It's as interesting what Fred Waitzkin does not include in this book as what he does. There's hints at but overall glossing over the enormous strain his (Fred's) ambitious must have put on the family, little discussion about how Josh's mother must have felt about her husband dragging their seven-year-old son around seedy or desolate locales looking for competition to play their son, just to prove who was tops. Nor is there little about how Josh felt, other than the occasional "I'm tired" or "I'm hungry." We get a lot of insights into what other "chess fathers" are like (lots of pinheads, according to Fred), but little inward reflection, except in a few spots where he quickly lets himself off the hook. Don't get me wrong--it's a good book. But it stopped just short of really revealing anything deep about either father or son.
A real story about a brilliant pre-adolescent chess player. The author is the subjects father so we get as close to the action as any writer can get. Not only that but the father is a professional sports writer. This is a promising combination that delivers. The book follows, very closely, the career of the subject as well as his personal development. It is a continuous evolution of many captivating small stories that are well written and easy to understand. Total involvement and captivation is inevitable. The book is written by the father of the subject, and because of this we get a far more intimate and accurate account, and makes the book even more interesting because the writer was directly involved in every scene and he communicates his feelings. The relationship between father and son is itself very intriguing. We also get a in depth look at the reclusive world of the chess enthusiast and professional in the states and abroad. This is the type of book that you can tear through on a nonstop reading orgy
"Searching for Bobby Fischer" is a very good book with many anecdotes and milestones in the life of Fred Waitzkin, and his chess playing son, Josh Waitzkin. At first, I considered this another boring biography, but as I started reading, I was drawn by it. It's not a biography...it is a 'real' book that describes many difficulties of being a chessplayer. The 'Washington Square Park' and 'Trip to Moscow' chapters captured my attention the most. I would reccomend this book to just about anyone, whether you play chess or not.
Fascinating anecdotes and character portraits accompany the plot of a child prodigy's introduction to chess, his subsequent improvement and finally his victory at the children's national tournament. Intertwined in all of this is an eloquent story of the boy's relationship with his father. This look into the chess world was much better than the movie of the same name - a must read.
This book is extrodinary. I didn't put it down since I picked it up. Chess knowledge isn't required to read and enjoy the book but helps a lot. What makes this book even better is that it's based on a true story. "Searching for Bobby FIsher" is a must read book, which also gives you a brief history and overview on the world of chess.
Are you a chess player? Do you like stories about chess players? Then this book is for you. Many weeks on the best-seller lists, it is easily the best chess story I have ever read. Buy it. Give one to a chess widow. Give one to someone who does not know how to play. Everyone likes this story. PS I liked the movie too.