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Benjamin Finegold
B Finegold 
Photo courtesy of "WannaBe"  
Number of games in database: 390
Years covered: 1981 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2476 (2501 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2611

Overall record: +126 -70 =161 (57.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 33 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (40) 
    E32 E38 E34 E33 E39
 King's Indian (29) 
    E61 E97 E92 E94 E99
 Queen's Pawn Game (18) 
    A46 D00 A45 A41 A40
 Semi-Slav (12) 
    D47 D45 D43 D44
 Sicilian (11) 
    B22 B50 B30 B52 B53
 Grunfeld (11) 
    D80 D94 D85 D86 D82
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (50) 
    B30 B32 B62 B89 B58
 Slav (20) 
    D18 D11 D17 D10 D16
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C65 C64 C96 C97
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (13) 
    B62 B67 B65 B63
 English (10) 
    A15 A11 A10
 Caro-Kann (10) 
    B13 B18 B12 B16 B14
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   R N Bauer vs B Finegold, 2001 0-1
   B Finegold vs J Gonzales, 2001 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs B Finegold, 2017 0-1
   B Finegold vs Joel Benjamin, 2010 1-0
   B Finegold vs D Kuljasevic, 2009 1-0
   B Finegold vs D Moody, 1983 1-0
   B Finegold vs J Waxman, 1987 1-0
   G Johnstone vs B Finegold, 1992 1/2-1/2
   J Kulbacki vs B Finegold, 1983 1/2-1/2
   B Finegold vs Anand, 1986 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   SPICE Cup (B Group) (2009)
   12th Chicago Open (2003)
   World Open: Open Section (2003)
   US Championship (2008)
   34th World Open (2006)
   US Championship (2010)
   Spring North American FIDE Invitational (2006)
   US Championship 2006 (2006)
   National Open (2006)
   US Chess Championship (2013)
   US Championship 2003 (2003)
   National Open (2007)
   Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004)

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

   🏆 PRO Chess League (Knock-Out)
   B Finegold vs K Lie (Mar-26-17) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Carlsen vs B Finegold (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   B Finegold vs S Mihajlov (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   J Nilsen vs B Finegold (Mar-26-17) 1-0, rapid
   B Finegold vs E Oussedik (Mar-25-17) 0-1, rapid

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

(born Sep-06-1969, 50 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Benjamin Finegold was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is part of a strong chess-playing family, as his father Ronald Finegold, older brother Mark Finegold, and son Spencer Finegold are all USCF masters. His ex-wife Gina L Finegold is a WIM.

Ben became a USCF Life Master at 15, USCF Senior Master at 16, an International Master in 1989, and 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).

Finegold maintains a blog at

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

Last updated: 2018-01-18 02:36:54

 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 390  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. B Finegold vs D Moody 0-1301981Michigan OpenA27 English, Three Knights System
2. B Finegold vs Sorenson 1-0221982St PaulB02 Alekhine's Defense
3. Dexter Thompson vs B Finegold 1-0771983Ann Arbor ch-MI opB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. J Kulbacki vs B Finegold ½-½771983Super Double TornadosC29 Vienna Gambit
5. B Finegold vs T Palmer ½-½541983Ann Arbor Victory TournamentA07 King's Indian Attack
6. B Finegold vs D Moody 1-0151983Motor City OpenC44 King's Pawn Game
7. J Tomas vs B Finegold  ½-½121984Midwest Masters IID50 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. B Finegold vs E Schiller  1-0641984Midwest Masters-BD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. B Finegold vs I Gurevich  ½-½111986USA-ch U18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. B Finegold vs Anand ½-½611986OakhamD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. B Finegold vs E Schiller  ½-½21198614th World OpenD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Suba vs B Finegold  0-1381987Hastings 1987/88A15 English
13. B Finegold vs Sherzer  ½-½381987USA-ch U18A46 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Gulko vs B Finegold  1-0661987Philadelphia opD97 Grunfeld, Russian
15. B Finegold vs J Waxman 1-019198788th US OpenE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. Browne vs B Finegold  ½-½27198788th US OpenE17 Queen's Indian
17. Kudrin vs B Finegold  1-0471988LondonC55 Two Knights Defense
18. B Finegold vs Gligoric  ½-½121988Saint John op-2E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
19. Plaskett vs B Finegold  1-0571988Hastings op 8889C42 Petrov Defense
20. B Finegold vs Hebden  ½-½651988Hastings 1988/89A57 Benko Gambit
21. B Finegold vs Smyslov  ½-½17198812th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
22. J Howell vs B Finegold 1-037198812th Lloyds Bank Masters OpenC55 Two Knights Defense
23. Judit Polgar vs B Finegold 1-0491989Amsterdam OHRA-BB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
24. B Finegold vs Sosonko  1-0621989Amsterdam OHRA-BE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
25. B Finegold vs Gelfand 1-0251989Amsterdam OHRA-BE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
 page 1 of 16; games 1-25 of 390  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 3 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Same old problem--Chess in the USA is a young man's occupation. Finegold probably has a real job, of some sort. The team sent is pretty young, I think except for a couple of russian emigres who are older.
Jan-03-10  notyetagm: <HeMateMe: Same old problem--Chess in the USA is a young man's occupation. Finegold probably has a real job, of some sort. The team sent is pretty young, I think except for a couple of russian emigres who are older.>

