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Norman Tweed Whitaker
N Whitaker 
Number of games in database: 189
Years covered: 1907 to 1973

Overall record: +89 -69 =27 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 4 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (17) 
    C68 C79 C70 C77 C87
 French Defense (12) 
    C14 C15 C11 C01 C05
 Sicilian (12) 
    B90 B32 B56 B40 B70
 Ruy Lopez Exchange (8) 
 Caro-Kann (7) 
    B18 B10 B13 B15 B16
 Vienna Opening (6) 
    C29 C28 C26
With the Black pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (20) 
    D63 D60 D51 D52 D53
 Ruy Lopez (13) 
    C62 C66 C80 C77 C68
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Queen's Pawn Game (6) 
    D02 D00 E10 A40 D05
 King's Indian (5) 
    E67 E81 E68
 Albin Countergambit (5) 
    D08 D09
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E M Edwards vs N Whitaker, 1921 0-1
   N Whitaker vs I Heitner, 1948 1-0
   Lasker vs N Whitaker, 1907 0-1
   N Whitaker vs Showalter, 1915 1-0
   Marshall vs N Whitaker, 1909 1/2-1/2
   Factor vs N Whitaker, 1921 0-1
   N Whitaker vs W G Hine, 1916 1-0
   N Whitaker vs O Chajes, 1913 1-0
   N Whitaker vs W Humphreys, 1909 1-0
   Kashdan vs N Whitaker, 1951 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   American National (1913)
   55th US Open (1954)
   52nd US Open (1951)
   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 1924, Detroit = 25th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1929, St. Louis = 30th 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. He was scheduled to play a match for the U.S. Chess Championship with Frank James Marshall, but failed to appear. 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 D Factor).

Whitaker gained notoriety during the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping. He was involved in a scheme to swindle $104,000 from a wealthy heiress by claiming to be in contact with the kidnappers. Whitaker and his partner were arrested and convicted.

After his parole, 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.

Wikipedia article: Norman T. Whitaker

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 189  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Lasker vs N Whitaker 0-1421907Simul, 20bB01 Scandinavian
2. J Finn vs N Whitaker  0-1231908Rice Gambit thematic simul, 15bC39 King's Gambit Accepted
3. N Whitaker vs W Humphreys  1-02919099th Anglo-American universities cable mC58 Two Knights
4. Capablanca vs N Whitaker 0-1531909Simul, 22bC78 Ruy Lopez
5. G Simonson vs N Whitaker  0-1411909Manhattan CC - Franklin CC mC53 Giuoco Piano
6. Marshall vs N Whitaker ½-½421909Casual gameC38 King's Gambit Accepted
7. S Mlotkowski vs N Whitaker  1-0381910Pennsylvania State chC01 French, Exchange
8. N Whitaker vs R Lob  ½-½48191010th Anglo-American universities cable mC42 Petrov Defense
9. N Whitaker vs H Kline  ½-½451913American NationalC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. N Whitaker vs Capablanca 0-1661913American NationalA46 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Kupchik vs N Whitaker 1-0351913American NationalC22 Center Game
12. N Whitaker vs L B Zapoleon  1-0301913American NationalC14 French, Classical
13. H Liebenstein vs N Whitaker 0-1511913American NationalC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
14. N Whitaker vs J Stapfer  0-1291913American NationalC15 French, Winawer
15. C Jaffe vs N Whitaker  1-0271913American NationalD02 Queen's Pawn Game
16. N Whitaker vs O Chajes  1-0151913American NationalC29 Vienna Gambit
17. Marshall vs N Whitaker  1-0691913American NationalD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
18. N Whitaker vs Janowski  0-1491913American NationalB32 Sicilian
19. J S Morrison vs N Whitaker  0-1441913American NationalD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. N Whitaker vs E Tennenwurzel  1-0271913American NationalB07 Pirc
21. Capablanca vs N Whitaker 1-0591915Simul, 16bA10 English
22. J W Fry vs N Whitaker  0-1301915Western ChampionshipC27 Vienna Game
23. E P Elliott vs N Whitaker  0-1351915Western ChampionshipC47 Four Knights
24. N Whitaker vs D D Barkuloo  1-0521915Western ChampionshipC29 Vienna Gambit
25. W J Platten vs N Whitaker  0-1281915Western ChampionshipD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 189  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>
Dec-27-09  jerseybob: Yes, back on Whitaker: Not to paint with too broad a brush, but, what is it about getting a legal education that seemingly emboldens some people to think they can break the law, rather than UPHOLD it, as officers of the court should do?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: < jerseybob: Yes, back on Whitaker: Not to paint with too broad a brush, but, what is it about getting a legal education that seemingly emboldens some people to think they can break the law, rather than UPHOLD it, as officers of the court should do? >

