Bobby Fischer’s fall from chess god to ranting madman is laid out move by inexorable move in Liz Garbus’s documentary, “Bobby Fischer Against the World.”

Premiering tonight on HBO, the unnerving film draws a line between genius and insanity that isn’t so much thin as invisible.

The chess mania of 1972 seems just this side of absurd from today’s vantage point, but Cold War rivalry and a personal backstory compelling enough for fiction turned that summer’s World Chess Championship between Brooklyn’s Fischer and Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union into a competition of Super Bowl dimensions.

Garbus’s film, with its treasure of old photographs, film footage and testimony from those who knew him well, efficiently lays the tragedy’s groundwork.

Born in Chicago, Fischer began studying chess by age 6, quickly developing an obsession that prompted at least one trip to a psychiatrist.

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