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Jeff Sarwer
J Sarwer 
Photograph copyright © 2007, courtesy of Jeff Sarwer.  
Number of games in database: 21
Years covered: 1985 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 2266 (2265 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2344
Overall record: +7 -11 =3 (40.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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D90 Grunfeld (2 games)
B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening (2 games)
B10 Caro-Kann (2 games)
E22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation (2 games)

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(born May-14-1978, 41 years old) Canada (federation/nationality Finland)

[what is this?]

Jeff Sarwer won the 1986 U-10 World Youth Chess Championship & that same year, his sister Julia won the U-10 World Women Youth Chess Championship.

At the age of 7 Jeff's enthusiasm for the game caught the attention of Grandmaster Edmar J Mednis and he invited him to analyze the 1986 World Championship Match between Kasparov-Karpov on PBS. Jeff and his sister Julia (who was also a world champion for girls under 10) continued to do this for the rematch in 1987 as well. After this Jeff and Julia appeared on various talk shows and were the subject of a documentary.(1)

In 1993 the film Searching for Bobby Fischer was released and Jeff Sarwer's character was portrayed as "Jonathan Poe". In the film's final game, the antagonistic Jonathan Poe declined the offer of a draw and eventually lost. In the real version of J Sarwer vs Waitzkin, 1986, Sarwer declined the draw offer by Josh Waitzkin, but the game was a draw a few moves later anyhow (they played to the bare kings).(2)

He is a member of User: jeff sarwer.

(1) Wikipedia article: Jeff Sarwer (2) Wikipedia article: Jeff Sarwer#Searching For Bobby Fischer (3) (4)

 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Waitzkin vs J Sarwer 0-1431985US Primary ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
2. J Sarwer vs S Sloan 0-1261985Manhattan Insanity OpenE92 King's Indian
3. J Sarwer vs Waitzkin ½-½631986US Primary ChampionshipE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
4. F La Rota vs J Sarwer 1-071988Saint John IIB10 Caro-Kann
5. Igor Ivanov vs J Sarwer 1-0451988Saint John op-2B10 Caro-Kann
6. H Bieluszewski vs J Sarwer 0-1432007Malbork Castle, Poland semi-rapidA10 English
7. A Bieluszewski vs J Sarwer 0-1392007Malbork Castle, Poland semi-rapidA50 Queen's Pawn Game
8. J Sarwer vs P Bobras 0-1222007Malbork Castle, Poland semi-rapidD87 Grunfeld, Exchange
9. J Sarwer vs K Jurkiewicz 1-0492007Malbork Castle, Poland semi-rapidE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
10. J Sarwer vs R Jedynak ½-½602007Malbork Castle, Poland semi-rapidE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
11. J Sarwer vs A Jakubiec  0-1392015Millionaire ChessA81 Dutch
12. J Sarwer vs M Tazbir  0-1252015Millionaire ChessA53 Old Indian
13. J Sarwer vs Isak Storme  0-1632015Rilton CupD90 Grunfeld
14. N Kharmunova vs J Sarwer  1-0432015Rilton CupB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
15. J Sarwer vs J Ask  1-0522015Rilton CupE73 King's Indian
16. Trygve Dahl vs J Sarwer  0-1372015Rilton CupC46 Three Knights
17. J Sarwer vs R Akesson  ½-½632016Rilton CupD90 Grunfeld
18. M Socko vs J Sarwer  1-0322016Rilton CupB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
19. J Sarwer vs S Kosmo  1-0382016Rilton CupA65 Benoni, 6.e4
20. T Engqvist vs J Sarwer  1-0322016Rilton CupB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
21. J Sarwer vs L Johansson  0-1302016Rilton CupE15 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Sarwer wins | Sarwer loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-01-08  MichAdams: <It is, however, but an example of Vanity Fair's ethical challenges. Since 1992, media outlets have reported on the magazine's penchant for libel, which has led to numerous lawsuits. The suits came from a wide range of people including: a former chess prodigy, Julia Sarwer....>

Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: Vanity Fair also claimed that JFK Jr.'s father was not JFK Sr. Come to think of it, JFK Jr. didn't look like a Kennedy.
Jan-29-09  dbquintillion: Just discovered this page and knew nothing about this guy before. What happened to the book by his sister? Both his and her websites are now completely dead links. Very disappointing and slightly mysterious. And count me as another who would find a Fischer-Spassky style rematch between Waitzkin and Sarwer a total thrill. There's got to be someone who would put up some sponsorship money to make that happen. Even just a 6 or 8 game classical match. That would be great! Any way, here's hoping Jeff Sarwer resurfaces and we get more info about his sister's book, which I'd definitely read.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: <dbquintillion>, as of this writing the web site is active. In the "gallery" link he has included some old media clips of him. The most interesting is the one from the (presumably) Canadian program "Monitor."

