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Old September 19th 15, 03:11 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice
I was invited to an advanced screening of the movie Pawn Sacrifice held on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 10AM in New York City, based on the fact that I had been a close friend of Bobby Fischer. I was invited to the screening by Katherine Matthews. Only three other people were there. Two were non-chess players who work for Chess in the Schools. I do not know if other advanced screenings were held. After the screening, I sent my comments on the movie as follows:
The movie was wonderful, marvelous.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I had no idea it would be so good.
It accurately depicted the turmoil going on within Fischer and the turmoil going on outside of him while he was on his way to the World Championship.
The movie is intended to provide entertainment and not to be historically accurate. However, there are mistakes in the movie and it would be best to have them corrected, if possible, before the release of the movie in September 2015.
The movie calls the Chief Arbiter Wolfgang Schmid. His actual name was Lothar Schmid. I see you have corrected it on the website but it needs to be corrected in the sound track too.
Carmine Nigro who was Bobby's first and only teacher was not one of the top 25 rated players in the country. He was a Class B player but did not have an official rating. The movie depicts him as being with Bobby all the way from the beginning in about 1949 to the Fischer Spassky Match in Reykjavik Iceland in 1972. In reality, Carmine Nigro had only a brief relationship with Fischer lasting only a few years at most.
William Lombardy will not like the way he is depicted but that is his own fault as he refused to cooperate in the making of the movie. It shows Lombardy first meeting and becoming involved with him at the time of the Olympiad in Yugoslavia. That is not true. I first met both Fischer and Lombardy together at the November, 1956 Eastern States Open Chess Championship in Washington DC, so Fischer and Lombardy were together at that time. You scan see our pictures together at http://www.anusha.com/post1956.htm
The movie shows Lombardy continuously involved with Fischer from their first meeting until the 1972 match. Not true. Lombardy dropped out of chess in 1961 after deciding to become a Catholic Priest. He did not become involved with Fischer again until the time of the 1972 match. In between those years Fischer was mostly involved with Grandmaster Larry Evans.
It says that Fischer won his first round game against Grandmaster Ivanovich at the 1966 Piatigorsky Cup in Los Angeles. This is not true. There is no Grandmaster Ivanovich. Fischer's first win in that tournament was against Grandmaster Ivkov in Round 3.
It says Fischer defeated Korchnoi in Round 5 of that event. This is not true. Korchnoi never played in the Piatigorsky Cup. Fischer did defeat Korchnoi in two earlier tournament games in 1962 but never defeated him in a tournament game after that.
It shows Paul Marshall informing Fischer that Nixon had tried to call him three times but had been unable to reach him because Fischer had taken apart the telephone receivers searching for bugs in the telephone. I doubt this is true.
It says that they had found bugs in Fischer's room during the Interzonal chess tournament in Tunisia. I do not think this is true but I am sure Fischer was concerned about the Soviets and others spying on him.
It shows lawyer Paul Marshall first meeting Fischer in the park and then being involved with him for years leading up to the 1972 match. I do not know when Paul Marshall first met Fischer but I do not believe they had such a long relationship.
It shows Fischer's mother having a man sleep with her in the apartment disturbing Fischer while he is trying to study chess. I would like to know the source for this. You should not put such a salacious thing in a movie unless you are sure of your source.
It shows Fischer analyzing the moves 1. P-KR4 P-KR4 Ridiculous. You should take that out. Have Fischer studying 1. P-K4 P-K4 instead.
It shows Fischer's virginity being lost to a street prostitute in Los Angeles. This becomes the love interest in the movie. Fischer's first known encounter with a woman was with a prostitute but it was in Argentina. Grandmaster Larry Evans brought Fischer to a whorehouse. Fischer lost his chess game right after that and had the worst tournament in his life. Fischer never mixed sex and chess again.
It correctly shows the most famous move ever made, Fischer's blunder in Game 2 with 29. .... BxKRP. Spassky replied 30. P-KN3. However, the movie shows Fischer resigning immediately in disgust. In reality, Fischer did not resign then and was not yet lost. Fischer made another mistake. He could have drawn the game with 40. ... K-Q4. The game continued until move 56. This is one of the most famous games ever played, so every chess player will recognize that you made a mistake when you say that Fischer resigned after 30. P-KN3.
These little mistakes will cause chess playing viewers to deride the movie.
Others will say that this that person or this or that event or incident should be included in the movie. I disagree. The story line should be simple and easy for non-chess players to follow. Having more characters would not help anything. I think the producers of this movie did a great job.
Sam Sloan
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Old September 19th 15, 11:25 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

Learn how to format your reply. It's unreadable right now.

