Searching For Bobby Fischer

Synopsis: Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Steven Zaillian
Production: Paramount Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min

[ Josh ]|In the days before the event,

he had the whole world|wondering if he would show up.

while he napped

or took walks|and ate sandwiches.

Henry Kissinger called

and asked him to go|for his country's honor.

Soon after arriving,

he offended the Icelanders

by calling their country|inadequate

because they had|no bowling alleys.

He complained|about the TV cameras,

about the lighting,

about|the table and chairs,

and the contrast of|the squares on the board.

His hotel room, he said,|Had too nice a view.

None of this had anything|to do with chess, of course...

or maybe it did.

If he won,

he'd be the first|American world champion in history.

If he lost,

he'd just be another|patzer from Brooklyn.

On the 40th move|Of the 21st game,

he countered|Spassky's bishop to king-6

with a pawn to rook-4.

And it was all over.

He came home|An American hero.

He bragged to the world|he'd beat the Russians.

He delivered.

He can now command|The same money

as heavy weight prize fighters.

He was invited to dinner|By statesmen and kings.

Then Bobby Fischer made the most|original, unexpected move of all.

He disappeared.

[ Girl ]|Where is he?

[ Boy One ]|Maybe he gave up.

[ Boy Two ]|Shh.

Do you see anything?

[ Boy Three ]|I think we lost him.

[ Boy Four ]|It's cold. Let's go home.

[Josh ] lf he doesn't find us|in two hours,

I say we go.

Hello, boys.


[ Man ]|Theo, what are you doing here?

I thought you wanted|to go home.

[ Men Talking ]

[ Dice Being Shaken ]

I have to buckle|my own shoes, right?

You said something

about rolling on your own side|of the board, right?

This is my side.

Remember that?

Roll it on|your own side.

You talk too much.

You talk too much.

[ Thunderclap ]



[ Man ]|Your move.


[ Fred ]|That's good.

Well, there you go.

Not too much,|but that's good.

A little more.

Yeah. That's good.

You got to be careful|not to use it too much,

but you want|just enough.

A little more.|That's great.


That looks pretty good.

How's that look to you?

Pretty good.


Now rub that in there.

See how the leather|drinks that up?

That's got|a great smell, huh?

Smell that.

Yeah. Great. O.K.



What's wrong?

I forgot to buy|a ball.

Do you believe it?

You got to put a ball|in the pocket.

A hard ball...

to get the shape right.


That'll work.


Put that in like that...

bend that over.

All right.|Get in bed.

Tomorrow I buy|a real baseball.

You know what?

I don't believe this.

I can't believe it.


You're 7.

Happy birthday.

Good night, Josh.

Good night.

[ Bell Rings ]



How was school?


O.K. Bye.

Bye. See ya.|How you doing?

Fine. Bye.

Bye-bye. See ya.

Are you in the mood|for some pizza?

I don't know.|Are you?

Are you feeling|all right?

Yeah. Why?

Where we going|to get pizza?

You want to go watch the men|in the park?

What men in the park?

I'm going to smack|this guy's ass, man.

There's fire|in the bush.

It ain't over.|We still got a minute.

When it slaps 1 2:00,|then it's over.

Then it's over.

[ First Man ]|We playing chess.

[ Second Man ]|What we playing here?

We playing chess.

Now we playing chess.

Come on, Josh,|let's go.

Is that the best you got?

That's the best you got?

You ain't got nothing.

You sure|you've played this game?

You want to go to Chinatown|and play Chinese checkers?

No, that ain't it.

You want that? O.K.

You can have that.

But you can't have that.|That's my baby.

You got to leave with that.

You can't trade queens|with me.

I ain't in|the trading business.

What you trying to do?

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Steven Zaillian

Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian (born January 30, 1953) is an American screenwriter, director, film editor, and producer. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for his screenplay Schindler's List (1993) and has also earned Oscar nominations for Awakenings, Gangs of New York and Moneyball. He was presented with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2009 Austin Film Festival and the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America in 2011. Zaillian is the founder of Film Rites, a film production company. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Searching For Bobby Fischer" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <>.

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