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July 3, 2024

Top 4 Chess Movies To Binge-Watch Over The Weekend

Chess Games

Chess is an exciting game of wit and creativity. The game originated in the land of India and has dominated the world market after being around for over 1500 years. The intricate playing style of the play has invited many people over generations and made it extremely popular worldwide.

Chess has made quite a dent in popular culture and has been featured in several TV shows and movies. The many online games of chess are unique and cater well to the newly introduced audience of the game. To get first-hand experience, you can download chess game from a registered website and play it easily on your mobile device.

Let’s look at some of the best movies you can watch over the weekend that the humble game of intellect has inspired.


This is a 2016 documentary film centered around the famous player Magnus Carlsen. Magnus needs no introduction to chess-playing, and his name is synonymous with any chess-related event circulating in the present world. The film’s story revolves around the Carlsen family and how he grew up to become today’s chess giant. The documentary showcases the clips recorded during Carlsen’s childhood and footage from some of the historic matches he has played in his career. The director has carefully built the movie’s drama around his showdown against Kasparov, one of the best moments a chess fan can witness on film. Magnus was only 13 years old when he had to go up against the goliath, and the scene is very inspirational for any chess fanatic. In another section, the director had documented his world championship clash with Vishwanathan Anand right when Magnus was at his peak level of performance. The documentary is a fantastic watch and well crafted into a story by the filmmaker. It stands as one of the trademarked films on chess-playing and deserves a spot on the weekend watchlist.

Queen of Katwe

This film was directly inspired by the book written in 2012 by the famous American author Tim Crothers. The film tells the life of Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi who grew up in the slums of Katwe, a place in China. The movie shows how the rising player in her beginning stages used to visit a local center where Robert Katende, presented by actor David Oyelowo used to teach chess. The film initially focuses on the hunger of poor and deprived children, where the organizers would offer a free meal to the candidates who attended the classes for the free dinner. The bildungsroman of the character throughout the film is motivational and shows her journey to international chess as her love for the game takes her beyond Katwe. The film represents the struggle of a chess player from a backward, deprived part of society and celebrates the game as a soul-redeemer making it a hell of an inspiring movie for chess players.

Pawn Sacrifice

This film revolves around the story of Bobby Fischer and his rise through the game, leading him straight to the world championship. Tobey Maguire, an American actor famous for Sam Raimi’s Spiderman movies, neatly takes up the role and delivers a stellar performance. Known for his proficient chess playing, Fischer suffered episodes of paranoia that made his life very difficult. The game digs into the dark parts of a striving champion and the insurmountable stress they endure daily. The film shows Fischer as a kid from Brooklyn pushed against all odds because he was obsessed with the game. The film closes with Fischer unable to cope with the pressure and fame resulting from his rising stardom, which pushed him to disappear from the public eye and become a recluse to society.

The Luzhin Defense

This film has a fantastic portrayal of Aleksandr Ivanovich Luzhin skillfully delivered by John Turturro. Vladimir Nabokov wrote the book from which Marleen Gorris was inspired to make the movie. The film is a story of chess and also a love story. On one of his chess exploits, the lead protagonist travels to Italy, and there he meets Natalia Katkov, with whom he falls in love owing to particular incidents. The film then retraces the player’s childhood and the difficulties he had to endure while living with his family. In his match in Italy, Luzhin is faced with an opponent called Dottore Salvatore Turati, who Luzhin’s former chess coach advises. Therefore, knowing his traumatic history, the coach reveals that Luzhin cannot perform under pressure.

True to the word Luzhin succumbs to pressure and is then kidnapped and tormented by his former coach. Situations lead to a tragic turn of events for the character. He is tormented by his memories and cannot deal with real life. The stress from the losing match, his love life, and his traumatic past all lead to a tragic fall. This movie is an intense drama and must be watched by every movie-goer.

Final Thoughts

The use of chess in movies is quite a recurrent theme today. Fans and players worldwide want the game to be appreciated by a global audience, and the best way to do so is through visual media. Many chess champions have had a hard-toiled life in their passion for chasing excellence. Retelling their stories emphasizes their contribution to the game and makes for a delectable watch that you can enjoy with friends and family on weekends.