Mark Rylance and Pete Postlethwaite star in this British drama based on the autobiographical novel by John Healy. When young John Healy (Andrew Dicks) is growing up in England, his Irish ancestry causes him to be ridiculed by his classmates. Learning how to box John (Rylance) soon finds himself in with the wrong crowd and winds up in prison. There he learns and perfects the art and skill of chess and soon he is beating his inmates at the complex game. Once out of prison John tries to continue his love of chess but with his working class background he finds he is not welcome in the society that he longs to be a part of.