Posts Tagged ‘chess movie’

Trever Noah set to produce movie about formerly homeless, 8 year-old immigrant chess prodigy – theGrio

November 4, 2019

Trever Noah set to produce movie about formerly homeless, 8 year-old immigrant chess prodigy – theGrio
— Read on

“The brilliant Nigerian child won the NY State Chess Championship while living in a homeless shelter with his family as they sought religious asylum!”

Pawn Sacrifice: Bobby Fischer Chess Puzzle 1

October 7, 2015

The movie Pawn Sacrifice has put the games of Bobby Fischer back into the spotlight. Below is a puzzle from one of Bobby’s games. Can you spot the winning combination?


What did Bobby Fischer(white) play here?

What did Bobby Fischer(white) play here?


Here is the complete game for your further enjoyment:


[Event "Curacao Candidates"]
[Site "Willemstad CURACAO"]
[Date "1962.06.14"]
[EventDate "1962.05.02"]
[Round "22"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Robert James Fischer"]
[Black "Pal Benko"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "61"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. dxc5 Bxc5
7. Qg4 O-O 8. Bd3 f5 9. Qh3 Bxg1 10. Rxg1 Nc5 11. Bd2 Nc6
12. Nb5 Qb6 13. O-O-O Bd7 14. Nd6 Na4 15. Bb5 Nd4 16. Be3 Ne2+
17. Bxe2 Qxb2+ 18. Kd2 Qb4+ 19. Kc1 Nc3 20. Rde1 Nxa2+ 21. Kd1
Nc3+ 22. Kc1 d4 23. Bf2 Rfc8 24. Bd3 Na2+ 25. Kd1 Nc3+ 26. Kc1
Rc5 27. Qh4 Ra5 28. Kd2 h6 29. g4 fxg4 30. Rxg4 Kh8 31. Qxh6+

Der Fischer Konig vs. Der Burgermeister

October 1, 2015

I have been teaching more from the games of Bobby Fischer lately due to the recent release of the movie Pawn Sacrifice. Below are the notes to a lesson I gave last week about Bobby Fischer’s shortest recorded loss. Enjoy…


[Event “Bobby Fischer’s Simultaneous Exhibition Tour”]
[Site “San Francisco (USA)”]
[Date “1964”]
[Round “”]
[White “Fischer Robert J (USA)”]
[Black “Burger Robert Eugene (USA)”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Fischer Robert J (USA) +6 =0 -2}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6

4.Ng5 d5 {It’s sad that the majority scholastic chess players have played both sides of this line many times but…}
5.exd5 Nd4 {(continued) Know nothing about the exciting Fritz Variation. For this reason, I
have included many of my favorite games from the Fritz Variation of the Two Knight Defense in this lesson.}

Position after 5... Nd4.

Position after 5… Nd4.


( 6.d3 Bg4 7.f3 Bh5 8.Nc3 h6 9.Nge4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Qh4+ 11.Nf2
Bc5 12.O-O O-O-O 13.c3 Nf5 14.b4 Bb6 15.a4 a6 16.a5 Ba7 17.b5
axb5 18.a6 b6 19.Bxb5 Rxd5 20.Ra4 Qd8 21.Bc6 Rd6 22.Bb7+ Kb8
23.g4 b5 24.Rb4 Rxd3 25.Qe2 Rxc3 26.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 27.Kxf2 Rxc1 28.Rxb5
Qd2+ 29.Qe2 Rxf1+ 30.Kxf1 Qxe2+ 31.Kxe2 Nd4+ {0-1, Dunn FW – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Great Britain 1908 Simultan})

6… b5

Position after 6... b5.

Position after 6… b5.


