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Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

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Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.



(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
3,502 ( 154)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Marshall
Father Bill Lombardy
Edward Zinoviev ...
Efim Geller
Iivo Nei
Carmine Nigro
Lothar Schmid


During the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In 1972, Bobby Fischer faced the Soviet Union in the greatest chess match ever played. On the board he fought the Cold War. In his mind he fought his madness.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual content and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La jugada maestra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$202,053 (USA) (18 September 2015)


$2,436,062 (USA) (11 December 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



| (archive footage)| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bobby Fischer was wanted in the United States of America for violating economic sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing a chess match there in 1992. He fled to Japan and was arrested in July 2004 for trying to leave Japan on a revoked U.S. passport. Thus, he was detained in Japan awaiting deportation to the USA. He renounced his U.S. citizenship and tried to become a German citizen, but was denied. Finally, in March 2005, Iceland's parliament voted to grant him Icelandic citizenship. He remained a fugitive from the USA until his death. See more »


Near the start, when young Bobby is looking out the window of the Fischer family's front door, the date on the screen reads 15 Nov. 1951. Bobby goes to see his mother and tells her there's a red 1952 Chevy outside. In the American car market, model years typically begin in the last quarter of the previous year, so Bobby could have seen a '52 Chevy in late '51. See more »


Bobby Fischer: [practicing chess with his coach who is a Catholic priest] I passed up having sex for this.
Father Bill Lombardy: Passed it up for twenty years.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the name of the character Cyril (played by Shawn Campbell) is misspelled "Cryil". See more »


References King Kong (1933) See more »


The ABC Wide World of Sports Theme
Written by Irving Robbin
Published by Script Music
Courtesy of Score Productions, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Come follow me and I will make you a Fischer of men
6 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pawn Sacrifice is an engaging and well made biopic that is a rich work of cinema.

This flick takes place during the cold war, where America legend Bobby Fischer finds himself in the middle of a political crisis between America and the Soviet Empire. The movie starts out by showing Bobby Fischer( played by Tobey Maguire) towards the beginning of his life, and portrays the struggles he endured which affected him later on in his life. The movie later shows him as a rising chess star and before you know it, he is an adult; and one of the best chess players in the world. He soon finds himself as a pawn in Americas Cold War, and has to take on the number one chess player in the world, Boris Spassky.

This movie is brilliantly directed (Edward Zwick), and gives you an emotional feel for Fischer, and the cinematography is excellent. The supporting cast was good, but Tobey Mcguire stole the show,giving one of the best performances of the year.

Pawn Sacrifice is an engaging and well-made biopic with solid performances.

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