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Benjamin Finegold
B Finegold 
Photo courtesy of "WannaBe"  
Number of games in database: 394
Years covered: 1981 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2476 (2501 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2611

Overall record: +128 -72 =161 (57.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 33 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (40) 
    E32 E34 E33 E38 E39
 King's Indian (29) 
    E61 E97 E92 E94 E91
 Queen's Pawn Game (18) 
    A40 A45 A46 A41 D00
 Semi-Slav (12) 
    D47 D45 D43 D44
 Grunfeld (11) 
    D80 D94 D86 D85 D82
 Sicilian (11) 
    B22 B50 B52 B30 B27
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (50) 
    B30 B32 B62 B89 B58
 Slav (21) 
    D18 D17 D11 D10 D16
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C65 C64 C96 C97
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (13) 
    B62 B67 B63 B65
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    D02 A45 D00 D04
 King's Indian (10) 
    E70 E92 E91 E69 E62
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R N Bauer vs B Finegold, 2001 0-1
   B Finegold vs D Moody, 1983 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs B Finegold, 2017 0-1
   B Finegold vs Benjamin, 2010 1-0
   G Johnstone vs B Finegold, 1992 1/2-1/2
   B Finegold vs J Gonzales, 2001 1-0
   B Finegold vs Gelfand, 1989 1-0
   B Finegold vs D Kuljasevic, 2009 1-0
   B Finegold vs A Zatonskih, 2006 1-0
   B Finegold vs J Waxman, 1987 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   SPICE Cup (B Group) (2009)
   93rd US Open (1992)
   US Championship (2008)
   Hoogovens-B (1992)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   Amsterdam OHRA-B (1989)
   34th World Open (2006)
   US Championship (2010)
   National Open (2006)
   US Chess Championship (2013)
   US Championship 2003 (2003)
   National Open (2007)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)
   Groningen op (1993)
   28th World Open (2000)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2005 Chicago Spring invitational by gauer
   2011 Spice Cup (group C) by gauer

   🏆 49th Annual World Open
   B Finegold vs Xiong (Jul-04-21) 0-1
   B Finegold vs S Mihajlov (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   J Nilsen vs B Finegold (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   Carlsen vs B Finegold (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   B Finegold vs K Lie (Mar-26-17) 1/2-1/2, rapid

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Benjamin Finegold
Search Google for Benjamin Finegold
FIDE player card for Benjamin Finegold

(born Sep-06-1969, 52 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Benjamin Finegold was born in Detroit, Michigan. His late father Ronald Finegold, older brother Mark Finegold, and son Spencer Finegold all are or were USCF masters. His ex-wife Gina L Finegold is a WIM. Ben and his wife Karen Boyd founded the Chess & Scholastic Center of Atlanta. Many of his videos are available on YouTube and Twitch.

Ben became a USCF Life Master at 15, USCF Senior Master at 16, an International Master in 1989, and achieved his final GM norm at the SPICE Cup B Section in September, 2009.

Finegold was co-champion of the 1989 U.S. Junior Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Samford Fellowship in 1993. He has tied for first place in two U.S. Opens (Chicago, 1994; Cherry Hill, 2007). Other major tournament victories include co-champion of the 2002 World Open and the National Opens of 2005 and 2008. He has played in six U.S. Chess Championships: 1994 (Key West, FL), 1999 (Salt Lake City, UT), 2002 (Seattle, WA), 2005 (La Jolla, CA), 2006 (San Diego, CA), and 2008 (Tulsa, OK).

Finegold maintains a blog at

(1), (audio podcasts with Ben Johnson from January and December, 2017), (2) Wikipedia article: Ben Finegold

Last updated: 2021-06-28 20:15:36

 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 406  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. B Finegold vs D Moody 0-1301981Michigan OpenA27 English, Three Knights System
2. B Finegold vs Sorenson 1-0221982St PaulB02 Alekhine's Defense
3. Dexter Thompson vs B Finegold 1-0771983Ann Arbor ch-MI opB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. J Kulbacki vs B Finegold ½-½771983Super Double TornadosC29 Vienna Gambit
5. B Finegold vs T Palmer ½-½541983Ann Arbor Victory TournamentA07 King's Indian Attack
6. B Finegold vs D Moody 1-0151983Motor City OpenC44 King's Pawn Game
7. J Tomas vs B Finegold  ½-½121984Midwest Masters IID50 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. B Finegold vs E Schiller  1-0641984Midwest Masters-BD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. B Finegold vs I Gurevich  ½-½111986USA-ch U18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. B Finegold vs Anand ½-½611986OakhamD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. B Finegold vs E Schiller  ½-½21198614th World OpenD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Gulko vs B Finegold 1-0661987Philadelphia opD97 Grunfeld, Russian
13. B Finegold vs Sherzer  ½-½381987USA-ch U18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
14. B Finegold vs J Waxman 1-019198788th US OpenE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
15. Browne vs B Finegold  ½-½27198788th US OpenE17 Queen's Indian
16. Plaskett vs B Finegold  1-0571988Hastings op 8889C42 Petrov Defense
17. Suba vs B Finegold  0-1381988Hastings op 1988/89A15 English
18. B Finegold vs Gligoric  ½-½121988Saint John op-2E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
19. B Finegold vs Hebden  ½-½651988Hastings op 1988/89A57 Benko Gambit
20. Kudrin vs B Finegold  1-047198812th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenC55 Two Knights Defense
21. J Howell vs B Finegold 1-037198812th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenC55 Two Knights Defense
22. B Finegold vs Smyslov ½-½17198812th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
23. B Finegold vs Van der Sterren  1-0361989Amsterdam OHRA-BD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
24. R Kuijf vs B Finegold  0-1251989Amsterdam OHRA-BC24 Bishop's Opening
25. J Polgar vs B Finegold 1-0491989Amsterdam OHRA-BB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 406  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Finegold wins | Finegold loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-18-12  Edeltalent: <on the famous Bogolyubov quote>

