Joel Benjamin


Joel Benjamin was the first to break Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest master (1977) and won national titles at every scholastic level, as well as the US Junior Championship.  He earned the IM title in 1980 and GM title in 1986, among the youngest in the world at the time.
Benjamin won the three U.S. Championships (1987, 1997, and 2000) and finished in the top three on numerous other occasions.  He holds the record for most consecutive appearances, playing in every Championship from 1981-2006.

Benjamin also played in six Olympiads and many medal winning teams, including the 1993 and 1997 World Team (gold and silver, respectively), and the 1990 and 1996 Olympiad (silver and bronze, respectively).  Most recently he was part of the gold medal U.S. team in the 2018 World Senior Team Championship. Benjamin has won individual gold in the World Youth Team, World Team, and World Senior Team. From 1995-1997, Benjamin was Grandmaster Consultant for IBM’s Deep Blue, preparing the computer for its 1997 defeat of Garry Kasparov. Benjamin has won titles in every major open tournament in the country, including the U.S. Open, National Open, and American Open. He has won more World Opens than any one player.
Benjamin has just authored his fourth chess book, Better Thinking, Better Chess:  How a Grandmaster Finds His Moves (New In Chess) as well as Liquidation on the ChessBoard:  Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Endgame, second edition due out spring 2019.
Benjamin was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.  He currently teaches privately, coaches the Columbia Grammar chess team, and makes videos for the Internet Chess Club.  He is a graduate of Yale University (1985).