his father is eager to cultivate his son’s talents, hiring a retired but highly skilled chess coach, hoping to unlock his son’s full potential. Soon Josh is turning heads, winning tournaments, and growing a modest collection of trophies.

But between a strict chess teacher who wants to turn him into the next Bobby Fischer, ruthless and unforgiving, and a father whose love and attention he feels he now has to earn through victories at the board, the seven year old is not sure the constant pressure is worth it. Chess was fun when it was just speed games at the park, but if he wants to continue a serious study of the game, both he and the adults in his life will have to decide what exactly the game means to them.

Is it just a game? Is it okay to lose? Just how badly should he want to win? Just how much should he give up to pursue success? How much should he change?

Loosely based on the childhood of a real chess prodigy, Searching for Bobby Fischer thoughtfully questions and explores the light and dark sides of relentless determination in the pursuit of one’s talents and passions.

While most viewers are unlikely to be struggling child prodigies, all viewers will likely relate to the themes of finding the proper balance in life for the cultivation of talent and potential and the temptations of over-desiring prestige and success.

Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Rated PG
USCCB rating: A-II
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
IMDb Parents Guide