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TitleSearching for Bobby Fischer
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Table of Contents
                            Searching for Bobby Fischer
	Sarwer versus Waitzkin match[edit]
		Poe versus Waitzkin endgame[edit]
		Alternate endgame[edit]
	Further reading[edit]
	External links[edit]
	Navigation menu
Document Text Contents
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Joan Allen

Max Pomeranc

Ben Kingsley

Music by James Horner

Cinematography John Corso

Conrad L. Hall

Edited by Wayne Wahrman

Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Release dates August 11, 1993

Running time 110 min.

Country United States

Language English

Box office $7,266,383

Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent
Moves, is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian. The
film was Zaillian's directorial debut, and stars Max Pomeranc, Joe Mantegna, Joan
Allen, Ben Kingsley and Laurence Fishburne. It is based on the life
of prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin, played by Pomeranc, and adapted from
the book of the same name by Joshua's father Fred.



 1Synopsis

 2Cast

 3Sarwer versus Waitzkin match

o 3.1Poe versus Waitzkin endgame

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Poe versus Waitzkin endgame[edit]
The diagram depicts the game position in the film, with Waitzkin playing the black
pieces, before Waitzkin offers Poe the draw. This position did not occur in the real
Sarwer–Waitzkin game; it was contrived by Waitzkin and Pandolfini specially for the
film. The following moves are executed:

1... gxf6 2. Bxf6 Rc6+ 3. Kf5 Rxf6+! 4. Nxf6 Bxf6 5.
Kxf6 Nd7+ 6. Kf5 Nxe5 7. Kxe5??

In the October 1995 issue of Chess
Life, Grandmaster Larry Evans stated that the position
and sequence were unsound; Poe (playing White)
could still have drawn the game by playing 7.h5
7... a5 8. h5 a4 9. h6 a3 10. h7 a2 11. h8=Q a1=Q+
12. Kf5 Qxh8 0–1 (White resigned)

Alternate endgame[edit]
An alternate endgame position had been composed
by Pal Benko. It was supposed to have been used in
the film, but was rejected on the day before the scene
was filmed because it did not use the theme that Josh
overused his queen.

a b c d e f g h

8 8

7 7

6 6

5 5

4 4

3 3

2 2

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1 1

a b c d e f g h

Black to move

In this position, Black should play:

1... Ne2

after which White is in zugzwang; he must play either
2.Bg3, losing the bishop to 2...Nxg3+, or 2.Bg1,
allowing 2...Ng3 mate.[7]

The book and the film have each received positive
reviews from critics. Waitzkin's book was praised
by Grandmaster Nigel Short,[8] as well as chess
journalist Edward Winter, who called it "a delightful
book" in which "the topics [are] treated with an acuity
and grace that offer the reviewer something quotable
on almost every page."[9] Screenwriter and
playwright Tom Stoppard called the book "well
written" and "captivating".[10]

The film currently has a 100% rating on Rotten
Tomatoes, based on 34 reviews.[11] Roger Ebert gave
the film a score of four stars (out of four), calling it "a
film of remarkable sensitivity and insight", adding, "by
the end of [the film], we have learned […] a great deal
about human nature."[12] James Berardinelli gave the
film three stars (out of four), calling it "an intensely
fascinating movie capable of involving those who are
ignorant about chess as well as those who love it."[13]

Bobby Fischer never saw the film and strongly
complained that it was an invasion of his privacy by
using his name without his permission. Fischer never
received any compensation from the film, calling it "a
monumental swindle".[14]

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