Joel Benjamin


The Brooklyn native beat Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest chess master at age 13, and while this record is long gone, Joel has been a constant presence on the US Chess scene ever since.  He won the US Open Championship in 1985, secured his GM title in 1986, then won his first US Championship in 1987.  He’d win two more, in 1997 and 2000.  Apart from his other numerous tournament successes, Joel is known for being the GM consultant for IBM’s Deep Blue, the computer that defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997.  Benjamin documents that experience as well as many others in his 2008 book “American Grandmaster:  Four Decades of Chess Adventures.” Additionally he recently authored “World Champion Chess for Juniors” and “Winning the World Open,” written with Harold Scott.  Befitting his precocious nature, Joel was the youngest inductee into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.  He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children.  Joel is known for his offbeat openings and positional style, and he’ll no doubt be found nursing some small edges into full points.