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Nick de Firmian
Number of games in database: 1,213
Years covered: 1973 to 2011
Last FIDE rating: 2496 (2472 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2637

Overall record: +440 -268 =488 (57.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 17 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (228) 
    B89 B57 B90 B47 B93
 Ruy Lopez (128) 
    C92 C72 C80 C78 C67
 French Defense (70) 
    C19 C11 C10 C12 C18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (61) 
    C92 C99 C89 C96 C95
 Caro-Kann (50) 
    B17 B18 B16 B15 B12
 Sicilian Najdorf (44) 
    B90 B93 B99 B97 B94
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (201) 
    B90 B92 B99 B93 B52
 Sicilian Najdorf (129) 
    B90 B92 B93 B99 B91
 Modern Benoni (90) 
    A70 A61 A63 A56 A75
 English, 1 c4 c5 (72) 
    A33 A30 A37 A36 A35
 Nimzo Indian (70) 
    E32 E43 E44 E38 E41
 Queen's Pawn Game (46) 
    A46 E10 A45 E00 D01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Miles vs de Firmian, 1990 0-1
   de Firmian vs P Nikolic, 1985 1-0
   de Firmian vs J K Pedersen, 2007 1-0
   de Firmian vs Huebner, 1995 1-0
   de Firmian vs Azmaiparashvili, 1996 1-0
   de Firmian vs P Youngworth, 1980 1-0
   de Firmian vs Robert E Byrne, 1994 1-0
   S D Sigfusson vs de Firmian, 2005 1/2-1/2
   Ashley vs de Firmian, 1996 0-1
   de Firmian vs N Getz, 2007 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Politiken Cup (2007)
   Politiken Cup (2006)
   Pan Pacific International (1995)
   Amsterdam (1996)
   Greenland Open (2003)
   US Championship 2003 (2003)
   Oslo Chess International (2011)
   Manila Interzonal (1990)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Lone Pine (1981)
   Lone Pine (1980)
   Arctic Chess Challenge (2007)
   HB Global Chess Challenge (2005)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Biel 1995 by suenteus po 147
   US Championsip 1987 by Phony Benoni
   Amsterdam 1996 by suenteus po 147
   Pan Pacific International, San Francisco, 1995 by Phony Benoni
   1995 Bermuda by gauer
   Intel Rapid Chess Grand Prix 1995 - New York by amadeus

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FIDE player card for Nick de Firmian

(born Jul-26-1957, 62 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Nicholas Ernest DeFirmian was born in Fresno, California. Awarded the IM title in 1979 and the GM title in 1985. He was US Champion three times_in 1987 Joel Benjamin), 1995 and 1998. He also played on the US Olympiad teams of 1980, 1984 and 1986 He has a physics degree from UC Berkeley. In 1986, he won the World Open and first prize of $21,000, a record prize for a swiss event at the time. He was a founding member of Prochess, a GM advocacy group dedicated to promoting chess in America.

Wikipedia article: Nick de Firmian

 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,213  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. de Firmian vs T Weinberger  0-1251973Greater Los Angeles OpenA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
2. B F Gibbons vs de Firmian  ½-½421975West Covina SweepstakesA16 English
3. B Rogulj vs de Firmian 1-0421976USAB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
4. de Firmian vs Seirawan 1-0441976USA-ch U18B01 Scandinavian
5. J D Tisdall vs de Firmian  1-0301976US Junior ChampionshipE97 King's Indian
6. de Firmian vs Martinovsky  1-0511976Lone PineC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
7. N Weinstein vs de Firmian 1-0771976Lone PineE74 King's Indian, Averbakh, 6...c5
8. L D Evans vs de Firmian  1-0351976Lone PineB22 Sicilian, Alapin
9. de Firmian vs Silman 0-1351976Lone PineC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. de Firmian vs Seirawan  ½-½281976Lone PineA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
11. R Blumenfeld vs de Firmian  0-1411976Lone PineB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
12. D J Strauss vs de Firmian 0-1181976Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
13. K Spraggett vs de Firmian 0-137197613th Canadian OpenB91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
14. Bisguier vs de Firmian  0-149197613th Canadian OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
15. Z Harari vs de Firmian  1-0281977Paul Masson OpenA76 Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8
16. de Firmian vs D Fritzinger 0-1391977Paul Masson OpenC41 Philidor Defense
17. H D MacPherson vs de Firmian  1-05019782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenA14 English
18. Kraidman vs de Firmian  1-06619782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
19. de Firmian vs N J Patterson 1-02319782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. de Firmian vs R C Balinas 0-13619782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenC60 Ruy Lopez
21. G Forintos vs de Firmian  1-02819782nd Lloyds Bank Masters OpenE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
22. K Lawless vs de Firmian 0-1241979Carroll Capps Memorial /2B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. G Sigurjonsson vs de Firmian  ½-½311979Lone PineB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. de Firmian vs M Diesen  ½-½141979Lone PineB08 Pirc, Classical
25. de Firmian vs L Christiansen  1-0461979Lone PineC72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,213  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | de Firmian wins | de Firmian loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-26-12  redlance: Happy Birthday!!!
Aug-23-12  Troller: Unless they have split up, this is Nick's girlfriend/wife: Christine Jensen

