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Joshua Waitzkin
Photograph © 2004, courtesy of  
Number of games in database: 220
Years covered: 1985 to 1999
Last FIDE rating: 2464

Overall record: +73 -74 =71 (49.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (52) 
    B90 B50 B32 B87 B33
 Sicilian Najdorf (12) 
    B90 B92 B91 B93
 French Defense (11) 
    C01 C05 C10
 Ruy Lopez (10) 
    C69 C62 C65 C60 C61
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (6) 
    B67 B62 B64 B65
 Pirc (6) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (32) 
    B57 B56 B23 B67 B30
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (12) 
    D27 D20 D29 D26 D28
 Reti System (10) 
    A04 A06 A05
 Modern Benoni (9) 
    A57 A58 A67
 Benko Gambit (8) 
    A57 A58
 English, 1 c4 e5 (7) 
    A29 A20 A28
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Waitzkin vs E Frumkin, 1987 1-0
   Waitzkin vs A Friedman, 1993 1-0
   Waitzkin vs G Shure, 1992 1-0
   J Sarwer vs Waitzkin, 1986 1/2-1/2
   M Zlotnikov vs Waitzkin, 1998 0-1
   Sofia Polgar vs Waitzkin, 1995 0-1
   NN vs Waitzkin, 1995 0-1
   Kudrin vs Waitzkin, 1995 1/2-1/2
   Waitzkin vs Palatnik, 1998 1-0
   Waitzkin vs Shaked, 1997 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   United States Championship (1995)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1994 WYCC (open) U-18 by gauer

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FIDE player card for Joshua Waitzkin

(born Dec-04-1976, 46 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

IM Joshua Waitzkin was born in New York City, and won the U.S. Junior Chess championship in 1993 and 1994. He learned chess by watching the people in Washington Square Park play at the age of six. At the age of 16 he became an International Master.

Waitzkin is the subject of a major motion picture, Searching for Bobby Fischer, a movie based on the book Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess, by his father, Fred Waitzkin. This movie was directed by Steven Zaillian.

References / Sources (podcast features this guest)

Personal website: <>

Wikipedia article: Joshua Waitzkin

Last updated: 2017-05-16 13:34:29

 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 266  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Waitzkin vs J Sarwer 0-1431985US Primary ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
2. J Sarwer vs Waitzkin ½-½631986US Primary ChampionshipE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
3. Waitzkin vs E Frumkin 1-0311987OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Waitzkin vs M Papa  ½-½521988Continental Chess CongressC05 French, Tarrasch
5. M Zlotnikov vs Waitzkin 0-1481988New YorkD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Kasparov vs Waitzkin ½-½281988New York SimA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
7. Waitzkin vs C Hertan 0-1211989Northeast CongressC42 Petrov Defense
8. Waitzkin vs Shaked 1-0171989National Elementary ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
9. J Young vs Waitzkin 1-0611989New England OpenA03 Bird's Opening
10. E Klein vs Waitzkin 0-1191990?A57 Benko Gambit
11. Waitzkin vs R O'Donnell  1-0601990USA MastersB64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
12. Waitzkin vs D Levine  ½-½421990USA MastersC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
13. R Horvitz vs Waitzkin  1-0431990USA MastersB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
14. K Czuhai vs Waitzkin  1-0391990USA MastersB68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7
15. V Pupols vs Waitzkin  1-0581990USA MastersA57 Benko Gambit
16. Waitzkin vs Y Zaderman  1-0421990USA MastersC77 Ruy Lopez
17. M Lonoff vs Waitzkin  1-0321990USA MastersA30 English, Symmetrical
18. S Garber vs Waitzkin  1-0731991USA-ch U18B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
19. Waitzkin vs B Kreiman  ½-½451991USA-ch U18C26 Vienna
20. Waitzkin vs D Benjamin  1-0311991USA-ch U18A07 King's Indian Attack
21. Y Zaderman vs Waitzkin  0-1311991USA-ch U18A07 King's Indian Attack
22. A Sidelnikov vs Waitzkin  0-1221991USA-ch U18A05 Reti Opening
23. Waitzkin vs M Berman  ½-½231991USA-ch U18A07 King's Indian Attack
24. Waitzkin vs I Levitina  1-0351991New York OpenB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
25. Benjamin vs Waitzkin 1-0381991New York OpenA57 Benko Gambit
 page 1 of 11; games 1-25 of 266  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Waitzkin wins | Waitzkin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 21 OF 21 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-09-14  Riverbeast: There are two films on Youtube that were filmed in the chess circle in Washington Square Park in the 1980s, where you can see several of the real characters portrayed in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

