Chess isn’t what you’d call a blood sport. Unless, of course, it’s 1972 and your name is Bobby Fischer.
At the time, the face-off between the chess-prodigy from Brooklyn and Russian champ Boris Spassky had the world riveted. And soon, you’ll be able to relive the whole thing on the big screen. Tobey Maguire and Liev Schrieber will star as Fischer and Spassky (respectively) in .
Directed by Ed Zwick, the film shows the long road leading up to the match, but also seems like it will explore Fischer’s struggle with his inner demons and his mental illness. Though born to a Jewish mother, he was famously obsessed with Hitler and the Third Reich and was outspoken in his hatred for Jews.
Speaking to a radio talk show host in Baguio, the Philippines after the 9/11 attacks, he said: “[I hope] the country will be taken over by the military, they’ll close down all the synagogues, arrest all the Jews, execute hundreds of thousands of Jewish ringleaders”
Fischer died in Iceland — where he moved after renouncing his American citizenship — in 2008.
Watch the trailer below:
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky Face Off (Again) in New Chess Drama