You can't watch it without wondering how the years that followed went for Jeff and his family. I would love to read an autobio by the man. I wonder if the market for it would be considered too "specialty" and would have a hard time attracting a publisher...? I'd certainly buy it. The wikipedia info on him is scant and only adds fuel to one's curiosity.

Jun-16-09  CapAnson: I guess he's disappeared again...
Jun-16-09  MaxxLange: <a Fischer-Spassky style rematch between Waitzkin and Sarwer>

What a grotesque idea.

Such a match seems to me very, very unlikely. These players seem to be interested in living their real lives, not in reliving their scholastic chess years.

Jun-24-09  kooley782: Hello, Jeff! It's Ethan, if you remember me! I really enjoy watching you play. Especially in your games against Waitzkin. True masterpieces. :) Great performance in the Malbork Castle tourney as well! Amazing play for not having played in so long! Hope to see some more of your games posted, and I'll see you around the site!


Jul-30-09  julia nee sarwer: Hi everyone! I agree that my brother Jeff is an amazing chess player, and also an amazing person. We went through a lot growing up. I have in fact written a 38-chapter memoir about our childhood which will answer all the questions about "Whatever happened to them?". At the same time I have a young family now too, so I can only devote a few hours a week this fall to working with an editor on finishing the book and getting it ready for publishing. When it will actually hit bookshelves is anyone's guess, but hopefully sooner than later. It seems that there will be quite a lot of interest in our story, not only from the chess-playing world but from the general population as well. I'll keep you posted! Thank you for your interest and support.
Jul-31-09  DWINS: Thanks for the update, Julia. I'm eagerly awaiting the publishing of your book, but I certainly understand that your first priority must be your family. Good luck with everything.
Jan-13-10  Riverbeast: Jeff -

Congratulations on your recent poker successes!

If you are ever in a poker tournament or sitting at a table with Ylon Schwartz (He's an FM and finished fourth at the 2008 WSOP Main Event) say hello to him...He's very approachable and a good friend of mine (you know my real name and so does he)

If you beat him at poker or chess, please let us know so I can bust on him for it...And so I can tell him that I sent you to him ;-)

<Julia Sarwer> It's good to see you've resurfaced also...You and I never spoke but I was playing at the Manhattan CC when you and Jeff were, and I remember both of you well...I was about fifteen years old at that time.

And count me as another who will be very interested in reading your book when it comes out!

Apr-15-10  bambino3: jeff whats your handle on ICC?
Nov-13-10  timothee3331: "Check ?! You just said check ?? Do you want to play some chess !? -You gotta be kidding me ?!
-No, I'm not !"

Lol :) Nice to see you here !

Feb-14-11  Caissanist: Jeff has been playing poker the past couple of years; as with so many chess masters, he seems to have made a big splash at the start before tailing off somewhat. Here is a fairly recent interview:
Feb-14-11  Caissanist: Haven't seen anything about Julia's planned book lately, the cited article says that Jeff is "writing the script for a biographical film". Of course, it also says that the film is "likely to be filmed in 2010", so who knows.
Mar-08-12  Llawdogg: Any updates from Jeff or Julia?
Sep-25-12  Mudphudder: What's the highest rating Sarwer achieved before he dropped out of chess?

He seemed to be Josh Waitzkin's rival in childhood and seems (at least from what I've seen) to have beaten Josh much more. Yet, Josh made it to IM and I don't think Jeff made it anywhere near that title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I seem to recall Sarwer being rated 1900 something by the CFC (Chess Federation of Canada) when he was 9 years old, but I'm not sure how close in time that was to his "retirement." I just know that I didn't hear much about him after that.
Oct-28-12  happyjuggler0: A couple of years old, but Jennifer Shahade interviews Jeff Sarwer at Chess Life Online here:

Eye opening to say the least, especially if you got your info on him from "Searching For Bobby Fischer".

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Surely there's some published games of Julia's to create a player page for her?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: From the Shahade interview:

<The only reason I even played that tournament was because they wanted to ban me playing because I was home-schooled.>

I remember that, vaguely. I know I read a news story that suggested they were homeschooled so as to study chess all day instead of normal academics. Back then, home schooling did have a pretty negative vibe.

Feb-27-15  dehanne: Ioan Gruffudd lookalike.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dehanne> I'll sign that, having met Jeff on occasion at Montreal through a mutual acquaintance in the mid-late 1990s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Caissanist> It was surprising really to see that Jeff has played poker; for I had not run into him anywhere in my travels in the States. His only American cashes are at the WSOP, where I intend to play next year, though likely not this spring.

Jeff's most recent score, from last week, at Tallinn:

May-03-15  Caissanist: Recent interview with Jeff, mostly about poker. He now lives in Finland and has two small children: .
Jun-14-15  Prugno: He appears to be doing very well in his return to "classical" chess after a long layoff, leading a Category 7 Round Robin event ahead of several GMs and IMs after 7 rounds of 9:

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