I know that many people have heard of Jeff, either by watching this video
or reading this wonderful interview by Jennifer Shahade.
I recently read the book “Searching for Bobby Fisher” by Fred Waitzkin. (Not the movie as I talked in other posts). Although this book is about the author’s son, another chess prodigy named Josh Waitzkin, there are some descriptions of Jeff, Jeff’s older sister, and his father. Some excerpts from this book are listed:
He was different from any other kid I had ever met. His passion for the game was hotter…Jeff believed that no other child was in his class.
About Josh’s coach, Bruce Pandolfini’s comments on Jeff:
For months, Pandolfini had said that if they met, Jeff would be Joshua’s toughest competition. They had similar attacking styles, and both played the endgame with a sophistication rare even among chess prodigies. Bruce had said that if Josh played Jeff it would be like playing against himself.
About Jeff and his father, Mike Sarwer:
Jeff’s father demanded perfection from his kids. In an interview he once described how he had taught Jeff not to have nightmares. In stead of comforting the child, Mike Sarwer would let him to go back to sleep and bring his dream back, but this time he had to overcome the conflict that had terrified him. Mike claimed that both his children had learned to do this…But whether because of his father’s training or because of a natural fighting spirit, spindle-legged, bald-headed little Jeff perceived himself to be a chess superman…Five hundred and fifty kids had come to Charlotte for this tournament and slept in nice beds, but according to several parents, Jeff and his sister and farther slept in their car.
About Jeff and Josh:
Despite their tense relationship, Josh respected Jeff and deferred his great passion…
How to give a kid a happy life when he/she is young? no matter you have a child chess prodigy or not. It is my intention this site will promote that each kid has a strong mind, strong body and strong bond with parents. Do you want to leave your thoughts here?
Being an adult, Jeff looks quite happy now. I wish Jeff all the best whatever he choose to do.