Just for the record, Bogoljubov's original quote is "When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubov."

Jun-03-12  waustad: Considering how he looked during the US champs, that may be the least flattering picture I can recall seeing here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Finegold is a true marvel to watch at play, similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor.
Dec-28-12  Jim Bartle: "...similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor."

He's always receding and lakes are created at his feet?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < SteinitzLives: Finegold is....similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor.>

Try playing bullet with Ben live sometime, as I have. His movements are as far from glacial as one may imagine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I remember Ben from a blitz tournament when he was six years old. Skinny little kid, blond and full of energy.

I suffered his only win late in the tournament when I left my king in check. He grabbed it, and solemnly showed it to the Tournament Director to prove he had actually won a game.

I don't think he's been solemn since.

Oct-18-13  PHILOCHESS: The last lecture by Ben Finegold!
Trying to Draw a Higher-Rated Opponent
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Looking at his blog:

<The 2012 National Open did not go well. I drew 3 games to start, and won in round 4 before calling it a tournament and withdrawing. I was winning in rounds 1 and 2 but was unable to convert easy wins against players under 2300.

Due to my bad play of late, and the fact that I can't seem to see tactics anymore, I have decided to retire from competitve chess. I will play events at the Chess Club when requested, and if members want to play ladder games, that is also fine, but I will not travel to tournaments anymore or play competitively.>

Feb-24-14  madlydeeply: finegold made a lovely salov vid. More salov!

May-30-14  Moszkowski012273: Anyone else find his "analysis" of Kamsky vs. Friedel kinda douchey?

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <when I left my king in check. He grabbed it>

The kid was 6, maybe he thought it was a Mars bar?

I read somewhere, on some chess site, that he is no longer the GM in residence at the St. Louie Chess Club. I think Susan Polgar mentioned that he coaches one of the college teams, in the area, but not Webster.

A paid residence at a chess club? Free coffee and twinkies? I would have kept that job.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I just found out who ate all the pies. He could singlehandedly blockade Gaza.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 44th birthday to GM and chess24 commentator, Benjamin Finegold.
Sep-06-14  waustad: Happy 45th!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ben has announced his retirement from active chess play? Perhaps time to write an auto bio.
Sep-06-14  Everyone:

would love it,
the bio

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <iffy>

is <the word> I learned from his lectures, thank you very much.

Oct-06-17  dehanne: Finegold obliterated Simon Williams in a grudge match.

Oct-02-20  pazzed paun: Love to see an autobiography game collection of Bens
Oct-03-20  login:

You can watch some recent personal 'selections' of his by searching "years of + finegold" on YT. Not quite as comfortable as a finished project, but maybe better than nothing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Ben is a combination of scary-looking and adorable. His hooded eyes and hooked nose give him a severity of expression that would serve the social purposes of a vicious mafioso or a disapproving rabbi. He's broad, squat, and heavy, and has an intense gaze that sometimes indicates that you've been singled out for special criticism among all of the creatures in existence. But his mouth is often settled in an amused smirk, he's always in a grumpy kind of good cheer, and his gravelly voice has a cryptic musicality that makes it sound like he's been telling one long joke for his entire life, a joke which may or may not eventually find a punchline.>

Sasha Chapin, <All The Wrong Moves>, p. 114.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The secret of chess, according to Finegold:

<You have to play like you never want the game to end. In life, and in chess, people make terrible decisions just because they're impatient. They want things to end, right now, on their terms. They just want a reckoning, whether or not it's actually good. So they play f4, or they play bishop takes h7, and they just tear everything apart. But you don't have to play that way. You can play for hundreds of moves, if you want to. You could play for a thousand. And if you're happy with that, your opponent will be like, I want a sandwich, I want a beer, I want to get out of here. But meanwhile, you're content. You don't have to go anywhere. You just like moving the pieces around. You like playing chess.>

Sasha Chapin, <All The Wrong Moves>, p. 212-13.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What’s the secret to eating?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In the picture of Ben that the Perpetual Chess Podcast posted for his recent interview, he looks to have lost weight. He's probably not the world's fattest vegan anymore.
Aug-12-21  Albertan: Famous GM blunders:

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