Bobby Fischer Against the World

Bobby Fischer Against the World

DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In the '70s, Chess was a Cold War sport. Since the end of WWII, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had been locked in mortal combat for supremacy of just about everything, and Bobby Fischer was America's hope. Chess prodigies aren't that rare, but Bobby Fischer made chess sexy, an almost impossible task. He captured the world's imagination, and he proved that the U.S. could produce a champion in a game where the winners always seemed to be Russians. Chess would seem to make a terrible spectator sport, but somehow this man ratcheted all of it up to new heights. Chess fans will find it short on details on what made his game unique, but most will find this a great portrait of a man who was so brilliant that it made him intensely unhappy. He couldn't handle his own genius, and in the end, that was what destroyed him. He wasn't a man against the world, but rather a man against himself. That was the one opponent he could never best.
Publisher: New York, NY : Docurama Films : Distributed in the U.S. by New Video, 2011
ISBN: 9781422986349
Branch Call Number: DVD 794.1092
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 93 min.) :,sound, color with black and white sequences ;,4 3/4 in


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 02, 2018

Bobby Fischer was certainly an interesting person and not just for his brilliance. The film offers a lot of old footage which is nice. Included is footage of him as a young man when he was already being recognized as one of the greats of the game. There was a lot of drama surrounding his matches of his own making. It added to the suspense as the game of chess became part of the Cold War when finally an American was poised to beat a Russian for the World Championship. But, what cost brilliance? Bobby Fischer was an eccentric to be sure. At first that made him interesting. Later, extreme isolation and extreme positions coupled with a rather abrasive personality made people lose patience with him. He started as a sweet, well-mannered boy. Is this a story of the cost of extreme dedication to a single interest? The film is good for all the historic footage it includes. It falls short in that not all people interviewed offer much insight, but they use up a lot of screen time. The story is depicted in a rather linear and flat way.

Jan 06, 2018

Great documentary of self-made chess grandmaster & the dirty little secret that chess produced masters that had mental health problems from predicting opponent 10 to forty zeros possible moves.
Interview from his friends & peers plus a lot of archival files.
Comparison of 19th American master so eerie.
Paranoia may be an asset in chess ,but not so much in real life.
Weird that chess match heard & watched around the world during cold war.
His total focus on chess, his dubious upbringing by his single mother contributed on his going haywire after he became the chess champion.
Highly recommended.

Nov 28, 2013

One of the best documentaries I´ve ever watched, The depiction of the Spasski-Fischer match in Iceland almost moved me to tears. The passion and knowledge brought by some of Fischer´s friends and other chessmasters is priceless, revealing the genius and beautiy of his game. Besides the fascinating (and irritating) personality of Fischer, the documentary offers great insights from the interviewed personalities (Garry Kasparov included) and an amazing and mesmerizing footage that gets you going non-stop through the whole madness of the central character.

Jun 24, 2012


May 25, 2012

A very good documentary.

tomzimm May 14, 2012

I returned this movie a couple of days after I checked it out.

May 11, 2012

Appealing documentary on chess great Bobby Fischer. You don't need to know (or care) anything about chess to enjoy it -- Fischer's eccentric personality is the main attraction. Best bits include archival footage of Fischer appearing on a game show as a teenager and later on the Dick Cavett Show with an eerily prescient Tony Randall. Oddly, for a documentary that purports to be exploring how Bobby Fischer got to be the way he was, they fail to explore the rather obvious possibility that he had Asperger's. Condescending take on Mr. Fischer's strong late life opinions mars the end somewhat.

Gary Geiserman
Mar 29, 2012

Worth watching for the archival footage and brief view of Bobby post-chess. Any show about intelligence is dearly needed, but, like many, the actual intelligence is mostly deleted. Just the personality and trappings are left, and not much of that. I would have loved to hear more of Bobby’s views. They were probably clipped because of the anti-Semitism. Sad all around. While Israel is the US’s pawn in empire building/domination, it would have been fabulous to try and sort out Bobby’s take on it. He is a genius, however eccentric. But, the Liberal/Progressive firewall against Leftist Truth (known as the truth) prohibits such airing usually. So, Bobby comes off as a typical Jew-hating Jew. While this twisted view isn’t uncommon amongst American Jews, how are we to really know? I’m sure there must be copious audio interviews w/Bobby. Had they included more than the very brief samples, that would have been worthy of the title!

PrinceBishop Mar 12, 2012

Very good documentary about a wounded individual who achieved his dream and then self-destructed. Bobby Fischer...sad, sad, sad.

Glencoe_Mike Dec 13, 2011

Solid documentary, focusing on the famous match between Fischer and Spassky, while also exploring his youth and later eccentricities.


Add Age Suitability
Dec 22, 2012

Docenos thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Gary Geiserman
Apr 22, 2012

Gary Geiserman thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add Notices
Dec 22, 2012

Coarse Language: There are some F-words.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at my library

To Top