Friday, April 15, 2016


A Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Selection

By D.E.Levine

This is a documentary about a 25-year old chess champion who holds rock star status and manages to play 10 games at once in his head.

While initially one remembers Bobby Fischer and his antics, Magnus Carlsen is surprisingly "normal" with warm engaging relationships with others, especially family members.

Hailed as "the Mozart of chess" because his abilities became apparent at an early age.  Born in 1990, the age of video, all of his feats have been recorded and documented, so nothing of his reputation is left to conjecture.  As a teenager Magnus attended a goup tournement in Iceland and lost to Gary Kasparov, but the ranking champion recognized his ability.

By 13 Magnus became the youngest Grandmaster and admits in interviews chess is an obsession and a part of his mind is always thinking about the game.  However, instead of being a moody recluse, Magnus is a warm, engaging personality that interfaces well with others and participates in family activities.

This is a film filled with excitement and tension as various games and tournaments play out. It's fascinating and easily watchable because of the easy going personality of Magnus.   As of the time when this film was made Magnus Carlsen is the highest ranked player in the history of the game.