For the longest time, chess has been the undisputed grandaddy of board games, mixing strategy and intrigue across an almost unfathomable amount of variations. No two game’s are alike, which is something prized prodigy Bobby Fischer knew all to well. His story, one rife with personal demons and political undertones, will serve as the crux for Ed Zwick’s upcoming drama Pawn Sacrifice.
With Tobey Maguire in the title role, Zwick’s feature will be set against the Cold War at a time when tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union threatened to boil over into all-out nuclear war. For Fischer, though, our troubled protagonist was primarily concerned about the 64 colored squares in front of him. After rising through the ranks to become the best chess player of a generation, Maguire’s character will go toe-to-toe with Russian champ Boris Spassky in an encounter comparable to a lavish heavyweight boxing match.
But Fischer also has to tackle his own personal demons, even donning a paper bag over his head at one point Shia LaBeouf-style. It’s this dynamic that will underpin Zwick’s drama, and for our own thoughts on the film, be sure to check out our review from TIFF.
Maguire will lock horns with Liev Schreiber’s Spassky when Pawn Sacrifice makes its bow in theaters on September 18.
In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, Pawn Sacrifice chronicles Fischer’s terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.