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Chess Playing
'Algorithms' sheds light on blind teen chess players
'Algorithms' sheds light on blind teen chess players

For the blind players in "Algorithms," chess is not just a mental game but a tactile one. Sociologist Ian McDonald's first feature-length documentary profiles three Indian teen boys competing in blind chess tournaments and the mentor who's determined to produce a world champ. Shooting in handsome black-and-white, the filmmaker zeros in as the contenders' fingers read the specially designed board and pieces, and he captures on their intent faces the significance of each move. McDonald's up-close filmmaking tracks the boys at regional and international meets over three years. The repetition of chess lingo can be mind-numbing, until it becomes a kind of poetry,...