I didn't know you were a "close friend" of Bobby Fischer.
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Old October 18th 15, 04:17 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

On Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 10:11:43 AM UTC+8, samsloan wrote:
Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

. In reality, Fischer did not resign then and was not yet lost. Fischer made another mistake. He could have drawn the game with 40. ... K-Q4. The game continued until move 56.

This is not true, what you say about black's 40th move; white is still better even after 40...Kd5. Analysis below.

RL

Spassky,B - Fischer,R, World Championship 28th 1972
8/1p4p1/pP2p3/2Bk1p2/P6K/4P3/8/8 w - - 0 1

Analysis by Fritz 11 SE:

1. +/- (1.26): 41.Bf8 Ke4 42.Bxg7 Kxe3 43.Bh6+ Ke4 44.a5 e5 45.Kg5 f4
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Old January 10th 16, 10:08 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

On Friday, September 18, 2015 at 10:11:43 PM UTC-4, samsloan wrote:

Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice
I was invited to an advanced screening of the movie Pawn Sacrifice held on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 10AM in New York City, based on the fact that I had been a close friend of Bobby Fischer. I was invited to the screening by Katherine Matthews. Only three other people were there. Two were non-chess players who work for Chess in the Schools. I do not know if other advanced screenings were held. After the screening, I sent my comments on the movie as follows:
The movie was wonderful, marvelous.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I had no idea it would be so good.
It accurately depicted the turmoil going on within Fischer


A simply astonishing claim. It would seem to me that only Bobby Fischer would be in a position to judge the accuracy of any depiction of what was going on within the mind of Bobby Fischer.

and the turmoil going on outside of him while he was on his way to the World Championship.
The movie is intended to provide entertainment and not to be historically accurate. However, there are mistakes in the movie and it would be best to have them corrected, if possible, before the release of the movie in September 2015.
The movie calls the Chief Arbiter Wolfgang Schmid. His actual name was Lothar Schmid. I see you have corrected it on the website but it needs to be corrected in the sound track too.
Carmine Nigro who was Bobby's first and only teacher was not one of the top 25 rated players in the country. He was a Class B player but did not have an official rating. The movie depicts him as being with Bobby all the way from the beginning in about 1949 to the Fischer Spassky Match in Reykjavik Iceland in 1972. In reality, Carmine Nigro had only a brief relationship with Fischer lasting only a few years at most.
William Lombardy will not like the way he is depicted but that is his own fault as he refused to cooperate in the making of the movie. It shows Lombardy first meeting and becoming involved with him at the time of the Olympiad in Yugoslavia. That is not true. I first met both Fischer and Lombardy together at the November, 1956 Eastern States Open Chess Championship in Washington DC, so Fischer and Lombardy were together at that time. You scan see our pictures together at http://www.anusha.com/post1956.htm
The movie shows Lombardy continuously involved with Fischer from their first meeting until the 1972 match. Not true. Lombardy dropped out of chess in 1961 after deciding to become a Catholic Priest.


One cannot serve two masters. This guy needed to think harder about what was really important in life (chess or God).

He did not become involved with Fischer again until the time of the 1972 match. In between those years Fischer was mostly involved with Grandmaster Larry Evans.


Funny you should say that. In reading Frank Brady's book on Fischer, I noticed that he barely even mentioned Larry Evans, though Brady did include the often printed photograph of these two playing chess in a swimming pool.

