Thursday, August 04, 2005

Chess players in the movies

Chess players in the movies: "Chess players in the movies Aug. 3, 2005 04:45 PM Chess shows up a lot in the movies, often for no other reason than to make the protagonist seem smart or sophisticated. It's frequently used in advertisements for the same reason. But it's obvious - at least to chess players - that most ad designers don't play chess. The tip-off is in the way the board is set up. More often than not you'll see a dark square at each player's right, but that square is always light in chess. Check it out the next time you see a chessboard in an ad. Only a handful of movies actually have been about chess, or at least involved chess as a major plot element. Here's a sampling: • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993). The best chess movie ever made, starring Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, Ben Kingsley and Max Pomeranc as chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. Based on the book by Fred Waitzkin about his son's phenomenal abilities, the film was dramatized, with Kingsley portraying chess coach Bruce Pandolfini. Laurence Fishburne plays a chess bum whose overly aggressive style of play influences Josh in ways Kingsley does not approve. • The Luzhin Defence (2000). John Turturro plays a chess master slipping into madness. The film is based on the Vladimir Nabokov novel of the "

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