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Nick de Firmian
de Firmian 
Number of games in database: 1,286
Years covered: 1973 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 2496 (2472 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2637

Overall record: +477 -278 =514 (57.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 17 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (246) 
    B89 B57 B90 B47 B93
 Ruy Lopez (131) 
    C92 C80 C72 C78 C67
 French Defense (70) 
    C19 C11 C10 C12 C18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (63) 
    C92 C89 C99 C96 C95
 Caro-Kann (52) 
    B17 B18 B15 B16 B12
 Sicilian Najdorf (47) 
    B90 B93 B99 B97 B94
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (220) 
    B90 B92 B93 B99 B52
 Sicilian Najdorf (138) 
    B90 B92 B99 B93 B91
 Modern Benoni (93) 
    A70 A61 A63 A56 A75
 English, 1 c4 c5 (79) 
    A33 A30 A37 A36 A35
 Nimzo Indian (72) 
    E32 E44 E43 E38 E41
 Queen's Pawn Game (46) 
    A46 E10 A45 E00 D01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Miles vs de Firmian, 1990 0-1
   de Firmian vs P Nikolic, 1985 1-0
   de Firmian vs Huebner, 1995 1-0
   de Firmian vs J K Pedersen, 2007 1-0
   de Firmian vs P Youngworth, 1980 1-0
   de Firmian vs Azmaiparashvili, 1996 1-0
   de Firmian vs R Byrne, 1994 1-0
   S D Sigfusson vs de Firmian, 2005 1/2-1/2
   Ashley vs de Firmian, 1996 0-1
   de Firmian vs N J Patterson, 1978 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   United States Championship (1984)
   Reykjavik Open (1998)
   Politiken Cup (2006)
   Gosa 7th (1981)
   United States Championship (1983)
   GMA World Cup Open (1989)
   Politiken Cup (1996)
   Politiken Cup (2007)
   Kostic Memorial (1983)
   Tunis Interzonal (1985)
   New York Open (1989)
   Lugano Open (1989)
   Arctic Chess Challenge (2007)
   Thessaloniki Olympiad (1984)
   Novi Sad Olympiad (1990)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Biel 1995 by suenteus po 147
   US Championsip 1987 by Phony Benoni
   Amsterdam 1996 by suenteus po 147
   Pan Pacific International, San Francisco, 1995 by Phony Benoni
   1995 Bermuda by gauer

   🏆 U.S. Senior Championships
   V Akopian vs de Firmian (Jul-16-22) 1/2-1/2
   de Firmian vs Kaidanov (Jul-15-22) 0-1
   Benjamin vs de Firmian (Jul-14-22) 1-0
   de Firmian vs D Gurevich (Jul-13-22) 0-1
   Dlugy vs de Firmian (Jul-11-22) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Nick de Firmian
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FIDE player card for Nick de Firmian

(born Jul-26-1957, 65 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Three-time U.S. chess champion, winning in 1987 (with Joel Benjamin), 1995, and 1998. He also tied for first in 2002, but Larry Christiansen won the playoff. He is also a chess writer, most famous for his work in writing the 13th, 14th, and 15th editions of the important chess opening treatise Modern Chess Openings.

He has represented the United States at several Interzonals and played on the United States Olympiad teams of 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1996, 1998, and 2000. De Firmian earned the International Master title in 1979 and the GM title in 1985. Beginning in the 1990s, he lived for many years in Denmark. He currently resides in California.

He won the 1983 Canadian Open Chess Championship. In 1986, he won the World Open and the first prize of $21,000, at that time a record for a Swiss system tournament. De Firmian was a founding member of Prochess, a grandmaster advocacy group dedicated to promoting chess in the United States. He has a degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

De Firmian is a noted expert on chess openings and in 1990 he revised Modern Chess Openings, 13th edition (MCO-13). In 1999 he wrote the 14th edition of Modern Chess Openings (MCO-14), which, along with Nunn's Chess Openings (NCO), is considered an outstanding single volume opening reference in English. He also helped prepare the chess opening book for the IBM Deep Blue team for its successful 1997 match with Garry Kasparov.

