< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·
|Mar-11-14|| ||Howard: The first time that Joel Benjamin got his picture in Chess Life was back in 1975, when it was called Chess Life and Review (The name changed in 1980 I believe.). He was 11 at the time, and there was a nice shot of him at the 1975 U.S. Open, in Lincoln, NE. |
Two years later.....he got his picture on the front cover (no less !) of CL & R (October, 1977) when he became a master at 13, beating Fischer's record by a couple of months. Great-looking photo, as I recall.
And now, the "kid" is 50 today ! How the years go by.
|Mar-11-14|| ||Petrosianic: It went BACK to being Chess Life in January 1980. When they bought Chess Review, the magazine had the combined titled for about 12 years. But when Burt Hochberg retired as editor, his successor (Fairfield W. Hoban?) decided to go back to the old title. |
I guess he figured that it was long enough since Chess Review had existed as an independent publication that not many would remember it.
As I recall, it was a shame, because we had a dopey kid's joke to the effect that CL&R stood for "Cash Ledger & Register", that was totally ruined when the title changed.
|Mar-11-14|| ||norami: I remember well him breaking Fischer's "youngest master" record and being hyped as "the next Fischer". He was the first in a long line of American kids who broke that record, were hyped as the next Fischer, and never came close.|
|Mar-11-14|| ||Penguincw: Happy 50th birthday to GM Joel Benjamin.|
|Mar-11-14|| ||HeMateMe: When He won the USA championship around the age of 18 or 19 I remember the New York Post ran a story about him with a headline that read something like:|
"Another Bobby Fischer From Brooklyn!"
chess players knew that at age 18 or 19 it was already too late for Benjamin to become the next Fischer, but it was a nice story and chunk of recognition.
|Mar-13-14|| ||Howard: Joel first won the title of U.S. champion in 1987, when he tied for first with Nick Defirmian. He was 23 at the time.|
|Mar-13-14|| ||perfidious: First time I ever laid eyes on Joel was at the 1976 US Junior in Storrs, Conn. He was then ~2050.|
A few other recollections from that event:
J Donaldson vs R Sulman, 2001
<Late in the tourney, Eric Moskow (who was built like a light tank) et al lifted a vehicle from the road to one of the greens, and one of the university suits gave us all a stern lecture before the last round that Friday morning.>
Joel and I next met-at the board this time-in the third round of the 1986 Massachusetts Open. Nimzo-Indian and he outplayed me efficiently in the middlegame, same as our last meeting at Saratoga 1993.
|Mar-14-14|| ||technical draw: I met him at a chess club I believe it was in San Diego. I can't remember the year but he had hair then.|
|Mar-14-14|| ||technical draw: Or maybe it was Nick de Firmian?|
|Mar-18-14|| ||thegoodanarchist: <norami: I remember well him breaking Fischer's "youngest master" record and being hyped as "the next Fischer". He was the first in a long line of American kids who broke that record, were hyped as the next Fischer, and never came close.>|
I can count on one partially amputated hand the number of young masters who came close to being the next Fischer.
They are Karpov, Kasparov, and Carlsen.
None of them are American kids, clearly.
|Mar-19-14|| ||norami: <thegoodanarchist> Nakamura held that record for awhile and at least he became a top 10 player. Most of the others quit chess.|
|Mar-19-14|| ||RookFile: I think that what the goodanarchist just wrote is correct.|
|May-23-15|| ||TheFocus: <...Chess is not like a school subject where you accumulate knowledge until you are an expert. Improvement comes mainly from the ability to process and interpret the information that comes your way, and put it to work in practice. Knowing how to translate your knowledge into good decisions over the board is where talent comes in, and if you seriously believe you don't have it, you will have a very difficult road ahead of you> - Joel Benjamin.|
|May-25-15|| ||TheFocus: <We live in good times for chess professionals, with many opportunities for steady income through teaching, writing, and Internet work, but bad times for chess players. The competition is extremely intense with too many players for the market to bear. Conditions for players in the U.S. have not improved over the years. Anyone who wants to devote their career to playing chess has to be prepared to put their work above everything else. I think that to compete with players overseas you have to move to Europe for a more professional environment> - Joel Benjamin.|
|May-25-15|| ||Fusilli: <The Focus> Are those quotes from "American Grandmaster"? I read the book, and I remember GM Benjamin's thinking, just as you put it. |
I think his take on the state of chess in the US for players is a bit too negative, although he does have a point when he says in his book that chess is becoming a game for kids, and even more so for little kids. In Nashville, where I live, the Nashville Chess Center is a very successful institution, but what makes it so is scholastic chess. The NCC has contracts with dozens of local schools and 90+% of the tournaments it organizes are for kids. Not surprising, since that's where the money is and the NCC has to focus on the bottom line. And, by the way, about half of USCF members are scholastic members.
From my reading of the book, I felt that GM Benjamin resented the massive immigration of players from Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That surely brought stiff competition to him and the rest of US-born and raised GMs, but arguably it gave a good boost to the quality of American chess.
|May-25-15|| ||TheFocus: <Fusilli> The quotes may be from there, but I am getting them from a site with quotes.|
|May-25-15|| ||TheFocus: <Fusilli> Chess in Hawaii seems to be geared towards the scholastic arena too. There are no good tournaments scheduled here and relatively very few masters and experts.|
|May-25-15|| ||Fusilli: <The Focus> There are enough masters and experts in Nashville to have a nice small round-robin. I have suggested to the NCC to organize a low-key tournament... say, playing once a week only, since most of us are busy adults. But there was no interest... So, when I have time and decide I want to play a tournament, I hit the road for one of those grueling weekend Swiss opens. I hate playing twice in the same day, but I have no other options.|
|Aug-08-15|| ||pazzed paun: Benjamin has a lopsided score against yasser
Even when Yasser would have been the higher rated player
|Jan-13-16|| ||perfidious: <Fusilli....From my reading of (<American Grandmaster>), I felt that GM Benjamin resented the massive immigration of players from Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That surely brought stiff competition to him and the rest of US-born and raised GMs, but arguably it gave a good boost to the quality of American chess.>|
My own view of this in those days:
<<The US is a nation of immigrants. There is nothing wrong with a bulk of foreign born players.>
Indeed not, though as far back as the 1990s, I recall Patrick Wolff and Joel Benjamin objecting to the numerous foreign-born players who competed in US championships even then.>
US Championship (2014)
|Mar-11-16|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, Joel Benjamin.|
|Mar-11-16|| ||Howard: Ditto ! I still remember the first time he was pictured in Chess Life & Review, back in 1975. He was 11 at the time.|
Coincidentally, I'm playing over one of his games right now from the recent New Jersey Open.
|Mar-11-16|| ||Shams: <Fusilli> <I think his take on the state of chess in the US for players is a bit too negative, although he does have a point when he says in his book that chess is becoming a game for kids, and even more so for little kids.>|
What a strange criticism. He knows those little kids are going to grow up, right?
|Apr-14-16|| ||Fusilli: <Shams> <What a strange criticism. He knows those little kids are going to grow up, right?>|
Yes, and the large majority will have quit chess by then, or keep playing but stop being the focus of attention. I think the point is that the lion's share of tournament organizing and chess activity targets kids. Scholastic members are 50% of USCF members, and most people who make some money from chess do it from coaching kids.
|Apr-15-16|| ||JimNorCal: Yeah the kids play, their ratings are way lower than their abilities. They suck rating points out of the system, then they move on to other interests before giving back.
For adults it means rating deflation and no tournaments to play in. US chess will survive, of course, but for now it's an awkward dynamic.|
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