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Joshua Waitzkin
Photograph © 2004, courtesy of  
Number of games in database: 212
Years covered: 1985 to 1999
Last FIDE rating: 2464

Overall record: +69 -72 =69 (49.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (52) 
    B90 B50 B47 B32 B92
 Sicilian Najdorf (12) 
    B90 B92 B91 B93
 French Defense (10) 
    C01 C10 C05
 Ruy Lopez (9) 
    C69 C90 C65 C62 C60
 Giuoco Piano (6) 
    C53 C50
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (6) 
    B67 B62 B65 B64
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (32) 
    B57 B56 B30 B67 B23
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (11) 
    D27 D26 D29 D20 D28
 Reti System (10) 
    A04 A06 A05
 Modern Benoni (9) 
    A57 A67 A58
 Benko Gambit (8) 
    A57 A58
 English, 1 c4 e5 (7) 
    A29 A20 A28
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Waitzkin vs E Frumkin, 1987 1-0
   Waitzkin vs A Friedman, 1993 1-0
   J Sarwer vs Waitzkin, 1986 1/2-1/2
   Waitzkin vs G Shure, 1992 1-0
   M D Zlotnikov vs Waitzkin, 1998 0-1
   Kudrin vs Waitzkin, 1995 1/2-1/2
   Waitzkin vs Palatnik, 1998 1-0
   Zsofia Polgar vs Waitzkin, 1995 0-1
   NN vs Waitzkin, 1995 0-1
   Kasparov vs Waitzkin, 1988 1/2-1/2

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1994 WYCC (open) U-18 by gauer

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FIDE player card for Joshua Waitzkin

(born Dec-04-1976, 43 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

IM Joshua Waitzkin was born in New York City, and won the U.S. Junior Chess championship in 1993 and 1994. He learned chess by watching the people in Washington Square Park play at the age of six. At the age of 16 he became an International Master.

Waitzkin is the subject of a major motion picture, Searching for Bobby Fischer, a movie based on the book Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess, by his father, Fred Waitzkin. This movie was directed by Steven Zaillian.

References / Sources (podcast features this guest)

Personal website: <>

Wikipedia article: Joshua Waitzkin

Last updated: 2017-05-16 13:34:29

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 212  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Waitzkin vs J Sarwer 0-1431985US Primary ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
2. J Sarwer vs Waitzkin ½-½631986US Primary ChampionshipE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
3. Waitzkin vs E Frumkin 1-0311987OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Waitzkin vs M Papa  ½-½521988Continental Chess CongressC05 French, Tarrasch
5. Kasparov vs Waitzkin ½-½281988New York SimA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
6. Waitzkin vs Shaked  1-0171989National Elementary ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
7. Waitzkin vs C Hertan 0-1211989Northeast CongressC42 Petrov Defense
8. E Klein vs Waitzkin  0-1191990?A57 Benko Gambit
9. Waitzkin vs B Kreiman  ½-½451991USA-ch U18C26 Vienna
10. Joel Benjamin vs Waitzkin 1-0381991New York OpenA57 Benko Gambit
11. Waitzkin vs N Vulicevic 1-0461992Marshall CCB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
12. Waitzkin vs R Livshits  0-1421992OakhamB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
13. E Teodoro vs Waitzkin  0-1471992Enhance InternationalB58 Sicilian
14. Waitzkin vs Joel Benjamin  0-137199205, MCC/ACF Intl New YorC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
15. D Edelman vs Waitzkin 1-0681992MCC/ACF Intl New YorkB56 Sicilian
16. L Shamkovich vs Waitzkin  ½-½501992MarshallB56 Sicilian
17. J L Chabanon vs Waitzkin  ½-½341992OakhamA57 Benko Gambit
18. Taimanov vs Waitzkin 1-0611992Enhance-MarshallA04 Reti Opening
19. R Beckett vs Waitzkin  0-1401992OakhamB23 Sicilian, Closed
20. Waitzkin vs N Vulicevic 1-0441992MCC/ACF Intl New YorkB07 Pirc
21. L Eisen vs Waitzkin  1-0361992US National HS ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
22. Waitzkin vs M Jirovsky 0-1271992OakhamB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
23. Waitzkin vs S Cullip ½-½581992OakhamB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
24. Soltis vs Waitzkin  ½-½171992MCC/ACF Intl New YorkB57 Sicilian
25. Waitzkin vs S Jacobi  0-1661992US Am Team ChC10 French
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 212  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Waitzkin wins | Waitzkin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 20 OF 20 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-04-12  Strongest Force: This page is entertaining. I thank all for participating. Josh's experience with martial arts may have been akin to real life Karate Kid stuff: a Russian american kid who was/is a kung fu master who started bullying Josh at a pick-up basketball game. That Russian kid lived in the same building as the Kamskys and could have been a GM. He switched from chess to kung fu when he saw Bruce Lee in The Chinese Connection. This is all true as him & Josh were good friends of mine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Strongest Force> If one talks of <linking Chess to Martial Arts> and if one mentions <Joshua Waitzkin> in the foregoing context, one should mention as well that the concept of <linking Chess to Martial Arts> has been created by <Adisa Banjoko>, herewith more information about that:

