Bobby Fischer Against the World


Liz Garbus

Liz Garbus
Stanley Buchthal
Rory Kennedy
Mathew Justus

Line Producer
Julie Gaither

Associate Producer
Serin Marshall

Director of Cinematography
Robert Chappell

Karen Schmeer
Michael Levine

Original Music
Philip Sheppard

Invited to open the Premiere Documentary section of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, reserved for master American documentary filmmakers, Bobby Fischer Against the World chronicles the great Cold War showdown between Fischer and Russian rival and reigning champ, Boris Spassky, in Iceland in 1972. Peeling away the complex psychological layers of this reluctant American hero and icon, the film questions the nature of genius, talent, and obsession. The most well known man on the world, second to Jesus Christ, Bobby Fischer was ultimately exiled from his country and became infamous for his extremist religious and political views.

This film was made with the support of The World Chess Museum and The Chess Hall of Fame. Learn more about how to get involved at

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Bobby Fischer Against the World premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Aired on HBO June 2011, limited theatrical release across the United States, and broadcast Fall 2011 on BBC UK.

“A sense of larger-than-life drama that rivals Rocky IV.”

— Vanity Fair