Wednesday, October 26, 2011

17 Movies about chess, to inspire you in your next game.

hess,If you are thinking to take an hour break at your chess training and relax a little bit, you may check out these seventeen great chess movies, this may help you get inspired in your next game.

 The Seventh Seal [1993]

A Knight and his squire are home from the crusades. Black Death is sweeping their country. As they approach home, Death appears to the knight and tells him it is his time. The knight challenges Death to a chess game for his life. The Knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused.

chess movie the seventh seal


In 1938 Austria shortly after the Nazi occupation, a prominent Viennese intellectual, Werner von Basil, is arrested for smuggling art treatures out of the country and imprisoned by the Gestapo in a hotel room without any mental sustence of any kind to break him down to make him talk while a young ballerina, named Irene Adreny whom is the lover of the SS officer Berger playing mind games on von Basil, tries to intervene and help the poor intellectual keep his mind intact.

Chess Fever [1925]

With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his neglect of her, but wherever she goes she finds that she cannot escape chess. On the brink of giving up, she meets the world champion, Capablanca himself, with interesting results.

The Chess Players [1977]

Circa British rule in India, two slightly eccentric noblemen in India, indulge in chess, day and night, without any regard to the change in the situation, personal life, and the eminent threat of the British taking over their region, becoming a harsh reality. Even when they are forced to leave their comfortable homes, they continue to play chess in the mosquito-ridden outdoors, with two loaded pistols, ready to oppose the British, or even themselves, if need be.

Dangerous Moves [1984]

A well filmed movie of the tense contest for the World Championship between Soviet player Akiva Liebeskind (undoubtedly modeled after International Grandmaster Akiba Rubenstein, a magnificent master of the endgame, originally a rabbinical student in Poland who never quite made it to the World Championship level and declined into mental illness), and Liebeskind's challenger, Grandmaster Pavius Fromm (almost certainly named after "From" of the From's Gambit in chess). Fromm, a Lithuanian political exile from behind the Iron Curtain, is an arrogant dislikeable pawn of the Soviets who have kept his wife prisoner. Virtually unrecognizable are their wives, the once lovely Leslie Caron and Swedish star Liv Ullman who have little more than bit parts.

Fresh [1994]

Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum, but still meets with Fresh on occasion to play chess. Fresh is rather quiet in a crazy world. Fresh's sister is a junkie who sleeps with the dealers who Fresh sells for. As the story progresses Fresh realizes that he doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, he wants out. 

Geri's Game [1997]

watch Geri's game in youtube

In an empty, tree-filled park, an old man sets out a game of chess. Sitting, he puts on spectacles and makes the first move: 1) e4. He removes his glasses, stands, and with the bent shuffle of a pensioner, walks around the table to sit on the other side. He smiles, his eyes brighten, he chuckles and makes his move. He walks to the other side, sits, puts on his glasses, and makes a move. The game continues, and soon Black is shredding White's defenses, taking piece after piece. Soon White is down to his king. Things are hopeless; in fact, White grasps his chest, in pain. Is there any way he can turn the tables on Black, his grinning self?

The Great Chess Movie [1982]

This is an interesting movie for those who are chess fans. It is somewhat dated now.

It deals with the world of professional chess circa 1981 - before the fall of the Soviet Union. Good features regarding a younger Fischer and a good set of scenes regarding the circumstances around the championship match between Karpov and Korchnoi in Meran in 1981.

If you are a chess player, you will really enjoy the scenes of the world class players playing at Lone Pine (a tournament that no longer exists) and the history of chess as portrayed in the film. If you are not player, this will probably not mean much to you.

Definitely a low cost documentary but you can tell it was made with a love of the game.

 Ivory Tower [2010]

Hershell & Thadeus, two chess-playing brothers and their unhealthy rivalry over both the chessboard and a woman. Hershell is a chess purist, the prodigal son, Thadeus a disciplined, ruthless competitor. After 4 nomadic years in Europe, in quixotic pursuit of 'Jazz Chess' (chess for chess' sake, no winner, no loser, only beautiful positions), Hershell returns home. Thadeus is a successful but arrogant Canadian Chess Champion engaged to marry Marsha, Hershell's former sweetheart. Hershell challenges Thaddeus in the next Canadian Chess Championship. During the final match,Thadeus is flustered by Hershell's Zen-like demeanor, and sets himself up for certain defeat. But instead, Hershell uses the principle of Jazz Chess to force a draw. Marsha admires Hershell's selfless move, but leaves - she won't be either brothers' trophy.

Knight Moves [1992]

A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer urging him to try and figure out the game, he cooperates with police and a psychologist to try and catch the killer, but doubts linger about the grandmaster's innocence as the string of grisly murders continues.

Knights of the South Bronx [2005]

A business man decides that he wants to teach school in the inner city and chooses a tough school in the South Bronx. He teaches the children how to play the game of chess, and along the way they learn a lot about life.

