Sort of sugary
I don't know how many films I can name that focus on chess besides The Luzhin Defense and this movie. Both show the Grand Master Chess player as a loner, bordering on dysfunctional in society, and completely devoted to their pursuits in chess.
Searching for Bobby Fischer focuses on a young chess player and his father. The boy discovers he has a great ability to play chess, but his father doesn't know how to really support his son. He hires a tutor played by Ben Kingsley. The boy keeps playing speed chess in the park with the homeless. His mentor in the park is Laurence Fishburne. Josh is precocious and the three male parental factors in his life all look at him with different goals that may not be aligned with what is best for Josh.
His tutor teaches him the classics of the game. Fishburne teaches him the aggressive offensive style. His father just wants Josh to win. Somewhere in the movie, all of these issues rise through conflict and down towards resolution. It is still enjoyable as Josh seems to be able to navigate the different needs and influences and stay true to his inherent qualities.
A decent family movie without the real setbacks that the young children face in Whalerider or The Secret of Roan Innish.
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