The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

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9780743277457: The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence
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An eight-time national chess champion and world champion martial artist shares the lessons he has learned from two very different competitive arenas, identifying key principles about learning and performance that readers can apply to their life goals. 50,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Josh Waitzkin, an eight-time National Chess Champion in his youth, was the subject of the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. At eighteen, he published his first book, Josh Waitzkin's Attacking Chess. Since the age of twenty, he has developed and been spokesperson for Chessmaster, the largest computer chess program in the world. Now a martial arts champion, he holds a combined twenty-one National Championship titles in addition to several World Championship titles. When not traveling the country giving seminars and keynote presentations, he lives and trains in New York City. He can be reached at www.joshwaitzkin.com. For more information about Chessmaster visit www.ubi.com.

From Publishers Weekly:

Waitzkin's name may sound familiar—back in 1993, his father wrote about Josh's early years as a chess prodigy in Searching for Bobby Fischer. Now 31, Waitzkin revisits that story from his own perspective and reveals how the fame that followed the movie based on his father's book became one of several obstacles to his further development as a chess master. He turned to tai chi to learn how to relax and feel comfortable in his body, but then his instructor suggested a more competitive form of the discipline called "push hands." Once again, he proved a quick study, and has earned more than a dozen championships in tournament play. Using examples from both his chess and martial arts backgrounds, Waitzkin draws out a series of principles for improving performance in any field. Chapter headings like "Making Smaller Circles" have a kung fu flair, but the themes are elaborated in a practical manner that enhances their universality. Waitzkin's engaging voice and his openness about the limitations he recognized within himself make him a welcome teacher. The concept of incremental progress through diligent practice of the fundamentals isn't new, but Waitzkin certainly gives it a fresh spin. (May 8)
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