Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Patrick Wolff
Number of games in database: 296
Years covered: 1982 to 2020
Last FIDE rating: 2552 (2524 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2595

Overall record: +98 -78 =103 (53.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 17 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (61) 
    B89 B32 B62 B46 B33
 Ruy Lopez (25) 
    C84 C60 C70 C80 C65
 French Defense (15) 
    C05 C01 C09 C07 C03
 Sicilian Najdorf (12) 
    B90 B99 B94 B96 B93
 French Tarrasch (12) 
    C05 C09 C07 C03 C04
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (10) 
    C84 C85 C92 C90 C89
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (33) 
    B90 B63 B22 B52 B50
 Grunfeld (19) 
    D76 D82 D87 D86 D85
 English, 1 c4 e5 (15) 
    A20 A25 A21 A28 A29
 Modern Benoni (9) 
    A57 A58 A56
 Benko Gambit (8) 
    A57 A58
 English, 1 c4 c5 (8) 
    A37 A30 A33 A36
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kasparov vs Wolff, 1988 0-1
   Wolff vs T Wall, 1985 1-0
   Wolff vs I Sokolov, 1987 1-0
   Ivanchuk vs Wolff, 1993 1/2-1/2
   Wolff vs O Adu, 2001 1-0
   Wolff vs J Leon, 2013 1-0
   C Cuartas Bedoya vs Wolff, 1997 0-1
   Wolff vs Korchnoi, 1996 1-0
   Wolff vs Fedorowicz, 1991 1-0
   Wolff vs Fedorowicz, 1991 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1991)
   US Senior Championship (2020)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Hoogovens-B, proper round numbers by Stonehenge
   New York 1996 (Chess-in-the-Schools Festival) by Phony Benoni
   Pan-Pacific GM Tournament, San Francisco 1991 by wanabe2000
   US Championship 1991 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1991 by Phony Benoni

   🏆 US Senior Championship
   Yermolinsky vs Wolff (Oct-19-20) 1/2-1/2
   Wolff vs Goldin (Oct-19-20) 1/2-1/2
   I A Novikov vs Wolff (Oct-19-20) 1/2-1/2
   Wolff vs S Getz (Oct-18-20) 0-1
   Joel Benjamin vs Wolff (Oct-18-20) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Patrick Wolff
Search Google for Patrick Wolff
FIDE player card for Patrick Wolff

(born Feb-15-1968, 52 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Patrick Gideon Wolff learned chess from his father at the age of five. In 1984, at the age of 16, he won the U.S. Junior Championship. At the age of 19, he earned the GM title. He won the US Championship two times, in 1992 and 1995 One of Patrick's proudest moments was when he participated in a simultaneous exhibition in 1988 and, with the black pieces, forced world champion Garry Kasparov to resign in a mere 25 moves.

He has written many articles and books, made numerous contributions to chess video projects, and for many years maintained a website dedicated to chess learning at

After several years as a professional chess player, Wolff went to work in the finance industry. From 2005 to 2010 he employed by Peter Thiel as managing director of Thiel's Clarium Capital hedge fund, and from 2010 to 2015 ran his own fund, Grandmaster Capital 1.

Wikipedia article: Patrick Wolff

(1) 2015 article on Grandmaster Capital:

Last updated: 2017-02-06 04:37:07

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 296  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Wolff vs J A Curdo 0-1281982Franklin K Young MemorialC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
2. Wolff vs M Ginsburg 0-1401983New York OpenB06 Robatsch
3. D Griego vs Wolff  1-0241983US Junior ChampionshipA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
4. Joel Benjamin vs Wolff  1-0601983US Junior ChampionshipA80 Dutch
5. Wolff vs M Ardaman  0-1241983US Junior ChampionshipB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
6. Rachels vs Wolff  ½-½511983US Junior ChampionshipC42 Petrov Defense
7. Wolff vs V Genfan  1-0421983US Junior ChampionshipC05 French, Tarrasch
8. Dlugy vs Wolff 0-1651983US Junior ChampionshipA57 Benko Gambit
9. Wolff vs J Yedidia  0-1301983US Junior ChampionshipC05 French, Tarrasch
10. J Litvinchuk vs Wolff  1-0461983US Junior ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
11. Wolff vs D Glueck  0-1351983US Junior ChampionshipC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
12. A Dreev vs Wolff 1-0231983Wch U16C42 Petrov Defense
13. Wolff vs J A Rizzitano 0-1501984Rhode Island State ChampionshipB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
14. Wolff vs J A Rizzitano 1-0291984Massachusetts Open ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
15. Kasparov vs Wolff 1-0341984Clock simul, 10bC42 Petrov Defense
16. P K Wells vs Wolff 1-0481984Wch U20D85 Grunfeld
17. Anand vs Wolff 0-1221984Wch U20B09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
18. C Hertan vs Wolff  0-1411985Pugi memA46 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Wolff vs L Day  ½-½521985Toronto CANC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. D B Gurevich vs Wolff 0-1321985BermudaA57 Benko Gambit
21. Igor Ivanov vs Wolff  1-0381985New York OpenA57 Benko Gambit
22. Wolff vs T Wall 1-02119859th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
23. Wolff vs L Christiansen  0-1531985USA-chC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
24. Kudrin vs Wolff  1-0221985USA-chC42 Petrov Defense
25. Browne vs Wolff 1-0251985USA-chA57 Benko Gambit
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 296  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Wolff wins | Wolff loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I had the privilege of meeting & talking to Patrick @ a chess tournament in new orleans back in '92 when he was the reigning US chess champion. (He also won it in '95). Unfortunately he's not playing in tournaments now but he did come back briefly & play in the US chess league in '08. Happy birthday Patrick!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: User: PatrickWolff
Dec-30-12  happyjuggler0: Here is an extremely rare 1)d4 by Wolff. If memory serves it was from the US (closed) championship and had a TN in it...although I don't play the QGA myself so I can't be sure.