( 7.O-O bxc4 8.cxd4 exd4 9.Qa4+ Qd7 10.Qxc4
Qxd5 11.Qxc7 Bd6 {??} ( 11…Be7 12.d3 Bb7 13.Nf3 ) 12.Re1+ Be6
13.Qxf7+ {1-0, Dagher Walid (LIB) – Shamieh Mahmoud (LIB), Beirut 2001 Ch Lebanon})

( 7.cxd4 bxc4 8.dxe5 Nxd5 9.Qf3 Qxg5 10.Qxd5 Rb8 11.O-O Bd6
12.d3 Qf5 13.dxc4 Be6 14.Qc6+ Bd7 15.Qd5 Be6 16.Qc6+ Bd7 17.Qa6
Qxe5 18.g3 Bh3 19.Qxa7 Qe4 20.Qxb8+ Ke7 21.f3 Qe2 22.Bg5+ f6
23.Bxf6+ Kxf6 24.Rf2 Qe1+ {0-1, Schoettler Katharina (GER) – Mucha Annegret (GER), Willingen 2001 Ch Germany})

( 7.Bb3 Nxb3 8.Qxb3 Qxd5 9.O-O Bb7 10.Qxd5 Nxd5 11.d4 f6 12.Ne6
Kf7 13.Nxf8 Rhxf8 14.dxe5 fxe5 15.Na3 a6 16.c4 Nb4 17.Rd1 Bc6
18.Bg5 h6 19.Be3 Rfd8 20.cxb5 Bxb5 21.Nxb5 axb5 22.a3 Nd3 23.b4
Ke6 24.Kf1 Nb2 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Ra2 Nc4 27.Ke2 Ra8 28.Bc1 Kd5
29.Kd3 Nb6 30.f3 Ra6 31.Kc3 Nc4 32.Kb3 Ra4 33.Rc2 h5 34.Rxc4
{1-0, Szczepkowska Karina (POL) – Olsarova Tereza (CZE), Czech Republic 1/23/2011 Czech League 2010/11})

( 7.Bd3 Bf5 8.Bxf5 Nxf5 9.Qf3 Nh4 10.Qh3 {a novelty 10. Qg3 – Calota – Petersen, Duisburg 1992}
( 10.Qg3 Ng6 11.d4 Qxd5 12.dxe5 Qxe5+ 13.Qxe5+ Nxe5 14.O-O {=} )
Ng6 11.d4 Qxd5 12.O-O Bd6 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd2 Nd3 15.Nb3 c5 16.Qe3+
Kf8 17.Qf3 Re8 18.Qxd5 Nxd5 19.Nf3 f6 {} $15 {} 20.g3 Nb6 21.Rd1
c4 22.Nbd4 a6 23.b3 Kf7 24.Kf1 Bc5 25.bxc4 bxc4 26.Bd2 Rb8 27.Rab1
Rhc8 28.Bf4 Nxf4 29.gxf4 Na4 30.Rxb8 Rxb8 31.Ne2 Rb2 32.Rd2 Ke6
33.Kg2 Rxd2 34.Nxd2 Kd5 35.Kf3 f5 36.Nf1 Nb2 37.Neg3 g6 38.Ne3+
Kc6 39.Ngf1 Kb5 40.Nd2 a5 41.Ke2 Nd3 42.Ndxc4 Nxf4+ 43.Kd2 Nh3
44.Ne5 Nxf2 45.c4+ Ka4 46.Nc2 Ne4+ 47.Kc1 Ba3+ 48.Nxa3 Kxa3 49.Nd3
Kxa2 50.Kc2 Ka3 51.c5 Ka4 52.c6 Kb5 53.c7 Nd6 54.Ne5 Kb6 55.Nd7+
Kxc7 56.Nf8 Ne4 57.Nxh7 Kd6 58.Nf8 g5 59.Ng6 Ke6 {0-1, Morozevich Alexander (RUS) 2610 – Timman Jan H (NED) 2590 , Amsterdam 1996 Memorial J.Donner})

( 7.Be2 Nxe2 8.Qxe2 Qxd5 9.O-O Bb7 10.f3 O-O-O 11.b4 h6 12.Ne4
Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Qxe4 14.fxe4 Bxe4 15.Rxf7 Bd3 16.a4 Bd6 17.axb5
Rhf8 18.Rf2 e4 19.g3 Rxf2 20.Kxf2 Rf8+ 21.Ke3 Be5 {0-1, Billot Daniel (FRA) 1757 – Adda Olivier (FRA) 2089 , Val Maubuee 1990 It (open) (b)})

Position after 7. Bf1.

