Chess is an ancient game that is still enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. It is both a game of strategy and mental challenge, and has been a source of delight and entertainment for centuries. It recently gained new popularity, thanks to the prevalence of streaming services and internet-based knowledge. With so much to offer, it is also not surprising that these days there are many great contemporary chess documentaries showing the various angles of the game, from strategy and technique to its historical background.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best chess documentaries out there that people can check out today. No matter if you’re a novice or a passionate chess lover, anyone would be likely to enjoy one of these great films.

Overview of the Greatest Contemporary Chess Documentaries

  1. Brooklyn Castle

This documentary is a heart-warming portrait of I.S. 318, New York City’s most successful junior-high school chess team. We follow the journeys of five of the students as they battle it out in the challenging and competitive world of chess tournaments. Brooklyn Castle won several awards and accolades, including best documentary of the year by the Tribeca Film Festival.

  1. The Kings of The Game

Another great chess documentary is The Kings of The Game, which follows the journey of five international chess masters as they train for upcoming tournaments. It gives the audience great insight into the world of elite chess players, focusing on the politics and pressure of being at the top of the chess world.

  1. Bobby Fischer Against The World

Bobby Fischer Against The World takes a deep look into the tumultuous life of the legendary chess icon Bobby Fischer. Fischer was a controversial figure in his time, and his explosive personality brought both controversy and glory to the game of chess. Through archive footage and interviews, this movie follows the journey of Fischer’s career, including his victory against Boris Spassky in 1972.

  1. Searching for Bobby Fischer

This classic 90s movie follows the story of a young prodigy Josh Waitzkin and his extraordinary chess career. It isn’t so much about the gameplay of chess as about the values that Josh learned by playing the game, with his father as his mentor. It stars Hollywood giant Joe Mantegna and is considered one of the great chess movies of the 90s.

Benefits of Watching Chess Documentaries

  1. Enhances Your Chess Knowledge

Watching any of these documentaries gives an insight into the competitive chess world, as well as the mind-games that players must face during tournaments. Not only do these films give great insight into the competitive environment, but also the psychological aspects of the game. Whether it’s advanced techniques or historical background stories, these films offer great educational value.

  1. Helps the Viewer Learn About Great Chess Players

Each of these films shows different aspects of the life of a chess player, from the highest-level of competition to the necessary mental preparation and focus. Not only does the viewer get to learn from the players’ successes, but also from their failures. This helps the viewers learn from their mistakes and strive to improve their own game.

  1. Motivates You to Play

Chess documentaries are also great motivators for people to start playing chess. Through each of these films one can experience the various emotions that come with the game, from the thrill of victory to the anguish of defeat. These films help to inspire people to become more involved in chess, either through playing the game or simply by watching.

Tips for Appreciating Chess Documentaries

  1. Learn the Basics of Chess

Before watching any of these documentaries, it is best that you learn the basics of chess. From the different pieces, to the different moves, to the impact of threats and tactical exchanges on the game – understanding the basics of the game of chess will enable you to appreciate the deeper meaning of the films.

  1. Enjoy the Visuals

Most of these films focus on the tension and challenge of the game, yet their visuals also showcase the beauty and fine artistry of chess. From the chessboards themselves to the moves made and the players’ expressions, these films have an aesthetic appeal and truly capture the beauty of the game.

  1. Keep an Open Mind

Chess documentaries can be very inspiring and motivating, so it’s important to keep an open mind when you watch them. Don’t feel intimidated if you haven’t played the game, as any and all viewers can still appreciate the stories and the beauty of the game.

Chess documentaries are a great way to learn more about the game, gain an insight into the world of top players and be inspired by their drive and passion. With the latest streaming technologies, fans of the game can easily find and enjoy some of the best current chess documentaries and immerse themselves into the world of chess. Whether you’re a novice looking to hone your approach or an expert looking to learn more about the game, these films have something to offer for everyone.

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