She is suffering from muscular dystrophy; here is an article in Danish on how this complicated their lives after they had a son in the late 1990's:

Aug-30-12  RMKvdS: <Landman> Can't find the game on nor on chessbase... Just curious, cause I tend to lose games on overlooking the less obvious moves as well!
Sep-22-13  Karpova: Q: What was your most embarrassing moment at the chess board?

de Firmian: <When I knocked over my pint of beer against John Nunn in a blitz tournament in Lubeck. That was also painful, because the glass was practically full.>

'Kingpin', <Nick de Firmian: 20 Questions>, 19 September 2013,

Mar-31-14  Poisonpawns: [Event "Julian Borowski GM"]
[Site "Essen"]
[Date "1999.03.31"]
[Round "5"]
[White "De Firmian, Nick E"]
[Black "Sutovskij, Emil"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "2610"]
[BlackElo "2612"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "1999.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Rb8 12. Nc2 Bg5 13. a3 a5 14. Bd3 Ne7 15. Nxe7 Qxe7 16. Qe2 Qb7 17. O-O O-O 18. b4 a4 19. c4 Be6 20. cxb5 Rfc8 21. Ne3 g6 22. Nc4 Bxc4 23. Bxc4 Qb6 24. Ra2 Rc7 25. g3 h5 26. Kh1 Kg7 27. h4 Bh6 28. Kg2 Rbc8 29. Bd5 Rc3 30. Rd1 Bc1 31. Rd3 Rxd3 32. Qxd3 Qd4 33. Qxd4 exd4 34. b6 d3 35. b7 Rb8 36. Kf1 f5 37. Ke1 fxe4 38. Kd1 Bh6 39. Bxe4 g5 40. hxg5 Bxg5 41. f4 Bh6 42. Rh2 1-0

Mar-31-14  RedShield: Do you think the random posting of game scores is helpful?
May-27-14  Granny O Doul: Kilroy was here
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 57th birthday to GM Nick DeFirmian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: I'm curious to know why he was listed as Canadian for this year's Canadian Championship:

Did he move? FIDE still lists him as American.

Feb-07-15  pazzed paun: when is mco 16 due out?
May-25-15  TheFocus: <A lot of the difference between an IM and GM is a seriousness to the game. The GM is willing to go through all this. He's willing to put up with anything. This shows his dedication. One other thing is the GMs superiority in tactics.

For example Christiansen can find tactics in any position. If you're a GM you should be able to overpower the IM tactically. The GM will often blow out the IM in this area> - Nick deFirmian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Nick, happy birthday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AdolfoAugusto: Happy Birthday Nick! Hope you keep playing for a long time! ;)
Jul-26-15  Olsonist: A lame claim to fame but I got crushed by Nick in high school.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time US Chess Championship champ who's 1 of my favorite players...GM Nick DeFirmian!
Jul-26-15  diagonal: Happy birthday to GM DeFirmian, a true chess lover!

Two pictures from different epochs:

Nick playing Magnus at the second Arctic Chess Challenge in Tromsų in 2007 (scroll down a little, Magnus won that game, Nick won in a previous encounter at Gausdal Classics):

Nick winning as clear first the Gausdal Classics April I/2003, (invitation tournament), a certain kid named Magnus in rank 12:

Nick DeFirmian (front) with teammate's John Fedorowicz, Lubomir Kavalek, and Yasser Seirawan at the Chess Olympiad in 1986:

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <diagonal> Thx for posting those links! I just got a DeFirmian & MC history lesson!
Nov-16-15  wrap99: @Olsonist, wasn't Nick a D player in those days? I think I was in his section in 1975 when he was 18 and I think he won it -- I guess he was not a D player for very long.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If so, that would be a quicker leap than Fischer made from 1726 to master level, as deFirmian played at Lone Pine 1976.
Nov-16-15  wrap99: @perfidious: that's interesting because I do remember playing at that event in 1975 with him. Obviously 40 years I could be recalling falsely. I do think he *was* a D player (I think you can skip that by a good initial performance.) Also, juniors played at Lone Pine if experts, not masters. Finally, maybe the rating list from 1975 is available online.
Jul-26-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Nick DeFirmian.
Nov-19-17  zanzibar: A Kingpin interview published September 19, 2013:

(w contemporaneous(?) photo)

<Q- What was your most embarrassing moment at the chess board?

A- When I knocked over my pint of beer against John Nunn in a blitz tournament in Lubeck. That was also painful, because the glass was practically full.

Q- What do you most dislike about your appearance?

A- When my nose turns red sometimes.>


The name used on that page is <Nick de Firmian>.

Jul-26-18  Riverbeast: Happy Birthday Nick!

This is also the birthday of filmmaker/chessplayer Stanley Kubrick. Today would have been his 90th

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time US Chess Champ, Nick DeFirmian!!
Jul-26-18  Olsonist: Played him in high school. Got crushed.
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