The Luzhin Defence [2000]

Set in the late 1920s, The Luzhin Defence tells the story of a shambling, unworldly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents' failing marriage, Luzhin's lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin, she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with and his two worlds collide to tragic effect.

chess movie the luzhin defence

Maximum Shame [2010]

Time is running out and future is a black hole.

chess movie maximum shame

Queen of Cactus Cove [2005]

Teenage chess champ Billie (Alia Shawkat) faces the prospect of defeat for the first time when she faces her best friend (Alex Frost) at the biggest chess tournament of her career.

chess movie queen of cactus cove

Queen Sacrifice [1988]

A welsh school teacher attempts to guard his teenage protege's genius for chess from his burgeoning libido.

chess movie queen sacrifice

Queen to Play [2009]

Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline shine in this sophisticated feel-good comedy set in idyllic Corsica. Middle-aged chambermaid Hélène's newfound obsession with the game of chess leads her to seek the tutelage of a reclusive American expat, transforming both of their ho-hum lives in the process.

chess movie queen to move

Searching for Bobby Fischer [1993]

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy.

chess movie searching bobby fisher


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Famous movies chess scene

Its always a treat to see chess scenes while watching a good movie (at least for chesscrafters). And so I hoarded some of the chess scenes from good (if not great) movies.

Here is another post movies about chess if ever you prefer to see movies in which chess is the star.

Twilight - Breaking Dawn [2011]
Not so many teens of this generation have missed the romance between Bella a hot geeky babe and Edward, a mysterious hunk vampire, on this scene we see Edward playing the blood-red pieces.
Twilight breaking dawn edward and bella playing chess chesscraft

Austin Powers: The spy who shagged me [1999]
Austin is playing chess with Ivana Humpalot (hump-a-lot), and became sexually aroused, this scene is actually a spoof of a "The Thomas Crown Affair".

Independence day [1996]
The second highest worldwide gross of all time, with almost $900 million dollar, a great movie about aliens earth invasion, but thanks to Will Smith (a real-life chess enthusiast), luckily he's there to save the day.

The chess scene was filmed in a New York park, but the most unforgettable scene was the alien's gigantic spaceship's laser blast of Washington D.C.
independence day playing chess new york city park chesscraft

007: From Russia with love [1963]
The movie Nigel mentions, From Russia with Love, was produced in 1963. One of the villains is Kronsteen, played by Vladek Sheybal, master plotter for the terror organisation SPECTRE. Kronsteen is also a world-class chess player who, when asked if his plan would be successful, replies: "It will be. I've anticipated every possible variation of countermove." And Bond's colleague, the Turkish operative Kerim Bey, says of him: "These Russians are great chess players. When they wish to execute a plot, they execute it brilliantly. The game is planned minutely, the gambits of the enemy are provided for."

james bond playing chess movie chesscraft

X-men first class [2011]
The prequel of X-men shows how Charles Xavier and Erik Lenscher (Magneto) friendship turned to hostility, but it wasn't chess to blame. Erik's thirst for revenge to the ones responsible to the death of his mother, consumed him.

magneto vs xavier chess xmen chesscraft
Harry Potter [2001]
Based from the book written by J.K Rowlings , tells about the adventures of Harry Potter in the wizardy school Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

A giant Wizard's Chessboard was the third-to-last layer of security for the Philosopher's Stone. Harry played as one of the black bishops, Hermione as a rook, and Ron as a Knight. Using his extensive knowledge of chess, Ronald Weasley managed to get him, Harry, and Hermione Granger across, ultimately sacrificing himself to the White Queen so that Harry could checkmate the King. 

harry potter chess scene chesscraft

Dawn of the dead [2004]
In George Romero's excellent remake of the zombie classic Dawn of the Dead, we see two characters, Andy (pictured) and Kenneth, on two rooftops playing correspondence chess with binoculars and cue cards. Why are they doing this? Well there are thousands of zombies between them and not a whole lot else to do.
dawn of the dead playing chess zombies watching chesscraft

Lucky Number Slevin [2006]
is a decent movie with fast-paced, smart dialogue and, coincidentally, Ben Kingsley who played the chess teacher Bruce Pandolfini in Searching for Bobby Fischer. He plays a jewish mobster here. But I digress. Morgan Freeman, aka "The Boss" (pictured) challenges Slevin (Josh Hartnett) to a game of chess as a chance to pay off a debt. Bruce Willis has a role and also plays against The Boss. We don't see too much, but it's still a nice nod.

morgan freeman playing chess lucky number slevin chesscraft

The Thomas Crown affair [1968]
The movie revolves around Thomas Crown, A millionaire and sportsman trying to pull off a perfect crime, by robbing a money from a bank, on the course comes Vicki Anderson an independent insurance investigator  who swear to retrieve the money.

The chess game between Thomas and Vicki is intimate, adding the great musical score "The Chess Game".

thomas crown affair erotic chess scene chesscraft