Searching For Bobby Fischer

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Paperback, 226 pages, 1989 Penguin Publishing

Along with millions of other Americans, Fred Waitzkin was smitten by chess during the historic Fisher-Spassky championship match in 1972. Inspired by Bobby Fischer's charisma, he began to study the game, but quickly gave it up when he discovered he had little talent for it. His interest was revived a decade later when his young son began coaxing him to play and, to the author's astonishment, was beating him. This is the story of three years in the lives of father and son, from the moment when Josh first sits at a board at the age of six until he wins the national primary championship three years later.


Searching for Bobby Fischer is the story of Fred Waitzkin and his son Josh, from the moment six-year-old Josh first sits down at a chessboard until he competes for the national championship. Drawn into the insular, international network of chess, they must also navigate the difficult waters of their own relationship. All the while, Waitzkin wonders about and searches for the elusive Bobby Fischer, whose myth still dominates the chess world and profoundly affects Waitzkin's dreams for his son.

About the Author:

Fred Waitzkin is the author of Searching for Bobby Fischer and Mortal Games. He has written for Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Motorboating and Sailing. He lives in New York City and Martha's Vineyard and fishes regularly in the Bahamas.

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