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Jeff Sarwer vs Joshua Waitzkin
"Searching for Bobby Fischer" (game of the day Oct-01-2007)
US Primary Championship (1986), ?
King's Indian Defense: Four Pawns Attack (E76)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-14-08  Riverbeast: <meliihhh> He's just telling the truth as it happened. Maybe you shouldn't cry so much.

Sarwer has said positive things about Josh also.

And I doubt Jeff cried too much about drawing this game, since he went on to win the world under-10 championship.

Don't forget, it was Jeff Sarwer and his family who was ostracized by all the yuppie families at Dalton, and denigrated in the book and the movie -not the other way around.

Aug-08-08  Blunderman: Does it really matter? If I remember correctly Josh beat Jeff in their rematch?

Why do people hate on Josh so much? He is a phenomenal player as is Jeff.

Aug-17-08  SetNoEscapeOn: Very important moment in the amazing story of Josh Waitzkin (and Mr. Sarwer).

Btw, am currently reading The Art of Learning, and Josh confirms that he did cry in the bathroom. There's no problem with relating the fact that a little kid cried.

Jan-16-09  HannibalSchlecter: Hi Jeff, In Josh's book he said that you had shaved your head and while playing chess you chanted under your breath "kill kill kill!" Were you really that intense?
Jan-16-09  Granny O Doul: <Hannibal> Actually, he was chanting the Sanskrit word "khil" (meaning "glean") as a mantra. He was determined to glean the rewards of his efforts at the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: In the book, it sounds like Josh's father did not think Josh knew this variant.

I am surprised Jeff's notation implies he also did not know the variant well. I had figured he had prepared it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: Well, I read Jeff's comments, and he makes it sound like he knew little opening theory. I would guess he underplays his knowledge there a bit, but I can also believe his memory was probably amazing. I could see where he simply played the opening moves from memory, without knowing all the lines.

I can see where someone might want to avoid this opening for black, if they did not know how to deal with white's 4 pawn attack :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: Trying to correlate the game to the book, looks like 39. b5, might be the move where Bruce says 'That was a mistake.'

I base that on it being a pawn push to the 5th rank, and my own chess program showing an increase in black's score after the move. Before 39. b5, Sigma showed white up more than a pawn.

In the book, Bruce suggests a bishop move to "increase pressure." Sigma chess suggests 39. Kd4

Mar-30-09  rcs784: Am I missing something, or does black have an alternative draw with 58...Nxb5 59. cxb5 (59. Kxg3 Kxc6 60. cxb5+ Kxb5 draw, or 59. Bxb5 g2 and black is winning) g2 60. Bxg2 Kxb5 draw? It seems to me this is another way to draw the position after 58. Bc6. Anyone else noticed this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: <pacelli: I always thought Waitzkin was a pooff.> Thank you for that outstanding and thought-provoking comment. No doubt you'd like a chance to put the gloves on and teach him a lesson... he's a world class martial artist, but I'm sure he'd be no match for you.
Jul-01-09  WhiteRook48: I was thinking 59 Ke3 g2 60 Bxg2 Kxc4! =
Jul-04-09  WhiteRook48: I suggest 7 Bd3
Aug-17-09  Axmann: Is it just me... or was 63. Ke3 a HUGE HUGE HUGE blunder? Why didn't he just move his pawn to c3, promote it to a queen, and eventually checkmate Waitzkin?
Aug-17-09  Jim Bartle: It's just you.

This happens to me sometimes, getting the board backwards...the pawn can only go to c5.

Aug-18-09  Axmann: Wow, yep. Got the board backwards.

I was freaking out there for a second lol.

Jan-07-10  ChessDaZaster: Yep, and in an impromptu "match" at the Manhattan Chess Club in November 1985, Waitzkin beat Sarwer in three straight games. After which, Jeff reportedly cried for an hour and a half. Little boys hate to lose - just like grown men. So where's the surprise? Sarwer and Waitzkin were/are both exceptional players. Get over it already.
Jan-22-10  knight62: Were they games when Sarwer gave Waitzkin 5 to 2 time odds? Hmmm maybe the 3 losses in a row never happened, (If you get this information fom Fred Waitzkin's unreliable stories that is). I prefer to believe only the 2 tournament games they played, 1 win for Jeff and one draw, it is quite clear that there is absolutely no proof of anything else. Get over talking about other games that may or may not have ever "happened".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < King's Indian Defense: Four Pawns Attack> So there's a four pawns attack in the Alekhine's Defense and King's Indian Defense! Wow. What other <four pawns attacks> are there?
Feb-13-11  LoveThatJoker: Although I can't say with total conclusiveness, but unless Waitzkin submits some wins over Sarwer on his own collection, or unless I'm one day shown a clip of how Waitzkin beat Sarwer 3 games in a row, it seems safe to say that Waitzkin was Sarwer's B*.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: They just play right down to bare kings.
Sep-25-12  vinidivici: Just saw the movie days ago. Its a good film with the brilliant final scene between Watzkin and fake Sarwer.

But this the real game also very good. Too bad end up with a draw.

Jan-04-14  Incerto: Hello I'm pretty new to chess, can someone explain to me why 59.Kf3 leading to a immediate fork, instead of 59.Kg4??? Thx
Jan-05-14  Shams: <Incerto> The draw is unavoidable at this point; after 59.Kg4 Nd4:

i) 60.Kxg3 Nxc6 61.bxc6 Kxc6 and c4 falls;
ii) 60.Bd7/e8?? g2 0-1; or
iii) 60.Bb7 (or anywhere on long diagonal) Nxb5 61.cxb5 Kxb5=

Jan-25-14  Incerto: I see Shams, thx for the info
Jan-19-19  SymphonyOfSapphires: I really enjoyed this game. I think Jeff was only 7 or at most 8 years old and Josh was 9. It's great for someone my level to learn from. Hopefully Jeff isn't suggesting that Josh received help when he went to the bathroom crying (but rather that he just composed himself when in trouble). It's remarkable the success Jeff had in 2007 after being out of chess so many years. Bruce Pandolfini said he never coached a more talented player than Jeff. I wish he had stuck with chess. Poker gained so much and chess lost so much.
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