It says that Fischer won his first round game against Grandmaster Ivanovich at the 1966 Piatigorsky Cup in Los Angeles. This is not true. There is no Grandmaster Ivanovich. Fischer's first win in that tournament was against Grandmaster Ivkov in Round 3.
It says Fischer defeated Korchnoi in Round 5 of that event. This is not true. Korchnoi never played in the Piatigorsky Cup. Fischer did defeat Korchnoi in two earlier tournament games in 1962 but never defeated him in a tournament game after that.
It shows Paul Marshall informing Fischer that Nixon had tried to call him three times but had been unable to reach him because Fischer had taken apart the telephone receivers searching for bugs in the telephone. I doubt this is true.


Who is Nixon, in comparison to Fischer?

It says that they had found bugs in Fischer's room during the Interzonal chess tournament in Tunisia. I do not think this is true but I am sure Fischer was concerned about the Soviets and others spying on him.
It shows lawyer Paul Marshall first meeting Fischer in the park and then being involved with him for years leading up to the 1972 match. I do not know when Paul Marshall first met Fischer but I do not believe they had such a long relationship.
It shows Fischer's mother having a man sleep with her in the apartment disturbing Fischer while he is trying to study chess. I would like to know the source for this. You should not put such a salacious thing in a movie unless you are sure of your source.


Newsflash: movies are chock full of nonsense!

A case in point: although I have not yet seen this movie, I did watch a couple of the movie's trailers. I noticed that Fischer was being portrayed as a paranoid nut-job who was out to get Spassky, in a sort of Cold War battle between the USA and the USSR. Sheesh... .
I also noticed that in one scene, Fischer's mother states that, "we are Jewish-- Bobby is Jewish," a claim which is nonsensical. All of Bobby's close friends are well aware that he was never circumcised, as I assume was his mother at that time.

It shows Fischer analyzing the moves 1. P-KR4 P-KR4 Ridiculous. You should take that out. Have Fischer studying 1. P-K4 P-K4 instead.


There would be no point in showing Bobby studying the position after 1.e4 e5, as every possible rejoinder at move two for White would have already been familiar to him. This is why he was a grandmaster and you, sir, are not.
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Old January 10th 16, 06:13 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

On Sun, 10 Jan 2016 02:08:52 -0800 (PST), help bot
wrote:

Many older chess fans will be familiar with Chess Life's freaky depiction of Anatoly Karpov as representing the Evil Empire, but Boris Spassky? It would play better with a purely fictional chess match, set in say, the year 1982, with Vladimir Karpovski as the villain (having done awful things to steal the world title from Victor Kortchlinski-- the one man who *might* have given Fischer a decent fight, had it not been for the evil doings of paper champion Karpov. Throw in lots of beautiful women and exciting car chases and a plot to destroy world peace. Oh-- and instead of the chess addicted nut-job Fischer, the lead should be played by a handsome and daring secret agent, who knows which type of wine goes with which type of food. Yes, I am a creative genius-- why do you ask?


Having met Spassky I'd defniitely say he was an unlikely Cold War
Villain. I'd say the same about Keres (who I also met). I'm not saying
I knew either well - I met each of them once. (Spassky was watching my
game, saw me make an obvious blunder, saw the horrible look on my
face, shook his head sadly and walked away)

Your example of "Karpovski" mirrors the theme of the Tim Rice musical
Chess - Cold War, several beautiful women etc. (The original London
version - not the later versions of which there are several)


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Old January 11th 16, 04:06 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice






Having met Spassky I'd defniitely say he was an unlikely Cold War
Villain. I'd say the same about Keres (who I also met).


You met Keres. That certainly makes you one of the elite few in the chess world. Of all the Grandmasters in history I never read one single bad thing about Keres. It is said he was the most gracious gentleman and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

EZoto


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Old January 11th 16, 06:05 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

On Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 3:08:54 AM UTC-7, B. Sanders wrote:
On Friday, September 18, 2015 at 10:11:43 PM UTC-4, samsloan wrote:


Fischer lost his chess game right after that and had the worst tournament
in his life. Fischer never mixed sex and chess again.


There is no credible scientific evidence that sex has any negative effect on
chess performance whatever, so one can only assume you are speaking from
personal experience.


