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Norman Tweed Whitaker
N Whitaker 
Number of games in database: 195
Years covered: 1907 to 1974

Overall record: +92 -72 =27 (55.2%)*
   * 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 (18) 
    C68 C79 C70 C91 C87
 Sicilian (13) 
    B90 B32 B56 B40 B70
 French Defense (12) 
    C14 C01 C11 C15 C05
 Ruy Lopez Exchange (8) 
 Caro-Kann (7) 
    B10 B18 B15 B16 B13
 Giuoco Piano (6) 
    C54 C50 C53
With the Black pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (20) 
    D63 D60 D51 D52 D50
 Ruy Lopez (13) 
    C62 C66 C88 C78 C68
 Queen's Pawn Game (7) 
    D02 D00 D05 D01 E10
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Albin Countergambit (6) 
    D08 D09
 King's Indian (5) 
    E67 E81 E68
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E M Edwards vs N Whitaker, 1921 0-1
   Lasker vs N Whitaker, 1907 0-1
   N Whitaker vs I Heitner, 1948 1-0
   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 D J Rundell, 1931 1-0
   J F Donovan vs N Whitaker, 1948 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 1929, St. Louis = 30th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   US Open 1924, Detroit = 25th Western Champ. by Phony Benoni
   Atlantic City 1921 by crawfb5
   US Open 1922, Louisville = 23rd Western Champ. by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Norman Tweed Whitaker
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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 195  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. N Whitaker vs Louis Tolins  1-0311909Triangular College Chess League tC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. S Mlotkowski vs N Whitaker  1-0381910Pennsylvania State chC01 French, Exchange
9. N Whitaker vs R Lob  ½-½48191010th Anglo-American universities cable mC42 Petrov Defense
10. N Whitaker vs H Kline  ½-½451913American NationalC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
11. N Whitaker vs Capablanca 0-1661913American NationalA46 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Kupchik vs N Whitaker 1-0351913American NationalC22 Center Game
13. N Whitaker vs L B Zapoleon  1-0301913American NationalC14 French, Classical
14. H Liebenstein vs N Whitaker 0-1511913American NationalC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
15. N Whitaker vs J Stapfer  0-1291913American NationalC15 French, Winawer
16. C Jaffe vs N Whitaker  1-0271913American NationalD02 Queen's Pawn Game
17. N Whitaker vs O Chajes  1-0151913American NationalC29 Vienna Gambit
18. Marshall vs N Whitaker  1-0691913American NationalD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
19. N Whitaker vs Janowski  0-1491913American NationalB32 Sicilian
20. J S Morrison vs N Whitaker  0-1441913American NationalD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. N Whitaker vs E Tennenwurzel  1-0271913American NationalB07 Pirc
22. Capablanca vs N Whitaker 1-0591915Simul, 16bA10 English
23. J W Fry vs N Whitaker  0-130191516th Western ChampionshipC27 Vienna Game
24. E P Elliott vs N Whitaker  0-135191516th Western ChampionshipC47 Four Knights
25. N Whitaker vs D D Barkuloo  1-052191516th Western ChampionshipC29 Vienna Gambit
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 195  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 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-23-09  jerseybob: My object was not to defend the legality of what Fischer did; it was rather to point out how the authorities ignore scads of bigger, more harmful bad guys but chose to hound a smaller less harmful one. I'll concede in advance all the harmful things he said and did throughout his life; I was very offended by his 9/11 remarks. The man was clearly not well(and that was true when he was young and handsome, not just when he was old and ugly). But the sight of him getting the treatment he got in Japan didn't leave me feeling that justice had finally been done but rather, sickened me. And still does.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <jerseybob> <But the sight of him getting the treatment he got in Japan didn't leave me feeling that justice had finally been done but rather, sickened me. And still does.>

I called Fischer a "jailbird"as a joke, but I agree with your quote. They should have left Bobby alone. They didn't go after Spassky, or any of the several known US companies that continued to deal business with Yugoslavia. I think it was a personal vendetta by Dubya and is a shameful act by the State Department and the US government. Like Bobby said, "when the US government was finished using me in the Cold War, they had no further use for me.". (Not an exact quote, but you get the idea.)

Dec-24-09  Petrosianic: <They didn't go after Spassky, or any of the several known US companies that continued to deal business with Yugoslavia.>

How could they go after Spassky? He's not subject to US law.

<I think it was a personal vendetta by Dubya>

I see no evidence that Dubya even knows who Fischer is. And he certainly never seemed to care what anybody said about him, even people who might actually harm him, like Michael Moore. He just ignored them all and went on his merry way. The vendetta theory is wishful thinking.

Dec-24-09  Petrosianic: <My object was not to defend the legality of what Fischer did; it was rather to point out how the authorities ignore scads of bigger, more harmful bad guys but chose to hound a smaller less harmful one.>

Oh, you're right there. It's certainly hit and miss stuff. For proof of that, look at Fischer himself again. He not only didn't pay his taxes for 20 years, but in 1977 he TOLD a judge *to his face* that he wasn't going to pay any more until he got satisfaction against Darrach. Nobody noticed. Either the judge didn't pass the comment on to the IRS, or he did but they didn't notice. But when they <DO> notice, they're brutal. It's a crummy system, but ignoring everybody isn't a good alternative.

<I'll concede in advance all the harmful things he said and did throughout his life; I was very offended by his 9/11 remarks.>

Those remarks didn't get him in trouble <directly>. They weren't illegal, but they may have got him in trouble indirectly. After 1992, they seemed to forget about him again. He even got his passport renewed at a US embassy in the mid 90's without anyone knowing or caring that he was a wanted criminal. But possibly the 911 remarks got him onto some kind of list of people to watch more closely as possible security risks.

Fischer certainly had both the inclination and the money to fund terrorism if he had chosen to do so. And he had already tried to have a man killed by giving out his name and address over the radio and asking a sympathetic listener to go do the guy in. Even if we say that Fischer himself was all talk and no action (which I believe), we can't guarantee the same of those he might incite to violence. Sort of like the crazy lady who threatened Michelle Obama. It's probably all talk, but they can't take that chance, and we don't want them to. We just ignored clear warning signs with Major Hasan and look where it got us. Imagine how much angrier people would be if Hasan had been a wanted criminal that the government simply hadn't bothered trying to arrest.

I'm sorry it as far as it did, but Fischer created all his own problems. That he probably wasn't in his right mind and may not have been responsible is a terrible tragedy, but blaming others for it doesn't help things. But I do agree, that Fischer should not have been expelled from the USCF for his 911 comments. As a private organization they had the right to do it, but they shouldn't have. Actual convicted murderers are allowed to join the USCF, so why not Fischer?

Now Whitaker, who this page is supposed to be about, was just a crook, pure and simple. And, as a mere IM, not a strong enough player for people to make excuses for.

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:
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