Position after 7. Bf1.

7… Nxd5

8.cxd4 Qxg5

9.Bxb5+ Kd8

( 10.O-O Bb7 11.Qf3 exd4 12.d3 Qe5 13.Na3 Rb8 14.Nc4 Qe6 15.Na5
Ba8 16.Bg5+ f6 17.Rfe1 Ne3 18.Nc6+ Bxc6 19.Bxc6 fxg5 20.fxe3
Bb4 21.Re2 Rf8 22.exd4 Rxf3 23.Rxe6 Rf8 24.a3 Be7 25.Rae1 Rb6
26.d5 Rf7 27.b4 a6 28.g4 Rb8 29.Kg2 Rb6 30.R1e5 h6 31.Re4 Rb8
32.h3 Rb6 33.a4 a5 34.bxa5 Rb2+ 35.Re2 Rxe2+ 36.Rxe2 Rf8 37.Rxe7
Kxe7 38.a6 {1-0, Paoli Enrico (ITA) 2300 – Baretic Dragoljub (SRB) 2097 , Vrsac 1969 It})

Position after 10. Qf3.

Position after 10. Qf3.

10… Bb7

11.O-O e4

( 11…Rb8 12.Qg3 ( 12.d3 Qg6 13.Qg3 exd4 14.Na3 Bxa3 15.bxa3 Nc3 16.Qxg6 hxg6 17.Bc4 Ne2+
18.Kh1 Ke7 {0-1, Leonhardt Paul – Englund Fritz, Stockholm 1908 Izt} )
Qxg3 13.hxg3 exd4 14.Re1 Bd6 15.a3 Nf6 16.Bf1 h5 17.d3 Ng4 18.Nd2
h4 19.gxh4 Bh2+ 20.Kh1 Rxh4 21.Ne4 f6 {0-1, Gornoi Alexei (EST) – Ragger Markus (AUT) 2655 , Mureck 1998 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 10)})

Position after 11... e4.

Position after 11… e4.

12.Qxe4  Bd6

13.d3 {?}

( 13.Re1 c6 14.Bf1 Kc7 15.Qf3 f5 16.Nc3 Nb4 17.d3 Qh4 18.g3 Qf6 19.Bf4 Rad8 20.Be5 Bxe5
21.dxe5 Qe6 22.Rac1 c5 23.Qe3 Qc6 24.Ne4 Na6 25.Rxc5 Nxc5 26.Rc1
Kb8 27.Rxc5 Qb6 28.Nd6 f4 29.gxf4 Rd7 30.Bg2 Ba6 31.Rc3 Qxe3
32.fxe3 Rhd8 33.b4 Rc7 34.Rxc7 Kxc7 35.b5 Bc8 36.Nxc8 Rxc8 37.Bc6
a6 38.a4 axb5 39.axb5 Rf8 40.d4 g5 41.d5 gxf4 42.d6+ {1-0, Koskivirta Ossi – Pichler Manfred Dr (GER), corr. 1984})

Position after 13. d3.

Position after 13. d3.

13… Bxh2+ {!}

( 13…Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6 18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+{1-0, Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 – NN (ITA), Montreal 1964 Simultan})

14.Kxh2 Nf4 {White resigns} 0-1

I told my students that Fischer resigned too early. How would have you continued as white?

I told my students that Fischer resigned too early. How would you continue as white?

Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber great in ‘Pawn Sacrifice’

September 22, 2015

The challenge of “Pawn Sacrifice” was to capture the colorful Cold War ’70s, the inner strategies of one man’s paranoid mind and make chess cinematic. Check, and mate….

Read the full article via

Pawn Sacrifice Special Lesson: Fischer Channels Morphy

September 21, 2015

To celebrate the release of the movie Pawn Sacrifice, I have decided to put the spotlight on Bobby Fischer’s games in many of my group chess lessons. Below, I’ve attached my notes to the Fischer game that I presented this last Saturday at Achiever Institute in Fremont. If you missed this lesson there, I will be delivering a repeat performance at Achievements Academy in Dublin on Sunday, September 27th. Pawn Sacrifice is currently in theaters across the country.

Bobby Fischer playing a simul in 1964.

