It would be hard to find a more mysterious figure in the 20th century than Bobby Fischer. From teenage chess prodigy to international celebrity to his final years as a distraught recluse, Fisher led a fascinating life in and out of the public eye.



Yet, despite his considerable fame, it was never easy to get a sense of who Bobby Fischer was.Frequently cold and distant at his peak and fearful of the media in his later years, Bobby Fischer’s greatest legacy might not be his chess career but the mystery he created, intentionally or not. Fortunately, award-winning documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus attempted to unravel this mystery with her latest project, Bobby Fischer Against The World. Through hours of interviews and an amazing collection of archival footage, Garbus was able to compile the most complete portrait of Fischer to date.



“I think he occupies a very unique position in our culture,” Garbus told Metro. “I don’t think there’s been any other North American chess personality to occupy that kind of space in our consciousness and I would say that has to do with the cold war.



“There were two arch-enemies with nuclear weapons pointed at each other while these two gentlemen were sitting down playing war over the chessboard. So the context was huge.”



Since Fischer spent most of his life as a recluse, appearing publicly only to make controversial rants rooted in mental illness, he proved to be a difficult figure for the filmmaker to depict. Thankfully, Garbus admirably didn’t shy away from the darker aspects of his life.



“I think that kind of relentless pressure on a young mind can really be dangerous and you see that play out,” explained Garbus. “I felt great empathy for what Bobby went through and I think that’s an important message of his story.”