Bobby Fischer was hugely important for the American chess community because it put chess on the map - he made it possible for other chess players to make a living.

— Liz Garbus

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I think all of us, looking back on our careers and our lives, there'll probably be a "road not taken" that we'll regret and mourn. Certainly, artists will always feel that way, especially when the path taken was more commercial than the one not taken.

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I guess what I get excited about when I'm thinking about projects is that toothy, complex area of goodness and badness and the gray areas of human behavior and existence.

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Every film I make I feel like I am getting a mini-masters degree, it's a wonderful life path and you get to immerse yourself in an intriguing world for a couple of years.

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When your entire life is focused around one goal and one goal only, and you have no other pursuits, it enables you to achieve enormous mastery.

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If you look at the gifted sportsman, like Tiger Woods, or Ryan Giggs, you can see how they have been built up to be so much more than one person could ever be.

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Each project draws you in on its own merits as opposed to an intellectual choice of, "Well, I'm going to shift from vérité filmmaking to more archival."

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I think the combination of genius and celebrity, in the case of Bobby Fischer, was a dangerous cocktail.

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Managers all over the world will go crazy when their artists are not touting the party line and making things pretty in the way that they're supposed to, but it's different when your manager is your husband. It's contrary to your soul. That commercial interest presses in upon your whole personal life.

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The Ancient Romans did not regard acts of genius to emanate from within an individual - but rather saw it as a collaboration between a spirit of creativity and a human being. So it could be that sometimes an individual had that power, that divine inspiration, or other times not. The spirit might have moved on to some other lucky soul.

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You know, and the fact that Nina Simone had to start playing in clubs and sing because her parents had moved north to support her music education. You know, so she had to sing. She had to make a living 'cause she was supporting her family. So poverty and race put her in this place which, you know, created enormous success, but it's not what her psyche was all about.

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There is so much investment in it of people's labor time that it will never make money. But there are other documentaries that you might make that are sort of on assignment for television that turn around in three to six months. Then the margin can be much be better for you because you're not spending three-and-a-half years on it. So I think if you're doing documentary films, that's sort of the way to look at it.

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In the Soviet Union, for instance, the pressure on the chess stars was immense.

When Boris Spassky came home after losing that match, he found he no longer had an apartment in Moscow.

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About Liz Garbus

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It has a lot to do with just sort of trust in the relationship that builds between the filmmaker and the subject. There are some people who will never be relaxed in front of a camera, and in some ways that's my failing as a filmmaker to not put them at ease. It's also a function of time, and if you have that type of time.

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I don't think you make documentary films to get your country house.

If you're trying to gamble on that, you've very foolish.

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