“Algorithms” proves inspiring, gives voice to blind chess community

The Highlighter

By Bradley Alsop

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Charudatta Jadhav, at blind chess player turned instructor, alludes to chess as a mental game in which physical impairment does not matter in competition. At the end of the film, at a national competition in Mumbai, a young player echoes the same sentiment: chess is a game of equality that all Indians with visual impairments or full blindness should strive to excel at. This idea of chess as an equalizing competitive force runs through the entirety of “Algorithms,” Ian McDonald’s enlightening and occasionally heartbreaking documentary.

The film centers around Jadhav and three fledgling blind chess players looking to compete at the national and world level. It catalogs their lives, through the lenses of their families and daily routines, as well as through the competitions, where they are met with varying levels of success. Each player is fascinating and nuanced in his own…

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