Alex Fishbein was born in 1968 in St. Petersburg, Russia and arrived in the United States in 1979. The early years in Russia gave Alex a solid foundation under the guidance of Vladimir Zak, who also had coached Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi. Alex became a master in 1982, an IM in 1988, and GM in 1992. He earned his final Grandmaster norm by winning an international tournament in Stavanger, Norway. In 2018 and 2020, Fishbein won the John T. Irwin Tournament of Senior State Champions, which is modeled after the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, of which he was also the inaugural winner in 1985. For most of his chess career, Alex Fishbein has not been a professional chess player, having worked in the finance industry since 1993. Fishbein has found the time away from work to write several chess books, and his American Chess Magazine endgame column won the 2020 CJA Best Column award.