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Josh Waitzkin

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #1


    Whatever happened to Josh Waitzkin?  Is he still playing chess.  I have been out of the chess community for a time (10 years) and haven't read anything about him lately.


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #2


    dont know him really. lolz!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #3


    He's not playing anymore (at least professionally) but works for chessmaster and offers lessons on that program. He became tai-chi world champion and wrote a book. That's pretty much it I think.
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #4


    Etienne, I heard Josh made some disparaging remarks about chess, something perhaps regarding the stress it puts on young minds? I can't remember exactly what it was, I only remember his comments did not paint a pretty picture of chess itself. I was wondering if he was talking about chess specifically, or perhaps tournament chess and the pressure to succeed?

    Do you or anybody else have any information on what he might have said?

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #5


    yes he never quite made it to the top of the chess world, i dont believe he ever attained grandmaster status. seems strange, he got to a certain point and just seemed to hit the wall.. so to speak. i believe he still teaches the game in his private life as well as the chessmaster deal
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #6


    Despite his early promise, his rating stalled at the 2400 level. After struggling from 1994 to 1999 to become a GM he gave up competitve chess. I think his fame from Searching for Bobby Fischer has done him well, though. He recently wrote a book, starred in the Chessmaster series, hosted a Hip Hop Chess event, and won some big Tai Chi events. 

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #7


    what an excellent movie that is. wish there were more dramatic chess films
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #8


    actualy, josh's peak rating went up to 2490? if im not mistaken, and that's grandmaster level already (just a few more points). and you can see GMs beaten by josh if you search the database. I think josh is an untitled grandmaster, but he is. His analysis is at grandmaster level. Josh quited tournaments but he is still very active on teaching in marshall chess club, and writting a lot of books about chess and yep, he's the best chess teacher for me, you can actually see his chess tutorials in chessmaster program and you'll find that he has a very very very sharp mind.
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #9


    Here's his rating history, according to Chessbase:

    • Oct-1994: 2415
    • Jul-1998: 2480
    • Jan-1999: 2467
    • Jun-1999: 2464

    After reaching the 2500-level prospective GMs have to achieve three norms where they perform at the 2600 level against titled players. I can't blame him for switching his focus to Tai Chi where the same effort made him into a world champion!


    He's definitely a very strong player and well worth listening to. I'm looking forward to watching his Art of Learning lesson series in the new Chessmaster. Smile

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #10


    I recently read an interview of him on chesscafe.com  I want to believe it was under a column about scholastic chess.  It was pretty interesting and anyone that is interested in josh should look this up.   It goes alot into why he left chess and also what he is doing now.



  • 6 years ago · Quote · #11


    SonofPearl has a pretty cool video interview with Waitzkin on his profile page. A little lengthy, but worthwile IMO

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