This month marks the 26th anniversary of American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer’s defeat over Russian Boris Spassky. A decade after Fischer was crowned America’s first (and so far only) World Chess Champion another American chess prodigy emerged. At the age of nine, Josh Waitzkin won his first National Championship. The movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, was based on Waitzkin’s early journey to stay true to himself despite attempts to reincarnate in Waitzkin, Fischer’s crazed approach.
At the age of 13 he become a National Master and at age 16 became an International Master. Then, after winning 8 National Chess Championships, in his early twenties Waitzkin surprised everybody by leaving chess and becoming a world champion in the martial arts.
In the book, The Art of Learning, Waitzkin recounts the story of his years as a chess and martial arts competitor from his own perspective. He describes how his ability to recognize, embrace and nurture his uniqueness led to achievement time and again. The book has been well-received by educators, business leader, and even sports stars, including Mark Messier:
“I strongly recommend it for anyone who lives in a world of competition, whether it’s sports or business or anywhere else. It’s also a great training tool for kids aspiring to reach the pinnacle of their chosen fields.”
Mark Messier – 6-time Stanley Cup Champion
Waitzkin has decided to give the book away. Anyone in a position to help others succeed by incorporating Waitzkin’s philosophy of learning can get the book for free.
How do I know this? A reader, who happens to work for Waitzkin, wrote this in response to the Science Cheerleader post on Science Education:
“‘Science Cheerleader’…what an innovative idea and oh, so needed.”
But enough about me…where was I? Oh, yes! Here’s what else Joanne Singer wrote:
“We would like to get the ‘Art of Learning’ into the hands of as many people as possible. We have a short application process and then ask that participants keep us posted on how they are working with the material. Any ideas, study guides, worksheets or comments they come up with are greatly appreciated as we work towards our goal of generating free online resources for everyone interested, all over the country and beyond.”
If you are interested, go to www.jwfoundation.com to learn more about the book and how to get it. And, spread the word!
(Thank you, Joanne and Josh!)