<Adisa Banjoko> has founded the Hip-Hop Chess Federation - the link to the HHCF: - , and the HHCF has the vision of merging the cultures of Hip-Hop, Martial Arts and Chess. Herewith a corresponding interview with <Adisa Banjoko> that he has granted to the German daily <"neues deutschland">:

The HHCF has got stared with a great tournament in 2007, herewith a very entertaining reportage on TV:

<RZA> of the <Wu-Tang Clan> took part in that tournament too, since he is a great fan of chess, please check out the interview as follows:

RZA and his <Wu-Tang Clan> emphasize the connection between Chess and Martial Arts, herewith their famous clip that is an all-time statement on that: ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: ... that famous quote <"A game of chess is like a sword-fight ..."> that has become the programmatic line of <Wu-Tang Clan>'s song <"Da Mystery of Chessboxin'"> is a quote from the famous movie <"Shaolin and Wu Tang" (1981)>, herewith the movie: ... the scene when they play a thrilling game of chess (though it is Chinese Chess <"XiangQi"> ...) and when they <talk that talk "A game of chess is like a sword-fight ..."> , that talking starts at <15.51 pp.> ...

Herewith a short clip that just features that very quote: ...

... apart from that: the title of <Wu-Tang Clan>'s song <"Da Mystery of Chessboxin'"> is the title of a whole movie that is dedicated to the idea that Martial Arts and Chess (though it is Chinese Chess <"XiangQi"> in the movie ...) are sisters, namely Chess is the Martial Art of the mind and Kung Fu is the Martial Art of the body, just have a look at the movie: , that movie is amazing, so much CHESS in a MOVIE!

Conclusion: The Godfathers of merging Chess and Martial Arts are those movie producers from the East, and their pupils are <RZA> and <Wu-Tang Clan> and <Adisa Banjoko>: They are the people that run the show!

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "World v. Bob" is still the best ever film with a chess theme.
Dec-05-12  Strongest Force: Thx for bringing up that important history <Nightsurfer>. GM M. Ashley is good friends with Josh & actor Will Smith. The GM is a Akido expert & Smith may have introduced Rza & other HH stars to the GM. The Mystery Of Chess Boxing is very important.
Dec-05-12  SugarDom: World Tai Chi Push Hands champion
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Strongest Force> One of the supporters of the <Hip Hop Chess Federation (HHCF)> is Emory A Tate , herewith a video that features Emory A Tate giving a lecture at an event of <HHCF> that has been attended by <RZA>, <Rakaa> from <Dilated Peoples> and others:

BTW, Joshua Waitzkin takes part in <HHCF>-events too, herewith a corresponding clip: ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 37th birthday IM Joshua Waitzkin.
Dec-04-13  Strongest Force: How is Josh doing in Brazilian jiu jitsu? Anyone?
Apr-09-14  Riverbeast: There are two films on Youtube that were filmed in the chess circle in Washington Square Park in the 1980s, where you can see several of the real characters portrayed in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

1) "Men Who Would Be Kings" (a lot of footage of Vinnie Livermore and other park characters mentioned in the book):

2) "For Love or Money" (more footage of Vinnie Livermore, and a quick shot of Israel Zilber who was also portrayed in the film - "$5 to play Man Who Beat Tal")

Apr-09-14  Strongest Force: RB, where you been dude? :)
Oct-24-14  dehanne: Is the final game Mr Waitzkin played in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer apocryphal?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: No, it's ahere: J Sarwer vs Waitzkin, 1986
Oct-24-14  dehanne: In the movie, though, I remember Waitzkin winning the game with an X-ray check after opposite colour pawns marching to their promotion square.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Next you'll be asking if Fred Waitzkin looks like Joe Mantegna.
Oct-24-14  dehanne: < Next you'll be asking if Fred Waitzkin looks like Joe Mantegna.> I don't know. Does he?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I met Fred Waitzkin long ago, but have no idea what Mantegna looks like, so who knows?

Don't care, either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <perfidious> Joe Mantegna of my fave tv series Criminal Minds, now on its 10th season.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <wordfunph> Must have seen Mantegna after all, for I have watched Criminal Minds on occasion.
Dec-04-16  Kamagong42: happy birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: He wrote a book for the So fans--

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: No kibitzing in 2018. So here goes. I was at a forum where someone asked: Bobby Fischer and Josh Waitzkin at 20. Who would win? Everyone that replied picked Fischer. In fact one ventured to say that if they played 10 games Fischer would win all 10. Waitzkin might at best been a weak IM. Fischer at 20 was a chess monster.
Premium Chessgames Member
  nok: <Bobby Fischer and Josh Waitzkin at 20. Who would win?> In a fight? Gonna go Josh.
Aug-04-18  JimNorCal: Agree, Bobby would mop the floor with 'im.
Premium Chessgames Member
  pazzed paun: A michael thaler josh waitzkin matchup would make more sense
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