Player Profiles: GM gmfinegold

  • Englix
  • | Dec 8, 2013

"GM Ben Finegold is really a comedian at heart; the problem is that most of the funny stuff he says can't be ON the record for obvious reasons... So I would say Ben is even funnier than most people know", says IM Daniel Rensch. Ben Finegold was born into a chess family - he became a USCF Master at 14, a Life Master at 15, Senior Master at 16 and an International Master at 20. When he was 40 he became a Grand Master.


Name: Ben Finegold                                                     

Title: GM                                                                       
Date of birth: Sept 6 1969
Fide rating: 2482                                                                                 
Country: USA username: gmfinegold

How are you?

Very well, thank you!

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favorite movie?  

Pulp Fiction.


And your favorite tv-series?

Boardwalk Empire.

What kind of food and drink do you prefer?

I am a vegetarian, I LOVE Indian and Thai Food. Coffee and Iced Tea for beverages.

What is your favorite book?

My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer.

What music are you currently grooving to?

Typical Pop Music.


Ben Finegold and one of his chess buddies who is also at, IM John Bartholomew.

Tell me a chess secret?


What chess hero had the most influence on your chess development?


How old were you when you began to play chess?


Is the Internet a big part of your life?

Yes, teaching, playing, keeping in contact with friends.

What was your childhood like?

Played a lot of chess, my dad and brother were/are good chess players. 

What was the most important advice your parents gave you?

Deny everything.


Here´s Ben with another chess buddy, Garry Laughing

What is chess to you – a game of combat or of art?  

More combat than art.

What is your inner being?


What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the chess world?

More sponsored tournaments in USA for top players.

If you could give a beginner in chess only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Capture your opponent's pieces.

Who is your most difficult opponent?


What is your favorite chess game?  

Paul Morphy vs. Duke Karl / Count Isouard, Opera Game. It's very instructive and easy to remember.

Is there any chess book that has had a deep and lasting influence on you?

San Antonio 1972.

What is  the most important lesson you’ve learned in chess? 


How would you describe yourself to an alien from another planet?


Do you think the future belongs to rapid chess and blitz?

Nope. Classical chess always the best.

What is your best chess memory?

Drawing Smirin down two pawns in the ending in the 2002 World Open.

Would you participate in a Death-match?

For sure!

Do you have any thoughts on how can get even better?

Yes - more videos by Ben Finegold.


Poster boy! Here's a link to Ben's excellent article The 40-Year-Old GM.


  • 9 months ago


    Too smart to ignore the comic aspects of the conditio humana. Great guy.

  • 3 years ago


    finially some one who wouldnt eat the pepporni off my pizza when i turn my back during a game

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    you're my BF...

  • 3 years ago


    BEN,you are really inspiring..Laughing

  • 3 years ago


    He must be a mighty chess player.

  • 3 years ago


    Go Ben!

  • 3 years ago


    I think James Schuyler took Ben's book review a little too personally; actually Ben's review made me want to read it! I would imagine Ben is a fun guy to hang out with if, like anyone, you catch him on the right night (knight)?

    p.s. anyone doubting the power of Photoshop need look no further than that Chess Life cover LOL!!

  • 3 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    i grew up eating spanish food so i didn't see how any food could be too spicy for me.  altho i tried raw onions and raw jalapenos once on a dare xD.  then i tried eating spicy thai food and discovered that spicy food can bite!

  • 3 years ago


    GM finegold's videos here on is easy to understand and very instructive.

  • 3 years ago


    I got to hang out with Ben at the World Open in the early 90s one night. It was just a bunch of us patzers, but Ben took a lot of time, showing us stuff on the board, telling stories, very instructive and just a great guy to be around. Rock on Ben

  • 3 years ago


    your my favorite chess player Ben finegold!

  • 3 years ago


    Ben you are the best i love you man your lectures are allways funny and helpful keep it up 

  • 3 years ago


    Ben seems like one of those guys who makes everyone happier just by showing up. I'm a fan of his videos, and his commentary with Rensch always makes the broadcasts worth watching. From a 40 year old (who's that greying man in the mirror) man myself...Ben your doing just fine, keep it up.

  • 3 years ago


    @jmalec: Thank you for the knowledge Cool

  • 3 years ago


    The article failed to mention how good Ben is at teaching children.  He is able to convey the lessons clearly in terms they can understand and in a very humerous way.

  • 3 years ago


    He looks like Jonah Hill's dad. 

  • 3 years ago


    You just gotta love that man.

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