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Benjamin Finegold
B Finegold 
Photo courtesy of "WannaBe"  

Number of games in database: 563
Years covered: 1981 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2476 (2501 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2611
Overall record: +196 -103 =229 (58.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 35 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (50) 
    E32 E38 E34 E39 E33
 King's Indian (44) 
    E61 E97 E92 E90 E60
 Queen's Pawn Game (27) 
    A40 D00 A41 A45 A46
 Semi-Slav (18) 
    D45 D47 D44 D43
 Grunfeld (15) 
    D80 D94 D85 D86 D91
 Modern Benoni (14) 
    A57 A56 A70 A75
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (69) 
    B30 B32 B62 B89 B57
 Slav (31) 
    D18 D11 D17 D10 D14
 Ruy Lopez (19) 
    C65 C64 C97 C96
 Queen's Pawn Game (16) 
    D02 A45 A46 A41 D00
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (15) 
    B62 B63 B67 B65
 Caro-Kann (13) 
    B13 B18 B12 B14 B10
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R N Bauer vs B Finegold, 2001 0-1
   B Finegold vs K Sorenson, 1982 1-0
   B Finegold vs D Moody, 1983 1-0
   R Ho vs B Finegold, 2004 0-1
   B Finegold vs J Waxman, 1987 1-0
   B Finegold vs D Kuljasevic, 2009 1-0
   G Johnstone vs B Finegold, 1992 1/2-1/2
   B Finegold vs Benjamin, 2010 1-0
   B Finegold vs J Gonzales, 2001 1-0
   B Finegold vs Gelfand, 1989 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   100th US Open (1999)
   SPICE Cup (B Group) (2009)
   93rd US Open (1992)
   Cappelle-la-Grande Open (1992)
   34th World Open (2006)
   Amsterdam OHRA-B (1989)
   Cappelle-la-Grande Open (1991)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   North American op (2003)
   New York Open (1992)
   New York Open (1993)
   Groningen Open (1990)
   Reykjavik Open (1990)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)
   New York Open (1994)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2005 Chicago Spring invitational by gauer
   2011 Spice Cup (group C) by gauer

   🏆 Online blitz
   B Finegold vs NN (Dec-04-22) 1-0, blitz
   NN vs B Finegold (Nov-19-22) 0-1, blitz
   S Homa vs B Finegold (May-30-22) 1/2-1/2
   A Guo vs B Finegold (May-27-22) 0-1
   B Finegold vs Xiong (Jul-04-21) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Benjamin Finegold
Search Google for Benjamin Finegold
FIDE player card for Benjamin Finegold

(born Sep-06-1969, 54 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Benjamin Finegold was born in Detroit, Michigan. His late father Ronald Finegold, older brother Mark Finegold, and son Spencer Finegold all are or were USCF masters. His ex-wife Gina L Finegold is a WIM. He was also previously married to Kelly Cottrell, who scored 0-9 in the US Championship (2006). Many of his videos are available on YouTube and Twitch.

Ben became a USCF Life Master at 15, USCF Senior Master at 16, and International Master in 1989. He achieved his final GM norm at the SPICE Cup B Section in September, 2009.

Finegold was co-champion of the 1989 U.S. Junior Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Samford Fellowship in 1993. He has tied for first place in two U.S. Opens (Chicago, 1994; Cherry Hill, 2007). Other major tournament victories include co-champion of the 2002 World Open and the National Opens of 2005 and 2008. He has played in six U.S. Chess Championships: 1994 (Key West, FL), 1999 (Salt Lake City, UT), 2002 (Seattle, WA), 2005 (La Jolla, CA), 2006 (San Diego, CA), and 2008 (Tulsa, OK). He won the Michigan Open outright in 1993, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008, and tied with Andrei Florian for the title in 2004.

On December 22, 2022, Finegold stated that he was retiring from rated chess play.

Finegold was previously the grandmaster in residence at the St. Louis Chess Club and maintained a blog at From 2017 to 2022, Ben and his wife Karen Boyd operated the Chess & Scholastic Center of Atlanta.

(1), (audio podcasts with Ben Johnson from January and December, 2017), (2) Wikipedia article: Ben Finegold