Also, if I recall correctly, in Inside Chess Seirawan commented that Rachels should have played *anything* but 1)...d5 in response because it was clear opening prep by a player who only play[s] 1)e4.

Dec-30-12  Jim Bartle: I remember Seirawan's comment, but I thought it was not to play the QG accepted.
Dec-30-12  happyjuggler0: <Jim Bartle> You might be correct; memory can be a murky thing.

Anyway, I am a bit surprised that the game is not (yet) available here at cg.

Dec-30-12  Jim Bartle: Well, my memory was it was against Dlugy, but they never played a qga, so...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: What <happyjuggler0> states is correct-that game was from the US Championship. The TN was an improvement over White's play from a Miles-Rachels game.

It was only the second time Wolff employed 1.d4 in his life, the first being when he had illegally set up the board, according to notes I once read from Inside Chess.

In the numerous tournaments Patrick and I played together, I never saw him open with anything but 1.e4, and his repertoire at any given point in those early days tended to be fairly narrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I really don't follow this. The only opening novelty possible in a Queen Pawn game is in a QGA? If a d4 player happened to open e4, would that mean you should play anything but e5?
Dec-30-12  Jim Bartle: Ocf: Rachels almost always played the qga against d4. So Seirawan was saying, if Wolff played d4 for the first time, Rachels should have switched to some other opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Thanks, that makes sense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Jim> As Fischer should have found something other than his beloved Two Knights vs the Caro-Kann when Keres tried that in the '59 Candidates (which had to be a complete shock).

The next year, however, Fischer was shrewd enough to vary against another player who was not known to specialise in the Caro in Fischer vs Ivkov, 1960.

Apr-14-13  Eopithecus: Did Wolff ever play Seirawan or Christiansen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Eopithecus> Our database, which is incomplete, has five games between Christiansen and Wolff:

We have none between Seirawan and Wolff, but this database indicates they played at least twice:

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Unfortunately (for Fischer's chess results at least), Buenos Aires 1960 was the tournament where he got laid. He got f***ed in more ways than one:

<Fischer struggled in the later Buenos Aires tournament, finishing with 8½/19 (won by Viktor Korchnoi and Samuel Reshevsky on 13/19). This was the only real failure of Fischer's competitive career. According to Larry Evans, Fischer's first sexual experience was with a girl to whom Evans introduced him during the tournament. Pal Benko says that Fischer did horribly in the tournament "because he got caught up in women and sex. Afterwards, Fischer said he'd never mix women and chess together, and kept the promise.">

Benko, OTOH, claimed that he got crushed in Fischer vs Benko, 1963 because he <didn't> get any action the previous night:

<Everyone thinks that this Rf6 game against me was something special, but I don't know what's so great about it. I was exhausted for this game. I was up all night necking in a car with a young lady...kissing and kissing. But it didn't go beyond that, so the combination of no sleep and frustration led to me losing badly to Bobby.>

-Pal Benko, My Life, Games and Compositions

Nov-09-15  zanzibar: His bio should probably be rewritten to decouple his post-chess financial activities.

By that, I mean to write about his activities in such a fashion as to allow the bio not to depend on his actual current non-chess activities.

He is in the process of shutting down the hedge fund we don't even mention in the above.

(No, he is not "now the managing director of Thiel's Clarium Capital hedge fund". And he soon won't be managing GM Capital either.)

Nov-10-15  zanzibar: Ugh, rereading my note above...

But the idea is right, just leave his bio open-ended (people can always go to wiki to see what he's doing post-chess)

* * * * *

From the NYTimes article, as to why he decided not to become a full-time professional (even if qualified):

<Unlike Wilder, Wolff spent several years as a professional player. He had enrolled at Yale, but after being awarded a Samford Fellowship in 1989 — which is usually given to one top young player each year and comes with a $32,000 annual stipend for two years — he took time off to purse chess full time.

“I never expected to be a professional indefinitely,” he said. “But it was fantastic fun.”

A turning point came in 1992, when he was hired to help Viswanathan Anand, the current world champion, to prepare for a match. The experience tipped him over the edge, he said.>

Although he did compete in Biel 1993. Soon afterwards he returned to college, graduating from Havard in 1996.

* * * * *

<RE: shhh....> If you watch the video you'll see that Rachels might not even be fully aware of who's talking. He intently staring at the board and doesn't even look up. Seemed just instinctive to me.

Nov-10-15  Howard: That match in 1992 was against Ivanchuk.

By the way, I never heard of a school called "Havard". But you probably mean a certain institution located just outside of Boston.

Nov-10-15  zanzibar: Ha!

We're somewhat infamous for dropping r's round these parts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> A visit to Scotland would cure you of that. They really love their "r"s up there :)
Feb-14-16  zanzibar: Is this website (from the intro) active anymore?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, GM Patrick Wolff.
Jul-25-17  Howard: So, what is Wolff doing nowadays? The new magazine, American Chess Magazine, ran an interview with him recently, but I don't think it stated what he's doing now that his hedge fund is shut down.
May-03-18  happyjuggler0: It looks like he is now writing articles for his big city local paper. I have no idea what else he is doing, if anything.

Aug-18-18  JimNorCal: Perhaps he made his pile and is "retired". If so, good on him!

The articles make a good counterpoint to local politicos who are long on rhetoric and virtue signaling and short on solutions which work ... in a city that is visibly decaying under their watch.

Jun-15-19  happyjuggler0: Chessbase has a new interview with Wolff:
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2020, Chessgames Services LLC