Best Chess Movies to Watch on Your Free Time

Chess Movies

If watching movies/TV online at home is your thing, you don’t want to skip trying to watch some chess movies. Altadefinizione listed some of the chess movies that chess fans picked out. Read on to know more about these movies:


Magnus Carlsen is well-known in the chess realm. Even before, during, and after becoming a world chess champion, he has been taking over the chess world. Magnus is a documentary movie released in 2016, which was before the world championship between Carlsen and Karjakin. The film shows how Magnus’ family supported him on his quest to rise by playing chess. You can see footages from his childhood years, his chess match against Kasparov when he was 13 years old, and his match with Anand in Chennai, which pushed him to the top.

Queen of Katwe

This movie is a rendition of the 2012 novel with the same title. It was released in 2016 and was based on the life of Phiona Mutesi, who is a chess player from Uganda. It shows her life in the slum areas of Katwe in Uganda. Madina Nalwanga portrayed the role of Phiona.

The film shows how she would often visit a local center that taught chess. Robert Katende, who was described by David Oyelowo, was the one who taught chess to Phiona. She was motivated to attend the chess classes because of the free meal. Later on, she became passionate about it and realized the talent for playing it. After she succeeded in playing chess locally, she was invited to play it abroad and experienced a life different from the one she had in Katwe.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

This movie made it possible for chess to be more noticed in the United States. It had a lot of potential because of the actors such as Laurence Fishburne, Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, and Ben Kingsley. It was based on a book with the same title written by Fred Waitzkin. It is about his son, Josh Waitzkin’s chess journey. At one point, he became an international chess master player but stopped playing it to aspire to become a martial arts player.

Pawn Sacrifice

This 2014 drama film is based on Bobby Fischer. It shows how he rose to success in playing chess until he played in the world championship. Tobey Maquire portrayed Bobby Fischer, and Liev Scheiber played the role of Boris Spassky, who is a chess champion from the Soviet Union.

Aside from chess, the movie also shows the effect of paranoia to Fischer. Some parts of the film show his childhood in Brooklyn, how he started to become consumed with chess, and how he gave his best in every game. The pressure he put onto himself until he took part in the world championship damaged him, which resulted in him hiding from the public.

Brooklyn Castle

This movie was released in 2012, and it was a sensation not only to chess fans but also to parents and educators. The documentary movie shows how Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn gained success in competitive chess through the help of the headteacher, Elizabeth Spiegel. The school was able to have the most successful chess program, even with a limited budget. It made many people interested because it was the first, middle school chess team to win the National High School Championship.