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The Best Chess Movies 

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Updated April 9, 2018 1.6k votes 814 voters 113.2k views 27 items

A list of the best chess movies ever made, ranked by movie fans with film trailers when available. This chess movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about chess are at the top of the list. If there are any great movies about chess you believe we missed, please feel free to add them to the list yourself. The films on this list are the most famous chess movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already. Click on these chess movie titles for more information about the films.

List is made up of many different items, including The Luzhin Defence and Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best chess movies?" and "What is the greatest chess movie of all time?"

Various bits of information are included with these popular chess movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. Whether you're watching these chess movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these good chess movies can be enjoyed no matter what.
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1
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Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Zaillian

Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent Moves, is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian. The film was his directorial debut, and ...more

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2
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Rob Hartelt added Pawn Sacrifice Liev Schreiber, Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard

Released: 2014

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Pawn Sacrifice is an American biographical film directed by Edward Zwick and written by Steven Knight. The film stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky, and Lily ...more
3
Queen of Katwe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Chess Movies
Rob Hartelt added Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

Directed by: Mira Nair

Queen of Katwe is a 2016 American biographical sports drama film directed by Mira Nair. A Ugandan girl (Madina Nalwanga) sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of

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Ted Danson, Keke Palmer, Devon Bostick

Released: 2005

Directed by: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Knights of the South Bronx is a 2005 TV film about a teacher who helps students at a tough inner-city school to succeed by teaching them to play chess. It was directed by Allen Hughes and ...more
5
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Rob Hartelt added Life of a King Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Lisa Gay Hamilton

Released: 2013

Directed by: Jake Goldberger

Life of a King is a drama film directed by Jake Goldberger.
6
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The Luzhin Defence John Turturro, Emily Watson, Orla Brady

Released: 2000

Directed by: Marleen Gorris

The Luzhin Defence is a 2000 film directed by Marleen Gorris, starring John Turturro and Emily Watson. The film centres on a mentally tormented chess grandmaster and the young woman he meets ...more
7
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Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov

Released: 2003

Directed by: Vikram Jayanti

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine is a 2003 documentary film by Vikram Jayanti about the match between Garry Kasparov, the highest rated chess player in history and the World Champion for 15 ...more
8
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Rob Hartelt added

Released: 2011

Directed by: Liz Garbus

Bobby Fischer Against the World is a documentary feature film that explores the life of the late chess Grandmaster and 11th World Champion Bobby Fischer. It incorporates interviews with chess ...more
9
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Rob Hartelt added The Dark Horse

Released: 07/17/2014

Directed by: james napier robertson

10
Magnus is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Chess Movies
Fabrice Wantiez added Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand

Released: 2016

Directed by: Benjamin Ree

Magnus is a 2016 documentary film directed by Benjamin Ree. The film explores chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen's rise to the top.
11
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Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, N'Bushe Wright

Released: 1994

Directed by: Boaz Yakin

Fresh is a 1994 film written and directed by Boaz Yakin in his film directorial debut, also produced by Randy Oslow and Lawrence Bender. It was scored by Stewart Copeland, a member of The ...more

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Rob Hartelt added

Released: 2012

Directed by: Katie Dellamaggiore

Brooklyn Castle is a 2012 documentary film directed by Katie Dellamaggiore.
13
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Lee Kirby added Mikhail Zharov, José Raúl Capablanca, Boris Barnet

Released: 1925

Directed by: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Schpikowski

Chess Fever is a 1925 Soviet silent comedy film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky. Chess Fever is a comedy about the Moscow 1925 chess tournament, made by Pudovkin during the ...more
14
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Rob Hartelt added Kevin Kline, Jennifer Beals, Sandrine Bonnaire

Released: 2009

Directed by: Caroline Bottaro

Queen to Play is a 2009 film directed by Caroline Bottaro.
15
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Pasion Ajedrez added Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins, Kevin Bewersdorf

Released: 2013

Directed by: Andrew Bujalski

Computer Chess is a 2013 independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature ...more
16
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Ryan Phillippe, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Torres

Released: 2006

Directed by: Laurence Malkin

Five Fingers is a 2006 drama/thriller film directed by Laurence Malkin, and written by Chad Thumann and Malkin. The film had ten producers, including actor Laurence Fishburne, who stars ...more
17
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Diane Lane, Katharine Isabelle, Daniel Baldwin

Released: 1992

Directed by: Carl Schenkel

Knight Moves is a 1992 American thriller film, directed by Carl Schenkel and written by Brad Mirman, about a chess grandmaster who is accused of several grisly murders.

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18
Capablanca is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Chess Movies
Pasion Ajedrez added Capablanca
19
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shamir-allibhai added Through the Golden Ages: the History of Chess

Released: 2014

Directed by: Shamir Allibhai

20
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Pasion Ajedrez added La Regina Degli Scacchi Barbora Bobuľová, Ettore Bassi, Toni Bertorelli

Released: 2001

Directed by: Claudia Florio

La Regina Degli Scacchi is a 2001 drama film written and directed by Claudia Florio.
21
lang leve de koningin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Chess Movies
Pasion Ajedrez added lang leve de koningin
22
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Mischa van den Ouweland added Algorithms

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ian McDonald

Algorithms is a 2012 documentary film directed by Ian McDonald.
23
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Ro Díaz added Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand

Released: 1957

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

The Seventh Seal (Swedish: Det sjunde inseglet) is a 1957 Swedish epic historical fantasy film.

The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish drama-fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Denmark it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess, who has come to ...more

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24
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Pasion Ajedrez added Kate Beckinsale, Michael Gough, Helen McCrory

Released: 1994

Directed by: Jim McBride

Uncovered is a 1994 film based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte's The Flanders Panel. It was directed by Jim McBride. The leading actress was Kate Beckinsale as the main character Julia.
25
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Pasion Ajedrez added La partie d'échecs Catherine Deneuve

Released: 1994

Directed by: Yves Hanchar

La partie d'échecs is a 1994 film directed by Yves Hanchar.