1) "Men Who Would Be Kings" (a lot of footage of Vinnie Livermore and other park characters mentioned in the book):

2) "For Love or Money" (more footage of Vinnie Livermore, and a quick shot of Israel Zilber who was also portrayed in the film - "$5 to play Man Who Beat Tal")

Apr-09-14  Strongest Force: RB, where you been dude? :)
Oct-24-14  dehanne: Is the final game Mr Waitzkin played in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer apocryphal?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: No, it's ahere: J Sarwer vs Waitzkin, 1986
Oct-24-14  dehanne: In the movie, though, I remember Waitzkin winning the game with an X-ray check after opposite colour pawns marching to their promotion square.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Next you'll be asking if Fred Waitzkin looks like Joe Mantegna.
Oct-24-14  dehanne: < Next you'll be asking if Fred Waitzkin looks like Joe Mantegna.> I don't know. Does he?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I met Fred Waitzkin long ago, but have no idea what Mantegna looks like, so who knows?

Don't care, either.

Oct-24-14  wordfunph: <perfidious> Joe Mantegna of my fave tv series Criminal Minds, now on its 10th season.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <wordfunph> Must have seen Mantegna after all, for I have watched Criminal Minds on occasion.
Dec-04-16  Kamagong42: happy birthday!
Jul-05-17  wordfunph: He wrote a book for the So fans--

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: No kibitzing in 2018. So here goes. I was at a forum where someone asked: Bobby Fischer and Josh Waitzkin at 20. Who would win? Everyone that replied picked Fischer. In fact one ventured to say that if they played 10 games Fischer would win all 10. Waitzkin might at best been a weak IM. Fischer at 20 was a chess monster.
Aug-04-18  nok: <Bobby Fischer and Josh Waitzkin at 20. Who would win?> In a fight? Gonna go Josh.
Aug-04-18  JimNorCal: Agree, Bobby would mop the floor with 'im.
Aug-07-18  pazzed paun: A michael thaler josh waitzkin matchup would make more sense
Nov-15-20  cameosis: robson fischer was a decent player, but the personality cult only flourished because he fled once young and dangerous opposition arrived on the scene, hence all these hypothetical matchups. he would easily be destroyed by 99% of the current top players and maybe some of the second tier as well.
Nov-15-20  Nosnibor: I recall watching him at the Young Masters Tournament at Oakham in 1992 when he was coming up to his 16th birthday. He finished on 3.5/9 and to think that Fischer at the same age had already qualified to play in the Interzonal. There is no comparison, Fischer was way ahead of him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Netflix is offering a movie called "Innocent Moves," probably to capitalize on the popularity of "The Queen's Gambit."

It's "Searching for Bobby Fischer" with a new titiel.

Premium Chessgames Member

<Jim> Yes it certainly is. A little crass to be sure, but I wonder if it was ever going to work?

People who already know "Searching With Bobby Fischer" may be disappointed to see a repeat when they sit down to watch "Innocent Moves."

Using the original title- it has <BOBBY FISCHER> in the name so why on earth wouldn't you go with that to get new viewers?

Bobby is the only chess player in history who was ever famous among people who know nothing about chess.

Premium Chessgames Member

<Jim> In case you haven't read these already, <Fred Waitzkin's> book about his son, and his book about the Kasparov-Karpov match in New York/Seville, are both terrific.

Wonderful reads the pair of them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Read them years ago.
Premium Chessgames Member

I know brah. How, you might ask?

Excellent question!

Because I also recommended them to you years ago, just days before you read them.

According to a recent science article I saw on "reddit." You know I tried to join reddit and they fired me after one post.

I guess that's not much of a surprise eh.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Well, my memory must be failing me.

"Searching for Bobby Fischer" was excellent. I'm irritated by the comments noting Josh Waitzkin did not turn out to be a world championship contender. That was never the idea, his father never implied that. It was just about the life of a highly talented child chessplayer.

Jul-16-21  RookFile: It's just the story of a talented child chessplayer whose father used the name of Bobby Fischer to cash in.
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