Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent Moves, is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian in his directorial debut. Starring Max Pomeranc in his film debut, Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, Ben Kingsley, and Laurence Fishburne, it is based on the life of prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin, played by Pomeranc, and adapted from the book of the same name by Joshua's father, Fred Waitzkin. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography in the 66th Academy Awards.


Seven-year-old Josh Waitzkin becomes fascinated with the chess players in Washington Square Park. Josh's mother, Bonnie, is initially uncomfortable with her young son's interest, as the games in the park are rife with illegal gambling and homeless players, but eventually allows Josh to play a game with a disheveled player for $5. Although Josh loses, Bonnie is amazed that Josh understands the rules of chess, despite having never been taught them. Another park player, Vinnie Livermore, alerts Bonnie to Josh's advanced talent in the game.