Bobby Fischer playing a simul in 1964.

[Event “Bobby Fischer’s Simultaneous Exhibition Tour”]
[Site “Chicago”]
[Date “1964.3.23”]
[Round “”]
[White “Fischer Robert J (USA)”]
[Black “Rouse T.”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Fischer Robert J (USA) +6 =0 -2}

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 {?} {This moves just asks for trouble. Much better is the 5… Na5 line where black gives a pawn to gain the initiative.}
( 5…Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Nd5 9.Nf3 Bd6 10.O-O Nf4
11.Re1 Nxd3 12.cxd3 O-O 13.Nc3 Re8 14.h3 c5 15.b3 Ba6 16.Ba3
Bxd3 17.Ne4 Bxe4 18.Rxe4 f5 19.Ra4 e4 20.Nh2 Nc6 21.Rc1 Ne5 22.d4
Nd3 23.dxc5 Bf4 24.Rc2 e3 25.f3 {…0-1, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2698 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2812 , Leuven 10/ 9/2011 Match (blitz)})


Position after 6. d4.

Position after 6. d4.

{This is the Lolli Variation. White’s other tasty choice is known as the Fried Liver Attack and continues:}
( 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 ) 

6… exd4 

{Black’s most common move but certainly not the best. Other options include:} 
( 6…Be7 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.Qf3+ ) ( 6…Be6 7.O-O Qd7 8.Re1 )
( 6…Nxd4 7.c3 f6 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 fxg5 11.O-O
Bf5 {is black’s best bet.} )

7.O-O Be7

Position after 7... Be7.

Position after 7… Be7.

( 7…Ne5 8.Re1 f6 9.Qxd4
c6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.Bxd5 cxd5 12.Qxd5 Bd7 13.Qxd6 Kf7 14.Rxe5 fxe5
15.Nxe5+ Ke8 16.Bg5 Qc8 17.Qe7# {1-0, Holes Michal (CZE) 1882 – Stransky Pavel, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) 2008.04.30})

( 7…f6 8.Re1+ Be7 9.Qf3 Ncb4 10.c3 Nc2 11.Bxd5 Nxe1 12.Qh5+
g6 13.Bf7+ Kd7 14.Qg4+ Kd6 15.Ne6 Qd7 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Nxd4+ Kb6
18.Qe2 Rf8 19.Be6 Qe8 20.Na3 Bxe6 21.Nxe6 Bxa3 22.bxa3 Nxg2 23.Bxc7+
Kc6 24.Qe4+ Kb5 25.Rb1+ Ka6 26.Nc5# {1-0 Chris Torres – Iddo Zohar, Cupertino 2012.})

8.Nxf7 {and now it starts to look like a Fried Liver except that white is already castled.}

8… Kxf7 9.Qf3+ {Developing with threats just as in the Fried Liver Attack.}

9… Ke6

Position after 9... Ke6.

Position after 9… Ke6.

( 9…Ke8 10.Bxd5 Rf8 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Qxc6+ Bd7 13.Qd5 Rf7
14.Qxd4 Bg5 15.Qe4+ Be7 16.Bg5 Kf8 17.Bxe7+ Rxe7 18.Qxh7 Kf7
19.Qh5+ Kg8 20.Nc3 Bc6 21.Rfe1 Rf7 22.Re2 Qd4 23.Rae1 Raf8 24.Rf1
Bd7 25.Qg5 Bc8 26.Qe3 Qd6 27.Rd2 Qg6 28.f3 Bb7 29.Qd3 {…1/2-1/2, Krebs Caroline 998 – Hoffmann Paul (GER) 2338 , Hanau 3/22/2008 Ch Hessen (Gr. F)})

10.Re1+ {Bobby Fischer plays Re1 where Paul Morphy had previously played Nc3. Of course, both lines win.}
( 10.Nc3 dxc3 11.Re1+ Ne5 12.Bf4 Bf6 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Rxe5+ Kxe5
15.Re1+ Kd4 16.Bxd5 Re8 17.Qd3+ Kc5 18.b4+ Kxb4 19.Qd4+ {1-0, Morphy Paul 2680 – Amateur1, New Orleans 1858 Simultan (blindfold)})

Ne5 {Now both of black’s knights are pinned.}

11.Bf4 {Fischer adds more pressure to the pinned knight.}

11… Bf6

12.Nc3 {!} {And more pressure to the other pinned knight as well.}

Position after 12. Nc3!

