August 2, 2011

Saint Louis Premiere of Bobby Fischer Against the World

Posted in Bobby Fischer Against the World, Events

premiere-stlShannon Bailey, Liz Garbus, and Susan Barrett

On June 6, 2011, the world premiere of Bobby Fischer Against the World aired on the highly-acclaimed HBO network. Bobby Fischer Against the World, directed by Liz Garbus first premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, in the beautiful Park City, Utah, where it received rave reviews.

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) had the opportunity to partner with HBO Documentaries and Moxie Firecracker Films to assist in promoting and supporting this highly-anticipated documentary. Prior to the world premiere, HBO offered to bring the film to the city of Saint Louis, the new mecca of chess. Over 300 free tickets were given to chess enthusiasts, film fans, and those simply fascinated by Bobby Fischer. The movie was shown at one of the top Saint Louis landmarks, the Tivoli Theatre in the Delmar Loop, followed by a happening chess after-party on the 2nd floor of the Moonrise Hotel.

The evening began with remarks from HBO’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mike Hopper, followed by WCHOF Director, Susan Barrett and VP of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs, Shannon Bailey who welcomed guests, gave the background of how this important partnership began, and thanked all those involved. While the film aired, guests were thoroughly engaged and tuned in. It was clear that no one wanted to leave their seat, not even to refill their free popcorn, fearing they may miss an important fact to Bobby’s life story.  Afterwards, the audience had the chance to ask film Director, Liz Garbus questions regarding the making of the documentary and her opinions of Fischer. A panel including chess marvel, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade, and Bobby Fischer expert, John Donaldson also discussed the film and took questions from the audience.

At the after-party, guests had the opportunity to challenge grandmasters, pick up a quick lesson, and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, not to mention the famous Moonrise Hotel moon cookies. When exiting, guests received small bags of black and white M & M’s as a parting gift on behalf of the WCHOF. As it got later into the night and guests were saying their goodbyes, many mentioned that the evening was truly lovely.

The WCHOF is extremely grateful for being able to be a part of such an exciting time in chess. Bobby Fischer Against the World marks another triumph for the game and history of chess, not only in the United States, but for the world.