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Recommended age 5-12
109 minutes
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SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER (HDNET) cover image Click to play video trailer
I like this movie because it's about chess, and although I don't know how to play, I learned a lot about it.

This 1993 film is about a seven-year-old boy named Josh Waitzkin, played by Max Pomeranc, who learns how to play chess by watching the men in the park play all the time. His parents, Fred and Bonnie (Joe Mantegna and Joan Allen), realize their son has a special gift for playing chess and they hire a teacher named Bruce (Ben Kingsley), to help Josh get better. Bruce is a cold-hearted, retired chess player who thinks that Josh should win at any cost.

'Searching for Bobby Fisher,' is an adaptation of the book by the same name written by Fred Waitzkin, Josh's father. It is a true story and is named for Bobby Fischer, who some call the greatest chess player of all time.

My favorite character in this film is Vinnie, played by Laurence Fishburne, one of the men who plays chess at the park. I like Vinnie because he's very supportive of Josh. This film is written and directed by Steven Zaillian and produced by Sydney Pollack. The classical music that sets the mood in this film was composed by James Horner. I recommend this film for kids who are interested in chess between the ages of 7-15. I give this film four out of five stars because it can be a little hard to follow at times. Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies KidScene this month. Camille Bajema, age 10, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

I liked this movie because I'm a beginning chess player, so, I play chess too! When America needed a hero, smack in the middle of the cold war, Bobby Fischer showed up to beat the Russians in chess. The Russians had dominated the chess world for many years until Bobby Fischer came onto the scene. He did what was believed at the time to be undoable, and that was to beat the Russians in chess. He only did it one time before he went into hiding. Fischer resurface to challenge the Russians again, which he won, but he's dropped off the map again and nobody knows where he is.

My favorite part is when Josh (Max Pomeranc) decides he wants to play chess in the park and he finds out he is really talented. Vinnie (Laurance Fishburn) teaches Josh how to play aggressive chess. His other teacher (Ben Kingsley) also teaches Bobby Fischer how to play chess.

My favorite teacher is Vinnie because I can relate to his instructions. "Always attack even when retreating" is a classis chess quote. Here is my favorite, and you can quote me, "When in doubt bring power out". That's your Queen. Vinnie makes chess look fun, which it should be. Another really good part is when Josh offers his opponent in the championships a draw because he could see that in 12 moves he was going to be the winner and he didn't want to hurt the other little boy's feelings by beating him. The little boy refuses. Offering the draw was good sportsmanship. Seeing how a chess game is going to end 12 moves from now, yea, Trick or Treat to you too! I recommend this to ages 7 to 18 or anyone who loves chess. I give it 4 Twinkling Stars. Searching for Bobby Fischer is available all month long on HDnet Movies Kids Scene. Morgan Bertsch, age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

"Searching for Bobby Fischer" is a clever and youthful movie directed by Steven Zaillian. The movie is about a young boy named Josh Waitzkin, who has a wonderful gift for playing chess. One day his mother and him stroll through the park and come across a group of older men playing chess. His mother then asks them if Josh can try a game. The men agree to let him play a game. At first the men are hesitant but then they notice his skill for chess playing. Consequently, Josh's family then realizes his potential and hire a chess instructor. They find the strict Bruce, who wants to teach Josh to become the next chess legend similar to Bobby Fischer.

Bruce then molds Josh to be the best chess player by teaching strategic methods and techniques of chess. Josh's lessons come into play when he enters several competitions. Josh has to compete with many kids his age from all over the nation. Josh is a strong-minded boy, when he fails he works hard per to improve this game. He also goes to another chess coach, for more feedback and lessons. Vinnie offer great information and also helps Josh. Whether Josh wins or loses is the exciting part of the movie.

The movie is set in 1990s New York, thus the fashion is very unique and different from today. The setting is iconic and truly stunning. The director filmed the movie with so many recognizable buildings and locations. The actors also portrayed their roles amazingly, from Josh to the coaches. Josh really seemed to be next chess star. My favorite scene is the beginning when Josh, amazes everyone with his chess knowledge.

I rate this movie 4 star out of 5, because of the long introduction and some chess scenes were too repetitive. If you like chess and a youthful story, this movie is for you. Review by Patrick N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Airing on HDNet Movies kidScene all of November 2013. Originally released in 1993.
A pre-pubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion, like the famous, but unlikable, Bobby Fischer.
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