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'Searching for Bobby Fischer'

Critic's Pick

December 11, 1994|Kenneth Turan

This splendid 1993 release is set in the world of chess, but it wouldn't be a fraction of the film it is if chess were all it is about. It is a story of childhood simultaneously exalted and at risk, of the demands of parenthood and the burdens of competition and of genius. It is also the most impressive and promising of directing debuts on the part of writer Stephen Zaillian, who won an Oscar for his adaptation of Thomas Keneally's "Schindler's List." "Bobby Fischer" tells what happens when a typical New York City kid (Max Pomeranc, pictured), who has dreams of playing second base for the Yankees, discovers that he has so much innate chess ability that he puts people in mind of that celebrated world champion of the film's title. Remarkably photographed by Conrad Hall (Cinemax Friday at 8 p.m.).

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