10 Best Chess Movies You Must Watch

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Hey folks, it’s time to talk about the best Chess movies of all time. All you need to do is to grab your snacks and decide which movie you want to see first. Here I have jotted down the list of 10 chess movies that will surely entertain you. Well, if you are a chess freak then trust me this article about chess movies is just for you. However, don’t forget to share in the comments which movie is your favourite. 

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So without any further ado, let’s dive straight into the list. 

1- Searching For Bobby Fischer 

This enthralling movie is based on the book named “Searching for Bobby Fischer” written by Fred Waitzkin. The writer has written about the journey of his son named Josh, in his book.  

The story of the film starts with how Josh went on becoming a strong international chess master, and eventually, the story ends with how he left chess to pursue his passion for Martial arts. Best Chess Movies Ever.

  • Release date: August 11, 1993
  • Directed by: Steven Zaillian
  • Main cast: Joe Mantegna, Laurence Fishburne, Joan Allen, Max Pomeranian, Ben Kingsley
  • Running time: 109 Minutes 

2- Bobby Fischer Against The World

It’s a documentary film. The film features the life’s journey of late chess master Bobby Fischer. However, The film explores one of the finest & mysterious actors of the 20th century.  

Furthermore, Fischer had a troubled childhood where he had struggled a lot. Best Chess Movies Ever. However, later he became the 11th world champion and Cold War icon. His life was more of a roller coaster. 

Moreover, the film has received positive reviews from critics. 

  • Release date: January 2011
  • Directed by: Liz Garbus
  • Main cast: Garry Kasparov, Anthony Saidy, Henry Kissinger, David Edmonds
  • Running time: 94 minutes

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3- Queen Of Katwe 

This film is based on the life of Ugandan Chess Player Phiona Mutesi. Phiona was a girl who was living in Katwe, a slum area.

 At first, Phiona was not aware of her immense talent for chess. She realized it when she started attending the local chess classes organized by Robert Katende. 

Furthermore, when she started developing her love for chess, she got challenged playing chess on an international level. However, all this allowed her to live a life outside Katwe.

Moreover, the movie has an amazing cast which will make you emotional at some points but will surely keep you entertained throughout. Best Chess Movies Ever.

  • Release date: September 10, 2016
  • Main cast: David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Marina Nalwanga, Esteri Tebandeke, Peter Odeke, Sheebah Karungi
  • Running time: 124 minutes

4- Pawn Sacrifice 

It’s an American biographical drama film about a chess player named Bobby Fischer. The film revolves around following the challenge against Soviet chess grandmasters during the cold war and culminating in the world chess championship 1972 match versus Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

Furthermore, the film has received mixed reviews. The irony is this film grossed only $5million against a budget of $19 million. Still, it’s worth giving a watch to this chess movie which is about the world championship. 

  • Release date: September 11, 2014
  • Directed by: Edward Zwick
  • Main cast: Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, Liev Schreiber, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert
  • Running time: 115 Minutes 

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5- The Dark Horse 

This film is based on the real-life story of Genesis Photini. It’s a New Zealand drama film. This film is recognized as one of the greatest New Zealand films ever made. 

However, The film has won several awards including best picture, best director, best screenplay, best actor, best-supporting actor, and a lot more at the 2014 New Zealand film awards. Best Chess Movies Ever.

Furthermore, potini has suffered from severe bipolar in his life. As he was homeless, people treated him badly. He always felt left out from the crowd. This indeed is one of the most inspiring chess movies. One should watch this amazing film.

  • Release date:  17 July 2014
  • Directed by: James Napier, Robertson
  • Main cast: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston
  • Running time: 125 minutes

6- Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

This film is as interesting as its title. It’s a documentary film which is about the match between Garry Kasparov (the highest-rated chess player in history) and Deep blue (a chess-playing computer created by IBM). The film also implies that deep blue’s heavily promoted victory was a plot by IBM to boost the company’s market value. 

  • Release date: September 5, 2003
  • Directed by: Vikram Jayanti 
  • Main cast: Jeff kisselhof, Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Michel Greengard, Joel Benjamin
  • Running time: 90 minutes

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7- Fresh 

It’s an American Crime Film. The story of this film revolves around a boy named Michael, nicknamed Fresh.  

Furthermore, He was inspired by the chess lessons of his father. His father was a drug addict. Fresh had a sister who was also a drug addict. Fresh tries to find ways to get her sister free from drug addiction. In the film, Fresh is also seen selling drugs for his living.

 Nevertheless, he loved to play chess and he was seen playing chess several times competing with his father. Best Chess Movies ever.

Indeed it’s one of the best chess movies to give a watch. 

  • Release date: September 2, 1994
  • Directed by: Boaz Yakin 
  • Main cast: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, N’Bushe Wright 
  • Running time: 115 minutes 

8- Knight Moves

This is an American thriller film. The film is about the chess grandmaster who is accused of several grisly murders. However, When several women are violently murdered in the middle of a big chess tournament, chess star and grandmaster Peter Sanderson is named the primary suspect, since his girlfriend is among the victims. 

The movie has an amazing cast whose performances are indeed bound to draw applause. 

Furthermore, Peter then receives a taunting call from the killer, daring him to solve the deadly game. Even under suspicion, Peter joins forces with two detectives and a psychologist, Kathy, to track down the killer. 

  • Release date: January 22, 1992
  • Directed by: Carl Schenkel
  • Main cast: Christopher Lambert, Diane Lane, Tom Skerritt, Daniel Baldwin 
  • Running time: 105 Minutes.

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9- The Luzhin Defence 

This film is a romantic drama film. The film revolves around a chess grandmaster and a young woman whom he meets whilst competing at a world-class tournament held in Italy. 

Furthermore, The actress of this film, Emily Watson has received several nominations at the British independent film awards and the London film critics circle awards. 

The respective movie portrays a beautiful romantic love story very beautifully. The film has received positive reviews from critics. The film made $1,864,747 at the box office. No doubt that is why it is one of the best chess movies. 

  • Release date: 2000
  • Directed by: Marleen Gorris 
  • Main cast: John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James, Stuart Wilson, Christopher, Thompson, Kelly Hunter 
  • Running time: 109 minutes, 

10- Knights Of The South 

This beautiful film is about a dedicated teacher who helps his students at a tough inner-city school to succeed by teaching them to play chess. However, In the film, the teacher was assigned to a fourth-grade class in a South Bronx school.  

Furthermore, At first, one of his students developed his interest in learning chess, and later on, as one thing led to another, the whole class became interested in learning chess simultaneously. 

Moreover, the film ends with the whole class forming a team to compete in ever-larger tournaments. 

  • Release date: December 6, 2005
  • Directed by: Allen Hughes 
  • Main cast: Ted Danson, Malcolm David Kelley, Yves Michel- Beneche, Keke Palmer, Yucini Diaz, Antonio Ortiz 
  • Running time: 90 minutes,