BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD (2011)

Bobby Fischer Against the World 3

Elizabeth

What appealed to me about Bobby Fischer Against the World was that it was on a subject I knew nothing about. I don’t know how to play chess and I don’t really know anything about it and I only knew the most very basic of facts about Bobby Fischer. And it really was great learning about him and seeing all the awesome archival footage. But, I did not think Bobby Fischer Against the World was good.

I think the biggest flaw was the movie’s lack of perspective and criticism of both chess and Bobby Fischer. If you were an alien watching this movie, you would think chess players are the most respected, talented, and worshiped people on the planet. But here’s what Bobby Fischer Against the World fails at highlighting: chess is a board game. That’s it. I’m not saying it’s an easy board game and I’m not saying that you don’t have to be a genius to master it. But nothing changes the fact that it is just a goddamn board game. Everyone talked so pretentiously about chess and what an untouchable figure Bobby Fischer was that you would think it would have some greater impact, but no, again, it’s just a game. Now I understand that it’s important, sometimes the most important thing, to a lot of these people that were interviewed. And that’s all well and good. But the documentary totally failed at giving any outside perspective. What did non-chess players think of Bobby Fischer? They emphasize how important he was in America, yet they pretty much only talk to other famous chess players who knew him personally. I find it hard to believe that there was a huge chess craze at some point in this country with no other evidence than someone who was already obsessed with chess saying that there was one. Maybe it’s true, but since I’m only going by what was presented here, I don’t buy it.

One of my favorite documentaries is King of Kong, about various Donkey Kong tournaments and the drama surrounding it all. King of Kong handles its subject delicately; it makes fun of the fact that all of the subjects are obsessed with archaic arcade games while still being very sensitive and empathetic to them. Yeah, it’s goofy that the whole thing is about Donkey Kong, but that doesn’t make the subjects’ struggle any less legitimate. Because Bobby Fischer Against the World never even really acknowledged that chess was even a game, it really lacked that kind of perspective, and was obviously devoid of all humor.

Bobby Fischer seems extremely interesting and probably pretty crazy. I would like to know more about him, and although the archival footage was so great here, I would really prefer to see something that was just about Bobby Fischer, rather than something that worshiped him.

Christopher

I LOVED WATCHING THIS!!!! Now, I don’t think the movie is very good; it’s very one-sided and never criticized this really not nice guy, however, I found it insanely interesting. I love chess. I’m not very good at it but I enjoy playing. I knew Bobby Fischer was a great chess player, I did watch that Hollywood movie Searching for Bobby Fischer, but I think because of that movie I just assumed Bobby Fischer had died a while ago. I didn’t know how just insane he was and how he didn’t live in America anymore. But all that wasn’t very interesting, it was just sad. I loved all the crazy chess shit! What a crazy weird world. I love finding stuff like that in real life.

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