30 October 2015

Revisionist Chess History

In my previous post I presented Some Numbers for 'Pawn Sacrifice'. Here's a short conversation on one of the film's basic premises.

Tobey Maguire as Chess Player Bobby Fischer in 'Pawn Sacrifice' (4:19) • 'The Victoria To Uyen Show' (Vietnamese subtitles)

The interview starts,

Q: 'I didn't know that Bobby Fischer had this mental illness, that he suffered -- because he was such a great chess player.' A: 'It's fascinating that somebody can be so exceptional at something, particularly a game of strategy that seems to require a sound mind that can reason well, but yet be stricken with seeming-like mental illness. It seems he was paranoid, delusional.'

I don't recall anyone saying that about Fischer until long after he became World Champion, long after the events in the film.

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