Those with legal education are human beings like anyone else. To be sure, there are examples of them breaking the law, but do you have any stats showing that the percentage of them breaking the law is higher than the general population? On a related note, the number of aldermen in my hometown of Chicago being convicted must set some sort of record.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: burn, baby, Byrne.
Dec-28-09  jerseybob: Ron: You come from Chicago (and this last 11 months I feel like I do too), so you don't need me to tell you about corruption, although as a New Jerseyan I could if I had to.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Jersey has corrupt Rabbis! I saw it on the evening news.
Dec-28-09  jerseybob: Yep, we got 'em (and corrupt ministers and priests too, to be totally fair).
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ...there it was on the evening news, the orthodox from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, being led away in handcuffs. Thats why I like this country--equal opportunity arresting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Norman Whitaker once beat Lasker in a simul and almost beat Capablanca.
Apr-09-10  miguelito: his perfomance rating in the first US rated tournament ( american chess congress 1921 ) was 2398 + 227 = 2625 . i have a question , why the first US tournament was rated at 2398 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: This newsletter has an interesting article on the "Whitaker Trap" in the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation:

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: lifted from Chess Life & Review August 1975 by James E. Gates:

On IM Norman Whitaker: One of the stories about him concerned a U.S. Correspondence Championship before World War II. A friend of his, who was competing in the tournament suddenly died. His widow needed money, and this gave Norman the idea of finishing his friend's games without letting anyone know. Whitaker wound up winning the tournament --- the first, won by a dead man!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <wordfunph> An interesting pendant to the late Alex Kevitz conducting correspondence games under the pseudonym Palmer Phar so as not to give away anything.
Apr-05-11  Caissanist: <HeMateMe: That book is expensive. $45,hard to believe, just an obscure hustler. No used copies around.>

Wow, less than two years later, it's selling for $115 used. Forget stocks, I'm going to invest in obscure chess books.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ya never know what to save, till its too late.......
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Another extraordinary incident from the life of Norman Tweed Whitaker, from a report on the Western Championship in the November 1921 "American Chess Bulletin". The narrator is tournament referee Hermann Helms:

<"The time limit, which was that in vogue at most of the leading clubs, namely 20 moves an hour straight, was found, every now and then, to be a bit too fast for some of the competitors and, on a number of occasions, the referee was busy watching the final seconds of the hour being ticked off by the clock. There was a number of very narrow escapes and notably that of Hahlbohm in his game with Whitaker in the second round. This was one of the most interesting incidents of the tournament. Very much like a runner making for the plate in a baseball game, Hahlbohm was declared "safe" at the end of the first hour. Whitaker, under the impression that the hour had been exceeded, demurred, but his claim was diallowed.

"Undismayed by the adverse decision, however, he induced his opponent the following day to consent to a replay of the game from the 21st move--somewhat unusual, to say the least, but agreed to by the officials only after the unanimous consent of all the players had been obtained in the interests of harmony. The ending was played a second time at the first opportunity with the result that Hahlbohm, extricating himself cleverly from what appeared to be dangerous complications, won even more quickly.

After this, Whitaker had no reason to dispute that he had been doubly and fairly beaten, and this he acknowledged manfully. In view of the fact that he thus scored losses in the first two rounds, his feat of finishing in fourth place must be regarded as one of the best performances of the congress.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Norman spent time with Fischer during the famous Log Cabin tour thru the South and eventually thru to Cuba. Brady talks about Norman being the only one from the club to hold an even score with Bobby! Does Hilbert give any account from Norman during his time playing Bobby and spending time with him traveling? thanks in advance!!
Sep-08-14  ljfyffe: F.P. Pinsonneault(Trois Rivieres)-Norman Whitaker(Philadelphia) 1910 correspondence 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nf6 3Nxe5 d6 4Nf3 Nxe4 5d4 d5 6Bd3 Be7 70-0 Nc6 8Re1 Bg4 9c3 f5 10Bf4 0-0 11Be2 Bd6 12Bxd6 Qxd6 13Nbd2 Rf6 14Nh4 Raf8 15Nxe4 dxe4 16f3 exf3 17Nxf3 Rh6 18g3 f4 19Ne5 Nxe5 20dxe5 Qb6+ 21Qd4 Qxb2 22Rab1 Qc2 23Rbc1 Qg6 24Bxg4 Qxg4 25Qd5+ Kh8 26Rf1 Qe2 27Rf2 Qe3 28Qd2 Qxe5 29Rxf4 Rhf6 30Re1 Qc5+ 31Kg2 g5 32Rxf6 Rxf6 33Qd8+ Rf8 34Qd4+ Qxd4 35cxd4 Kg7 36g4 Rf4 37Re7+ Rf7 38Re4 Kf6 39Kf3 Rd7 40Ke3 c6 0-1. Canadian Chess Correspondence Bureau.
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)
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