So? Fischer could have sworn off sex before chess needlessly because of a mere
coincidence. Thus, there is no scientific reason why the events described by
Mr. Sloan could not have happened.

John Savard
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Old January 11th 16, 06:07 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

On Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 11:13:02 AM UTC-7, The Horny Goat wrote:
On Sun, 10 Jan 2016 02:08:52 -0800 (PST), help bot
wrote:


the lead should be played by a handsome and daring secret agent, who knows
which type of wine goes with which type of food.


Your example of "Karpovski" mirrors the theme of the Tim Rice musical
Chess - Cold War, several beautiful women etc. (The original London
version - not the later versions of which there are several)


Funny, he had me thinking of a rather different British dramatic (and literary)
production.

John Savard
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Old January 16th 16, 04:35 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

I think this was a very reasonable report by Sam Sloan about the worth of getting things right in what is, after all intended to be, a bio-pic, rather than a freak-show.

The only American I knew was Larry Evan, and he, Larry Parr and Ray Keene wrote a lot together.

I also knew a 'Fischer-victim' Mark Taimanov and interviewed him twice, once on his match with Fischer and the bewilderment of a particular game. This was just before the Spassky match -- more of that in a moment.

I also knew Korchnoi's publisher and have a chessic biography of him [Russian language] on my bookshelf. Both Korchmoi and Taimanov said that they were really not very impressed by Western players, only 2 register as troublesome, one was Larsen, but beyond all else they simple could not categorize Fischer since how was it possible to be a lone wolf, not supported by teams of GMs and not by the State, and to play so well?

And Spassky was no Soviet villain, he was a 'bad-boy'n terms of speaking out against the Regime, and only tolerated because he was Russia's #1.

Therefore, in spirit, I like Sam Sloan's review of the movie -- to wit, if it really is a bio-pic of Fischer then Fischer /was/ chess, and maybe get the atmosphere right?

As to the factual side of who was what, better to have gained the opinion of those I mentioned above rather than invention or hyperbole, since neither of those disclose any truth about Fischer through his relationship with others, nor reflect well upon the game.

A postscript is a wonderful anecdote in Patti Smith's new book M-Train about singing Buddy Holly songs with Fischer in Iceland, and how she dealt with his ranting [ROFL].

At bottom, Fischer was still a likable American kid from Brooklyn, not some weird monster out of touch with ordinary things.

Setting up a match once and on the phone with a certain 'buddy-guard' I heard his voice from his kitchen in Iceland talking about what to cook for dinner, and having fun doing so with his wife.

Phil Innes
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Old January 16th 16, 08:27 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Sam Sloan's Review of the Movie Pawn Sacrifice

A codicil to Sam Sloan's report.

After Fischer's death there was talk in NY City about putting on a tournament in his honor. I was in conversation with Dr. Brady and others about it, and there seemed to be serious financial backers.

One additional idea was to commission a sculpture of life-size Fischer seated at the board, and there was to be a bench opposite where you could sit, have your photo taken, and so on.

I had suggested this to Frank who liked the idea, also that the position on the board should be one of the most complex positions in all of chess, and one obtained from a Fischer game.

You will all remember his match against Taimanov, and that infamous King's Indian -- 3rd game, wasn't it? In his book "I was Fischer's victim" there was a huge amount of analysis of the position and where Taimanov said that he spent more time on one move [Qh3!?!] than any other move in his chess career.

He went on to say that not even Kasparov could solve it, neither had any super computer, but 25 years later he found the right line leading to advantage. !!!

This extraordinary compliment to Fischer, and as well as a tourist venue somewhere, some park, preferable a chess-park in NY City, there would be exhibited this puzzle, I suggested to Frank, which would engage every generation and level of chess player.

After all the crap that had evolved around Fischer's non chessic behavior, I hoped that something of his art would survive.

I sent Fischer a note via another person in Yugoslavia, as it was then, asking him a couple questions about the position including if he himself saw what Taimanov eventually saw?

Back in NY City the backers backed off, not just on this memorial sculpture but also to this honorarium of a Fischer memorial tournament. Fischer was too 'hot' to be associated with.

Phil Innes
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