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Norman Tweed Whitaker
N Whitaker 

Number of games in database: 221
Years covered: 1907 to 1974
Overall record: +110 -77 =29 (57.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 5 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (19) 
    C68 C79 C70 C84 C77
 Sicilian (17) 
    B32 B90 B56 B70 B40
 French Defense (14) 
    C14 C11 C01 C15 C00
 Ruy Lopez Exchange (9) 
 Two Knights (7) 
    C58 C57
 Caro-Kann (7) 
    B10 B18 B13 B16 B15
With the Black pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (20) 
    D63 D60 D51 D52 D50
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C62 C88 C66 C80 C77
 Queen's Pawn Game (8) 
    D02 D05 D00 D04 E10
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Vienna Opening (6) 
    C29 C27 C26
 King's Pawn Game (6) 
    C40 C44
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E M Edwards vs N Whitaker, 1921 0-1
   Lasker vs N Whitaker, 1907 0-1
   N Whitaker vs I Heitner, 1948 1-0
   Marshall vs N Whitaker, 1909 1/2-1/2
   N Whitaker vs Showalter, 1915 1-0
   N Whitaker vs O Chajes, 1913 1-0
   N Whitaker vs H H Ryan, 1916 1-0
   N Whitaker vs R Lob, 1908 1-0
   N Whitaker vs W G Hine, 1916 1-0
   S Factor vs N Whitaker, 1921 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   American National (1913)
   54th US Open (1953)
   55th US Open (1954)
   52nd US Open (1951)
   United States Championship (1948)
   49th US Open (1948)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   US Open 1916, Chicago = 17th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1915, Excelsior = 16th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1927 Kalamazoo = 28th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1929, St. Louis = 30th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1924, Detroit = 25th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1922, Louisville = 23rd Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1923, San Francisco = 24th Western Champ by Phony Benoni

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(born Apr-09-1890, died May-20-1975, 85 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Norman Tweed Whitaker was born in Philadelphia. He was taught to play chess by his father at age 14, and rapidly became one of America's brightest new talents. In late 1921, he was scheduled to play a match for the U.S. Chess Championship with Frank Marshall, but failed to appear, probably because he was under arrest at the time. He won the 1st National Chess Federation Congress in 1927 at Kalamazoo, Michigan, ahead of teenage prodigy Samuel Reshevsky, and tied for first in the Western Championships at San Francisco, 1923 (with Stasch Mlotkowski) and Chicago, 1930 (with Samuel Factor).

Whitaker and several relatives participated in an elaborate auto theft/insurance fraud scheme in the early 1920s. He was disbarred from the practice of law in 1924. Beginning in 1925, he served two years in Leavenworth Penitentiary for his crimes. He gained widespread notoriety in 1932, when he was involved in a scheme to swindle $104,000 from a wealthy heiress by claiming to be in contact with the kidnappers of aviator Charles Lindbergh's baby. Whitaker and his partner were arrested and convicted.

After being paroled, Whitaker again became a full-time chess player. For several years he was one of the most active players in America and Europe. He played in many US Opens with good results. FIDE awarded him the title of International Master in 1965.

Aptly, Whitaker lived some of his later years in the town of Shady Side, Maryland. He died in Phenix City, Alabama on May 20, 1975.

Wikipedia article: Norman T. Whitaker

Last updated: 2023-07-12 06:17:07

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 221  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C F Bauder vs N Whitaker  0-1191907Columbia CC chC45 Scotch Game
2. Lasker vs N Whitaker 0-1421907Simul, 20bB01 Scandinavian
3. J Finn vs N Whitaker  0-1231908Rice Gambit thematic simul, 15bC39 King's Gambit Accepted
4. S Bampton vs N Whitaker 1-0241908Pennsylvania State chC46 Three Knights
5. N Whitaker vs R Lob 1-0401908Oxford Univ - UPenn mD05 Queen's Pawn Game
6. N Whitaker vs N J Roughton  1-0351908Oxford Univ - UPenn mC58 Two Knights
7. A P Waterfield vs N Whitaker 0-1171908Oxford Univ - UPenn mC22 Center Game
8. N Whitaker vs A P Waterfield  1-0231908Oxford Univ - UPenn mC10 French
9. R Lob vs N Whitaker  0-1361908Oxford Univ - UPenn mC29 Vienna Gambit
10. N Whitaker vs F K Perkins  1-0231908Triangular College Chess League tB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
11. N Whitaker vs L Tolins  0-1801908Triangular College Chess League tB32 Sicilian
12. W A Ruth vs N Whitaker  0-1281909Mercantile Library CC chC14 French, Classical
13. N Whitaker vs W Humphreys  1-02919099th Anglo-American universities cable mC58 Two Knights
14. Capablanca vs N Whitaker 0-1531909Simul, 22bC78 Ruy Lopez
15. G Simonson vs N Whitaker  0-1411909Manhattan CC - Franklin CC mC53 Giuoco Piano
16. Marshall vs N Whitaker ½-½421909Casual gameC38 King's Gambit Accepted
17. N Whitaker vs L Tolins  1-0311909Triangular College Chess League tC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
18. W J Emmons vs N Whitaker  0-1181909Triangular College Chess League tC42 Petrov Defense
19. N Whitaker vs E Simonson  1-0201909Triangular College Chess League tC30 King's Gambit Declined
20. N Whitaker vs F H Guild  1-0271909Triangular College Chess League tC14 French, Classical
21. W E Rudolph vs N Whitaker  0-1431909NYU - UPenn mC44 King's Pawn Game
22. N Whitaker vs E W Walch 1-0261910Univ of Amsterdam - UPenn mB44 Sicilian
23. S Mlotkowski vs N Whitaker  1-0381910Pennsylvania State chC01 French, Exchange
24. S Mlotkowski vs N Whitaker  1-0271910Franklin CC chC51 Evans Gambit
25. N Whitaker vs R Lob  ½-½48191010th Anglo-American universities cable mC42 Petrov Defense
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 221  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Whitaker wins | Whitaker loses  

