Josh Waitzkin
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Josh Waitzkin

Searching For Bobby Fischer

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About Him

Overview... a young chess prodigy in 1980s New York City. Josh is a normal boy in pretty much all respects aside for a world-class ability to play chess. Having such a talent can also be a burden, however, as Josh soon discovers. His parents bring him to tough-love chess coach Bruce Pandolfini to unlock his full potential, but often Josh would prefer to be playing speed-chess with the characters in Washington Square Park or hanging with his friends.  

Personality... quiet, brilliant, and easygoing. Josh is a good kid. He’s a gifted chess player, but his coach sometimes worries that Josh doesn’t have the killer instinct needed to be the best; that maybe the fact he’s a “good kid” actually hurts him competitively. The coach likes to hold up Bobby Fischer, another New York boy who grew up to be world champion, as a shining example of what can be achieved with single-minded focus. But given that Fischer later became a bizarre recluse, is that really a path that Josh should be taking? 

Josh Waitzkin's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #4986 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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