Last updated: 2022-12-29 17:07:04

 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 572  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. B Finegold vs D Moody 0-1301981Michigan OpenA27 English, Three Knights System
2. B Finegold vs K Sorenson 1-022198283rd US OpenB02 Alekhine's Defense
3. B Finegold vs Bill Prusaitis  1-0351982UM-Dearborn TornadoC21 Center Game
4. D Thompson vs B Finegold 1-0771983Ann Arbor ch-MI opB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
5. B Finegold vs D Moody  ½-½291983East Detroit TornadoC47 Four Knights
6. Bill Prusaitis vs B Finegold  0-1271983East Detroit TornadoD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
7. B Finegold vs Dlugy  0-1341983World OpenD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. B Finegold vs J Mills  ½-½741983World OpenA40 Queen's Pawn Game
9. J Kulbacki vs B Finegold ½-½771983Super Double TornadosC29 Vienna Gambit
10. P Riegel vs B Finegold  0-1421983Wolverine Victory TournamentC42 Petrov Defense
11. R Bemben vs B Finegold  ½-½411983Wolverine Victory TournamentA46 Queen's Pawn Game
12. B Finegold vs V Brattin  1-0431983Wolverine Victory TournamentA00 Uncommon Opening
13. B Finegold vs L Baze  1-0351983Wolverine Victory TournamentD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. B Finegold vs T Palmer ½-½541983Wolverine Victory TournamentA07 King's Indian Attack
15. B Finegold vs D Moody 1-0151983Motor City OpenC44 King's Pawn Game
16. J Tomas vs B Finegold  ½-½121984Midwest Masters IID50 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. B Finegold vs E Schiller  1-0641984Midwest Masters-BD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. A Hoffmann vs B Finegold  ½-½221985New York OpenA00 Uncommon Opening
19. B Finegold vs J Schroer  ½-½231985New York OpenD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
20. B Finegold vs R Kuczynski  0-1421986Oakham Young MastersD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. D Macfarlane vs B Finegold  0-1391986Oakham Young MastersA21 English
22. B Finegold vs Anand ½-½611986Oakham Young MastersD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
23. J Palkovi vs B Finegold  ½-½181986Oakham Young MastersB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
24. N Carr vs B Finegold  ½-½421986Oakham Young MastersB22 Sicilian, Alapin
25. B Finegold vs A Kuznecov  1-0471986Oakham Young MastersA48 King's Indian
 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 572  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Finegold wins | Finegold loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <when I left my king in check. He grabbed it>

The kid was 6, maybe he thought it was a Mars bar?

I read somewhere, on some chess site, that he is no longer the GM in residence at the St. Louie Chess Club. I think Susan Polgar mentioned that he coaches one of the college teams, in the area, but not Webster.

A paid residence at a chess club? Free coffee and twinkies? I would have kept that job.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy 44th birthday to GM and chess24 commentator, Benjamin Finegold.
Sep-06-14  waustad: Happy 45th!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ben has announced his retirement from active chess play? Perhaps time to write an auto bio.
Sep-06-14  Everyone:

would love it,
the bio

Sep-10-14  whiteshark: <iffy>

is <the word> I learned from his lectures, thank you very much.

Oct-06-17  dehanne: Finegold obliterated Simon Williams in a grudge match.

Oct-02-20  pazzed paun: Love to see an autobiography game collection of Bens
Oct-03-20  login:

You can watch some recent personal 'selections' of his by searching "years of + finegold" on YT. Not quite as comfortable as a finished project, but maybe better than nothing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Ben is a combination of scary-looking and adorable. His hooded eyes and hooked nose give him a severity of expression that would serve the social purposes of a vicious mafioso or a disapproving rabbi. He's broad, squat, and heavy, and has an intense gaze that sometimes indicates that you've been singled out for special criticism among all of the creatures in existence. But his mouth is often settled in an amused smirk, he's always in a grumpy kind of good cheer, and his gravelly voice has a cryptic musicality that makes it sound like he's been telling one long joke for his entire life, a joke which may or may not eventually find a punchline.>

Sasha Chapin, <All The Wrong Moves>, p. 114.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The secret of chess, according to Finegold:

<You have to play like you never want the game to end. In life, and in chess, people make terrible decisions just because they're impatient. They want things to end, right now, on their terms. They just want a reckoning, whether or not it's actually good. So they play f4, or they play bishop takes h7, and they just tear everything apart. But you don't have to play that way. You can play for hundreds of moves, if you want to. You could play for a thousand. And if you're happy with that, your opponent will be like, I want a sandwich, I want a beer, I want to get out of here. But meanwhile, you're content. You don't have to go anywhere. You just like moving the pieces around. You like playing chess.>

Sasha Chapin, <All The Wrong Moves>, p. 212-13.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What’s the secret to eating?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In the picture of Ben that the Perpetual Chess Podcast posted for his recent interview, he looks to have lost weight. He's probably not the world's fattest vegan anymore.
Aug-12-21  Albertan: Famous GM blunders:

Apr-14-22  pazzed paun: All the wrong moves?
Worst chess book of the year!
Sep-13-22  Dionysius1: Why didn't FIDE disallow it then?
Sep-20-22  thegoodanarchist: Peter Leko said that Finegold won a brilliancy prize at Weijk aan Zee in 1992, but the game is not in the db.
Sep-20-22  Retireborn: <anarch> Probably means this:-

B Finegold vs G de Boer, 1992

Sep-22-22  thegoodanarchist: <Retireborn: <anarch> Probably means this:- B Finegold vs G de Boer, 1992>


de Boer is listed in the "b"s, not the "d"s, of the player directory.

Premium Chessgames Member

Finegold in the 60's would have been devoured alive .

Just sayin.

Nov-16-22  saturn2: His youtube videos on the Niemann case are funny not only for the fact he takes a sip from his waterbottle every minute.They are like a conversation with a immaginary person whose questions he answers be words and gestures.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: BF is one of the few people who got it right the first time. Carlsen was flat wrong about the OTB cheating and dropping out of the tournament, but Niemann's reputation deserved the suspicion it received. Lots and lots of on-line cheats said Finegold. Don't expect to win any money playing on-line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Ben didn't stay retired. He and his wife Karen Boyd played in the Chicago Class in July.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Surely there were extensive amounts of beer involved in such 'vegan' diet? I wasn't born yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> I have no knowledge of Ben's beer consumption, if any. His videos suggest that he is fond of Perrier, for some strange reason.
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