Wikipedia article: Nick de Firmian

Last updated: 2022-06-15 18:09:30

 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,350  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. de Firmian vs T Weinberger  0-1251973Greater Los Angeles OpenA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
2. B Gibbons vs de Firmian  ½-½421975West Covina SweepstakesA16 English
3. de Firmian vs E Martinovsky  1-0511976Lone PineC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
4. N Weinstein vs de Firmian 1-0771976Lone PineE74 King's Indian, Averbakh, 6...c5
5. L D Evans vs de Firmian  1-0351976Lone PineB22 Sicilian, Alapin
6. de Firmian vs Silman 0-1351976Lone PineC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. de Firmian vs Seirawan  ½-½281976Lone PineA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
8. R Blumenfeld vs de Firmian  0-1411976Lone PineB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
9. D J Strauss vs de Firmian 0-1181976Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
10. M Rohde vs de Firmian 1-0421976United States Championship (Juniors)B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
11. de Firmian vs Seirawan 1-0441976United States Championship (Juniors)B01 Scandinavian
12. J Tisdall vs de Firmian  1-0301976United States Championship (Juniors)E97 King's Indian
13. de Firmian vs Fedorowicz  1-0241976United States Championship (Juniors)B77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
14. M Diesen vs de Firmian  1-0321976United States Championship (Juniors)B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
15. R Henley vs de Firmian  1-0601976United States Championship (Juniors)E97 King's Indian
16. de Firmian vs K Regan  0-1581976United States Championship (Juniors)C70 Ruy Lopez
17. K Spraggett vs de Firmian 0-137197613th Canadian OpenB91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
18. Bisguier vs de Firmian 0-149197613th Canadian OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
19. de Firmian vs J Grefe  0-1591977Berkeley openB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. T Kurosaki vs de Firmian  ½-½561977Golden Gate opA15 English
21. de Firmian vs D Fritzinger 0-1391977Paul Masson OpenC41 Philidor Defense
22. Z Harari vs de Firmian  1-0281977Paul Masson OpenA76 Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8
23. de Firmian vs Speelman 1-01101977WchT U26 fin-AB57 Sicilian
24. de Firmian vs J Peters  ½-½251978Berkeley openB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
25. H D MacPherson vs de Firmian  1-05019782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenA14 English
 page 1 of 54; games 1-25 of 1,350  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | de Firmian wins | de Firmian loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-31-14  RedShield: Do you think the random posting of game scores is helpful?
May-27-14  Granny O Doul: Kilroy was here
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 57th birthday to GM Nick DeFirmian.
Oct-18-14  PhilFeeley: I'm curious to know why he was listed as Canadian for this year's Canadian Championship:

Did he move? FIDE still lists him as American.

Feb-07-15  pazzed paun: when is mco 16 due out?
May-25-15  TheFocus: <A lot of the difference between an IM and GM is a seriousness to the game. The GM is willing to go through all this. He's willing to put up with anything. This shows his dedication. One other thing is the GMs superiority in tactics.

For example Christiansen can find tactics in any position. If you're a GM you should be able to overpower the IM tactically. The GM will often blow out the IM in this area> - Nick deFirmian.

Jul-26-15  andrewjsacks: Nick, happy birthday.
Jul-26-15  AdolfoAugusto: Happy Birthday Nick! Hope you keep playing for a long time! ;)
Jul-26-15  Olsonist: A lame claim to fame but I got crushed by Nick in high school.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time US Chess Championship champ who's 1 of my favorite players...GM Nick DeFirmian!
Jul-26-15  diagonal: Happy birthday to GM DeFirmian, a true chess lover!

Two pictures from different epochs:

Nick playing Magnus at the second Arctic Chess Challenge in Tromsø in 2007 (scroll down a little, Magnus won that game, Nick won in a previous encounter at Gausdal Classics):

Nick winning as clear first the Gausdal Classics April I/2003, (invitation tournament), a certain kid named Magnus in rank 12:

Nick DeFirmian (front) with teammate's John Fedorowicz, Lubomir Kavalek, and Yasser Seirawan at the Chess Olympiad in 1986:

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <diagonal> Thx for posting those links! I just got a DeFirmian & MC history lesson!
Nov-16-15  wrap99: @Olsonist, wasn't Nick a D player in those days? I think I was in his section in 1975 when he was 18 and I think he won it -- I guess he was not a D player for very long.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If so, that would be a quicker leap than Fischer made from 1726 to master level, as deFirmian played at Lone Pine 1976.
Nov-16-15  wrap99: @perfidious: that's interesting because I do remember playing at that event in 1975 with him. Obviously 40 years I could be recalling falsely. I do think he *was* a D player (I think you can skip that by a good initial performance.) Also, juniors played at Lone Pine if experts, not masters. Finally, maybe the rating list from 1975 is available online.
Jul-26-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Nick DeFirmian.
Nov-19-17  zanzibar: A Kingpin interview published September 19, 2013:

(w contemporaneous(?) photo)

<Q- What was your most embarrassing moment at the chess board?

A- When I knocked over my pint of beer against John Nunn in a blitz tournament in Lubeck. That was also painful, because the glass was practically full.

Q- What do you most dislike about your appearance?

A- When my nose turns red sometimes.>


The name used on that page is <Nick de Firmian>.

Jul-26-18  Riverbeast: Happy Birthday Nick!

This is also the birthday of filmmaker/chessplayer Stanley Kubrick. Today would have been his 90th

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time US Chess Champ, Nick DeFirmian!!
Jul-26-18  Olsonist: Played him in high school. Got crushed.
Nov-25-20  JohnBoy: Not sure I buy this, <wrap>. I played w & against Dif from ~73 to 78 (when I quit). He was solid master by ‘75. I remember him winning a C section in 73 ahead of one of my best buddies Marco Lopez (2nd).
Nov-25-20  JohnBoy: Also, I’m still waiting for the score of that historic swindle executed by Christiansen against Dif from a dead loss at at American Open ~76 (?). I’m sure Nick burned his 😂
Nov-25-20  Granny O Doul: JohnBoy: I've been waiting over 40 years for that, since Chess Life reported it in their February 1978 issue. I guess since the two are friends, Larry hasn't wanted to publish it. I'd hate to root for one of them to outlive the other, but it may be our only chance ever to see that game.
Jul-26-21  andrewjsacks: Happy birthday, Nick. Hope you're doing well.--Andy
Nov-02-21  wrap99: <JohnBoy> You could certainly be right. 40+ years is a long time ago as mentioned and I have discovered that I was mistaken about things much more recent.
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