Ed Zwick directs Tobey Maguire in the Cold War tale of volatile chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer in a welcome A-list project to drop into the upcoming market.

Gail Katz of Gail Katz Productions will produce alongside Maguire through his Material Pictures. The screenwriter is Steven Knight of Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises renown. CAA represents US rights.

Pawn Sacrifice centres on self-taught Fischer’s 1972 bid to overcome the Soviet reigning champion Boris Spassky in the so-called Match Of The Century.

Fischer was the Brooklyn-born son of an immigrant who became the youngest Grandmaster in the history of the game.

After a record 20-game winning streak his showdown with the seemingly invincible Spassky thrust him into the midst of a geopolitical showcase. In late life he became a recluse who was racked by personal demons.

Lionsgate sales chief Patrick Wachsberger and his team will also introduce buyers to Roman Polanski’s French-language erotic comedy Venus In Fur to star Emmanuelle Seigner.