Stanley Kubrick is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential film directors of all time. His films, typically adaptations of novels or short stories, are noted for their dazzling and unique cinematography, attention to detail, and the evocative use of music.
His father taught him chess at the age of 12, which became a lifelong obsession for him. Kubrick explained that chess helped him develop patience and discipline in making decisions.
While still in high school, he played chess for “quarters” in the famous Washington Square Park in New York City and various Manhattan chess clubs for more than 12 hours everyday.
It was while playing chess at the same park that he met his first producer James B. Harris. It is rumoured that Kubrick once cancelled an entire’s day shooting on The Shining because he was deeply invested in a chess game.
Chess even plays a role in the plot of two of his films – Lolita and 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is what Kubrick once said in an interview about the game that was such an essential part of life – “Among a great many other things that chess teaches you is to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good. It trains you to think before grabbing, and to think just as objectively when you’re in trouble.”