Finegold is now the GM-in-residence at the St. Louis Chess Club.

Jun-12-10  elohah: Just looked at your blogpost photo:

Dog, you have GOT to lose weight.

We love you, that's why we're concerned. You're going to shorten your life by ten years unless you take immediate action now. If Nakamura can do it, so can you.

Get some Acai, some green machine and blue machine (Naked Juice). CELERY. I can't say it enuf. Get the greenest veggies possible (no dip!). Vegetables are critical for breaking down the bad cholesterol in your body. Start WALKING. Everywhere you go.
Find the FURTHEST YMCA from you and WALK to it. Try to work up to about 6 miles a day, at least 3 times a week. 'Exercise is King, diet is Queen.' - Jack Lalane.

WALK to the Y, then swim a few laps each day.

Don't jog. Don't run. You might blow your knees out. You can eat little cheese packets. Fat isn't the problem. Fat is a NECESSARY ingredient for the body. The problem is BAD SUGAR that turns into bad cholesterol.

If your'e hungry for sweets, snack on a banana.

Jun-12-10  MaxxLange: I wish we had a real chess club, where we had money to hire a GM in residence

We have some strong players around here....FM to IM strength.....but everything is so spread out and decentralized

Jun-14-10  elohah: The wake-up call should be the draw with Betanelli. Remember what Defirmian said about GM's. A GM should just be BLOWING IM's out of the water tactically! I'm not saying Betanelli is a pushover. He's even got some macho that's visible in his play. But he's been hanging around the 2300 level almost at long as you were a 2600 IM. It must mean his tactics aren't sharp enuf. Just to take a name out of the hat here: Chuck Hertan. Written some books. Was around Betanelli's rating for the longest time, then suddenly blew thru the 2400 barrier due mainly I think to sharper tactics. But I've got off track.
This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle - a lifestyle change. Going off stuff cold turkey: I don't believe in it. It's just a bunch of nonsense, and it's the type of thing that gets people to fall back. People KNOW what's bad for them: candy, salty chips, soda pop, Carl Jr's or Wendy's burgers. It's all OBVIOUS, and anybody can READ LABELS. Mayo is bad for you. Ketchup, french fries, none of this stuff is needed, and none of it helps you.

But just go off stuff GRADUALLY. Don't obsess about anything and just have fun with a new lifestyle change where you'll have a lot more energy both on and off the board.

Acai is a berry found in the Amazon rain-forest. It's just recently come out, so right now it's cheaper than Naked Juice. Walk, walk, WALK!


Betanelli should be in a WIND TUNNEL of tactics the next time you play him. I want him blown off the board in less than 30 moves! DO it!

One last thought: Don't ask: "How can this hurt me?" "It's just a little bit!" Wrong question.

Here's the right question: How is this HELPING me? Is what I'm putting into my body helping my body become stronger, more energized?

