4 Documentaries on Chess You Should Binge This Weekend


Amidst your busy schedules on binging on television series like Stranger Things, Sherlock, Black Mirror and others, we recommend watching 5 of the greatest documentaries on chess this weekend for a change. We know that you have a flair for chess and the thirst to keep getting better at your game. While practice, tips, tutorials and online matches help, there is nothing like a dose of motivation to achieve greater heights in chess. To help you on that, check out our list of 5 documentaries on chess you should binge.


1) Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine

It was the year 1997 when mankind’s one of greatest minds and one of the most technically advanced machines clashed against each other. Though man had an upper hand over the machine, the challenge was nevertheless easy. The machine put Kasparov in situations he never imagined and tested his capabilities to the maximum. The documentary Game Over is based on the game. One of the trivia about the documentary is that it was made by an Indian origin filmmaker Vikram Jayanti. With a runtime of around 90 minutes, you can easily fit in the documentary between your commute or after work.


2) Magnus

For every chess aspirant, we are sure Magnus has a very significant and an influential role to play. If you always wanted to know more about him, the documentary Magnus will introduce you to the side of his life you hardly knew. The film explore how a 20-something boy from Norway comes to the Harvard University in the year 2013 to compete against 10 of the greatest chess players of that time at once and wins – all of them! A prodigy, the life of Magnus and his thought process will captivate you and leave you inspired. Also referred to as the Mozart of Chess, the film explores how chess is as infinite as the universe and how you can start living within its confinement and start seeing everything from its perspective. It is streaming on Netflix.


3) Bobby Fischer Against the World

One of the greatest chess players and masterminds, Bobby Fischer died at the age of 64 in the year 2008. It was exactly in that year that the filmmaker Liz Garbus decided to make a film on the life of the 11th world chess champion. The film explores the life and times of Bobby Fischer and introduces you to him through numerous interviews from other chess champions, contenders, family members and more. The documentary also features a very rare archive footage of the mastermind in action! At a time when the Russians were dominating the game, a self-taught American boy makes his way to the world of chess, bringing in a revolution.

4) Brooklyn Castle

If you feel you had too much of non-fiction, lighten up your weekend with this 2012 documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film deals with the lives of a bunch of a students in a junior high school in a recession-hit economy. They are both underdogs and live below the poverty line. But they have with them is chess and they are better than most others in the country. Having won national championships than most other clubs in the nation, the story takes you through the hardships these kids face in their lives and on the board. This is one of the most poignant movies on chess you will watch today.

So, our job is done. These are great movies on chess we love. We thought it would be great to share it with fellow aspirants. If you have seen them, spread the word or if you have any other interesting documentary on the list, share them on the comments.