Position after 12. Nc3!

12… c6 {Taking on c3 is also bad:} ( 12…dxc3 13.Rxe5+ Bxe5 14.Re1
Kf7 15.Rxe5 Re8 16.Bg5+ )

13.Rxe5+ {!} {Strong chess players love to sac a rook like this. Especially if we can reload the gun with the other rook.}

13… Kf7 {Had black cpatured the rook play could have continued:}
( 13…Bxe5 14.Re1 Rf8 15.Nxd5 Rf5 16.Ne3+ Kd7 17.Nxf5 Bxf4 18.Qxf4
Qf8 19.Re4 c5 20.Re6 Kd8 21.Rd6+ Bd7 22.Bb5 Qe8 23.Rxd7+ Qxd7
24.Bxd7 Kxd7 25.Qd6+ Kc8 26.Ne7# )

14.Nxd5 {!}

Position after 14. Nxd5!

Position after 14. Nxd5!

14… Be6
( 14…cxd5 15.Rxd5 {!} )

15.Rxe6 {!}

Position after 15. Rxe6!

Position after 15. Rxe6!

15… Kxe6 {Black has other options but they also lead to a checkmate for Fischer.}
( 15…cxd5 16.Bxd5 Qd7 17.Qh5+ g6 18.Re4+ Qxd5 19.Qxd5+ Kg7
20.Qxb7+ Kg8 21.Bh6 Rf8 22.Qb3+ Rf7 23.Re8# ) ( 15…b5 16.Qh5+
g6 17.Rxf6+ Qxf6 18.Nxf6+ bxc4 19.Qa5 Rhc8 20.Ng4 Re8 21.Nh6+
Kf6 22.Ng8+ Rxg8 23.Bg5+ Ke6 24.Re1+ Kd7 25.Re7+ Kd6 26.Qe5# )

16.Nxf6+ Ke7 17.Re1+ Kf8 18.Qa3+ {And the only option left is 18… c5 followed by 19. Qxc5 Qe7 20. Qxe7#}1-0

Position after 18. Qa3+

Position after 18. Qa3+

Pawn Sacrifice Movie Review

September 14, 2015


To this day, many consider Robert James Fischer to be the greatest chess player ever. With the entire world watching in 1972, the eccentric genius took on Boris Spassky of the U.S.S.R. in what was not just merely the “Chess Match of the Century”, but also the main battlefront of the Cold War. After the smoke had cleared, the Russians had lost the Soviet supremacy of chess and Bobby Fischer although achieving his dream, was driven further into his delusional world.

Edward Zwick introducing Pawn Sacrifice.

Edward Zwick introducing Pawn Sacrifice.

Although Bobby Fischer’s story has achieved legendary status, director Edward Zwick does a superb job of recounting Fischer’s life in a fresh light on the silver screen. All of Bobby’s famous eccentricities resurfaced through the brilliant acting of Tobey Maguire. Tobey and Zwick took no less than seven years shaping their masterpiece on Bobby Fischer and it shows in every scene. Also noteworthy is Liev Schreiber’s role as Boris Spassky. I must admit that I never would have considered Tobey and Liev for the roles of Fischer and Spassky but after seeing their inspired performances in Pawn Sacrifice, I feel very fortunate to be a chess coach and not a Hollywood director. Indeed the only moves more brilliant than Bobby Fischer’s in the movie were made by Director Edward Zwick in the casting.

Magnus Carlsen talking with Bobby Fischer(Tobey Maguire.)

Magnus Carlsen talking with Bobby Fischer(Tobey Maguire.)

To say that Pawn Sacrifice is the best chess movie ever sells it short. Pawn Sacrifice, regardless of genre, is one of the best movies of the year.

**Note: While this movie is spectacular, many of the adult themes make it unsuitable for children. Please be wary of bringing your youngster to enjoy this film.

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