a real life chess murder mystery

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-05-14  ljfyffe: <"In January 1974 Whitaker traveled to Augusta, Georgia, and managed to find a way to attend the opening banquet of thr Korchnoi - Mecking Quarter Final Candidates match for the right to play then-world championship Bobby Fischer. Whitaker had known Fischer in the 1950's, even traveling with Fischer to Cuba, where at Havana and other stops Whitaker played board one to Fischer's board two for the Log Cabin chess club team. Bill Parrish, a friend who attended the Korchnoi-Mecking match with Whitaker, was surprised that Whitaker had finagled front row seats for the contest."> JohnHilbert, Writings In Chess History, 2012.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Try to track down an episode of Dragnet called The Big Grifter.

I am certain that the lead character, the con man Wallace, is based on Whitaker.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <offramp>, Dragnet was originally a radio show. I might have found the episode as part of a quartet at
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Granted mug shots aren't meant to be flattering, and accuse me of confirmation bias, but one look at this shifty and dissolute visage and I'd immediately be on my guard:
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <An Englishman: Good Evening: <offramp>, Dragnet was originally a radio show. I might have found the episode as part of a quartet at

I've heard the episode a few times and grown in my certainty that the villain in that episode is Whitaker. But, as a chess player I've probably lost my objectivity!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <He was scheduled to play a match for the U.S. Chess Championship with Frank James Marshall, but failed to appear.>

When and why?

May-25-15  wrap99: I recall from the tremendous bio Shady Side that NTW once played a game vs a young Jon Frankel in which he was busted but refused to move and just left the board for the clock to run down. Am I remembering rightly (I gave away a first edition of Shady Side) and can we get the game here?
Jun-21-17  zanzibar: John Henry Smythe (kibitz #12)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < Am I remembering rightly (I gave away a first edition of Shady Side) and can we get the game here?>

Not exactly (he left the board to eat lunch (and, no doubt, aggravate his opponent) but did come back though he ultimately lost on time) and yes: N Whitaker vs J Frankle, 1974

Sep-15-20  Nosnibor: Was this man responsible for the death of Hartleb?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Why do you ask?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have never seen evidence that Whitaker was charged with negligence by Arkansas authorities in the accident.

Arkansas state roads and even Interstates are not wonderful now--I have had the dubious pleasure of driving them--and my belief is that they were even worse in 1961, well before my first experience in that state.

Sep-15-20  Nosnibor: Well Whitaker was the driver of the car that carried Glenn Hartleb. Apparently he lost control of the vehicle whilst driving close to a bridge. He was not charged with negligent driving and did not suffer any serious injuries. He must have been well known to the police following events from 30 years previously.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: So it was a rhetorical question?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Well Whitaker was the driver of the car that carried Glenn Hartleb [...] and did not suffer any serious injuries.>

Having finally tracked down my copy of <Shady Side> - it was under the bed - neither statement is correct. There was a third occupant of the car, of whom more later..

Sep-16-20  Nosnibor: You appear to be the super sleuth in cases like this .So I await with baited breath from your findings!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Most interesting--I have not read <Shady Side> and had never heard of a third person in the vehicle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm just glad that none of this guy's contacts with Bobby seem to involve any Boy Scout Troop Leader sex, if you know what I mean...
Sep-17-20  Everett: Re: molestation of little boys, the whole boy scout pedo thing evaporated quicker than lizard pee in the desert, yet #metoo persists. Why?
Jun-06-23  Nosnibor: Whitaker was the man in the radio serial " Journey into space." His main comment was that "Orders must be obeyed". He was under control by the only Martian being through some sort of hypnosis. This was broadcasted in the mid 1950s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: "The Big Grifter" episode of "Dragnet" is available at I have no idea whether the con man described in the episode is based on Whitaker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Whitaker lived in Shady Side, Maryland. That has to be the most appropriate place of residence ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> According to the Wikipedia article, Whitaker in 1950 was convicted of sexual molestation of a minor. No indication of the minor's gender.

As for investments in chess-related literature, I wish I'd bought many copies of Fischer's pamphlet <I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse>. I bought one for a dollar when it came out. Now people are selling them for around $300 each.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse>.

Didn't Harry Reams and Marilyn Chambers star in the original?

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: hmmm...<Jeffrey Epstein--The Movie> could be made. Kevin Costner in the lead, Pee Wee Herman as Prince Andrew. Jim Carey plays Bill Clinton. Madonna in a small role as one of the moms who sells their pre pubescent daughters.
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