After he beats his dad (Joe Mantegna) in a chess match, Josh Waitzkin (Max Pomeranc), a 7-year-old, gets noticed for his talent. He becomes interested in speed chess at the park and learns the game from a hustler named Vinnie (Laurence Fishburne). However, Josh's parents invest in the services of Bruce (Ben Kingsley), a famous coach who has very different practices. Between Bruce's methods and the stress of the competitions, Josh learns that even a chess prodigy cannot make all the right moves.
"A film of remarkable sensitivity and insight" - Roger Ebert