In 1972, America was chess-obsessed. The Soviet Union used chess to demonstrate its intellectual superiority to the West, but along came a young, lone American, who demolished the Russian masters of the sport. At the height of his career, Bobby Fischer was better known than any other man in the world. Relentless press attention, political pressure and a monomaniacal focus on chess ultimately led to his undoing.
Academy Award-nominated director Liz Garbus uses the narrative tension of the 1972 match between Fischer and the defending World champion, the Russian Boris Spassky, to explore not only the politically charged period of the early 1970's, but also the nature of genius, madness and the game of chess itself.