Friday, January 20, 2012

Review of Bobby Fischer Against the World

I watched this haunting documentary last night.  There really weren't any shocking revelations in the movie; nothing new that I hadn't heard of before.  What was 'new' for me or unique about this documentary was seeing all the old pictures and film footage of Bobby.  Other than that, I came away from it with just two thoughts.

The first one was the stark contrast of the Individual versus the Machine.  The film did a fantastic job of showing this juggernaut that Soviet chess was.  These guys dominated and they did it collectively and mechanically.

On the other end of the spectrum was this boy ... all by himself ... who without much, if any, family support and encouragement, single-handedly took on the Soviets and defeated them.  That is a fascinating story line.   And it would have been even more amazing had it not been for his delusions, which leads me to the second thought.

His life was so sad.  His mom seemed like a kook.  All he did was play chess - nothing else.  He didn't have any real friends.  When he was detained in Japan, he called his body guard from Iceland.  He hadn't talked to him since 1972!  He had no one else to phone.  I don't know how things were in 1972, but did chess players, who got to that level, have a manager or something?  But even if there were managers or handlers at that time, I'm not sure that even if he had one, that person could have helped Bobby much.  I also wonder how much legal drugs could have helped him.  What could have been ...

If you get the chance to watch it, you won't be disappointed.

No comments:

Post a Comment