Bobby Fischer, the chess champion and twisted soul, is dead.
But if there is any good to have come out of his life, it includes the book and movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer," and what it says about not becoming like the guy in the title. (It's not, in fact, about Fischer but about a chess prodigy.)
I've read the book but I've seen the movie far more. It celebrates a gift, and touches on the incomprehensibility of such a gift to people who do not share it. But -- and this is where all the horrors of the real Fischer are part of it -- the movie stresses the importance of having a life that encompasses something other than a gift, of not letting the gift overwhelm you. It. Is. So. Good.
If you have not seen the movie, you should do so. If you have seen the movie, then you may once again enjoy the two scenes I have posted here. (Apparently someone has put the entire film on YouTube.) To avoid spoilers for those of you who haven't seen it, I'll explain which scenes after the jump...
The top scene is the climax of the movie, where Josh realizes he has won but offers his opponent the draw, followed by the closing reminders of what a good kid Josh is, and of his life beyong chess.
The one below is the one leading up to the climax: Josh's reconciliation with his chess tutor (Ben Kingsley) and the beginning of the big match. It includes two of my favorite moments besides "Take the draw": Laurence Fishburne's "There it is!" and Josh's "Trick or treat."
And now I wish I could just take the morning off to watch all the movie.