Sep-06-10  DarthStapler: Geocities was dismantled years ago, someone should remove that last link
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a Finegold victory that is not in the database:

[Event "?"]
[Site "St Paul"]
[Date "1982.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Finegold, Benjamin"]
[Black "Sorenson"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 ♘f6 2. ♘c3 d5 3. e5 ♘e4 4. ♘ce2 ♘c5 5. d4 ♘cd7 6. e6 fxe6 7. ♘f4 ♘f6 8. ♗d3 c5 9. c3 ♘c6 10. ♘f3 ♕c7 11. ♕e2 cxd4 12. cxd4 ♗d7 13. ♘xe6 ♕b6 14. O-O ♗xe6 15. ♕xe6 ♘xd4 16. ♘xd4 ♕xd4 17. ♗b5+ ♔d8 18. ♗e3 ♕e4

click for larger view

19. ♗b6+ axb6 20. ♕xb6+ ♔c8 21. ♖ac1+ ♔b8 22. ♗c6 1-0

Source: Bill Wall, “500 Alekhine Miniatures”, Chess Enterprises, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, 1994

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: He is Americas' hope for a chess-boxing title, show him proper respect, and make way for his eminence, especially at a buffet.
May-17-11  James Bowman: I heard that the Robson Finegold match is over, did Ben really eat Ray as was reported?

Sorry Ben know you have a good sense of humor or I wouldn't have went there ;o]

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: know how hard it is to get spicy dumplings, in St. Louis...
Jul-16-11  Rook e2: An IM with a max rating of 2600+, is it very difficult to collect GM norms in the USA?
Jul-16-11  dx9293: <Rook e2> Finegold is a GM now, but the rating of 2604 in the picture must be a US Chess Federation rating.

For many years though, Finegold was one of the highest-rated IMs in the world, reaching a peak ELO of over 2560 I believe.

A couple of years ago, Alex Lenderman reached 2601 ELO while still an IM (his first GM title application was rejected because one of his norms was discounted due to a technicality). Soon after he got the GM title though...after going to Europe and having a total of like five norms.

You are right though: it is not so easy to get (GM) norms in the USA. It is not a hopeless task, and some have done so recently, like Molner and Shankland for example, but lots of USA players go to Europe to make norms. The biggest and most well-known problem in the USA is that it is often a crapshoot whether you will face enough foreign players in the event to have a norm counted (you need 4 foreigners in 9 rounds usually), but I think another problem is that in tournaments like, say, the World Open, there are a lot of relatively low Elo rated players, and then a lot of very strong GMs. There doesn't seem to be an abundance of 2400-2500 level players to face round after round, because of the nature of the swiss system, which I would think gives the best chance of making a norm.

IMs Bryan Smith, Daniel Naroditsky, and Marc Esserman...they're all playing in Europe right now, going for GM norms.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: OMG, Ben has a disco themed video on utube:


Oct-27-11  waustad: His highest FIDE rating since the year 2000, which is when the chart begins was 2563 during 2006.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Playing Black in a Najdorf Sicilian."

- GM Benjamin Finegold (when asked by NIC for his greatest fear)

May-12-12  knightsacrifice: "When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I lose."

- GM Benjamin Finegold (on the famous Bogolyubov quote)

Funny guy! nice commentary.

May-18-12  Edeltalent: <on the famous Bogolyubov quote>

Just for the record, Bogoljubov's original quote is "When I am White I win because I am White. When I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubov."

Jun-03-12  waustad: Considering how he looked during the US champs, that may be the least flattering picture I can recall seeing here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Finegold is a true marvel to watch at play, similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor.
Dec-28-12  Jim Bartle: "...similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor."

He's always receding and lakes are created at his feet?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < SteinitzLives: Finegold is....similar to a glacier in movement, but never in demeanor.>

Try playing bullet with Ben live sometime, as I have. His movements are as far from glacial as one may imagine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I remember Ben from a blitz tournament when he was six years old. Skinny little kid, blond and full of energy.

I suffered his only win late in the tournament when I left my king in check. He grabbed it, and solemnly showed it to the Tournament Director to prove he had actually won a game.

I don't think he's been solemn since.

Oct-18-13  PHILOCHESS: The last lecture by Ben Finegold!
Trying to Draw a Higher-Rated Opponent
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Looking at his blog:

<The 2012 National Open did not go well. I drew 3 games to start, and won in round 4 before calling it a tournament and withdrawing. I was winning in rounds 1 and 2 but was unable to convert easy wins against players under 2300.

Due to my bad play of late, and the fact that I can't seem to see tactics anymore, I have decided to retire from competitve chess. I will play events at the Chess Club when requested, and if members want to play ladder games, that is also fine, but I will not travel to tournaments anymore or play competitively.>

Feb-24-14  madlydeeply: finegold made a lovely salov vid. More salov!

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