John Fedorowicz chats with The Chess Drum

John Fedorowicz is a product of the famous “Fischer Boom,” and relishes the opportunity to talk about the good ole days. The Bronx native has played in most every major U.S. tournament, but made his debut in the Senior Tournament of Champions this year. He jokingly said, “I like playing the old guys.”

GM John Fedorowicz at the 1986 Chess Olympiad in Dubai, UAE
Photo by Bill Hook

Before the last round of the 2019 U.S. Open, The Chess Drum was able to sit down with “The Fed” for a chat. In the interview, Fedorowicz was in his usual jovial mood when he recounted a range of topics including his late start in chess, his development in New Jersey chess, his time in Europe and his assessment of today’s chess scene. There were several people watching the captivating interview and “The Fed” was very gracious… even taking a question from a bystander. Absolutely delightful.


Video by Daaim Shabazz/The Chess Drum


  1. Wow! What a super interview with a great American player. I was also a product of the Fischer Boom,but nowhere near as good as The Fed. Some great stories about being a young American on the tournament circuit back then. Excellent questions,btw.

    1. Thanks a lot!

      I’ve always admired John because he played my style of chess including the Benko Gambit.

      When he said he had too much to drink and was speaking German fluently, maybe he wasn’t speaking German at all! 😀

  2. Great interview. I met John at the 1983 World Youth Team Champs in Chicago and then in another event he won in Trinidad in 1991. My chess buddy and I called him Sly back then, cause we thought he resembled Stallone!

    1. I visited that tournament in Chicago (where I was still living) and played Jamaica’s board three (David Nichols) a number of blitz games. He won the first, we drew the second and then I won several games in a row. I met the Bahamian team which actually had some players playing in Batumi (Antoinette Seymour and Juliette Storr). I also met the Botswana team which consisted of schoolboys. It was a great memory.

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