Joel Benjamin is one of the most prominent faces in the history of US chess. At thirteen years of age he broke Bobby Fischer"es record as the youngest ever national master, and this was followed by countless tournament successes. Perhaps most famously, in 1997 he hit the headlines when he became the chess consultant for IBM"es Deep Blue computer, which made history by beating World Champion Garry Kasparov in an epic encounter.
In American Grandmaster , Benjamin takes the reader on a journey through chess adventures spanning more than thirty years. Tracing through his own career, from being a prodigy in the "eFischer boom"e era thorough to an experienced Grandmaster with many titles, Benjamin is in a unique position to highlight the major changes that have occurred both in US and international chess throughout the last four decades.
This book includes:
- Instructive annotations of his favourite games
- Anecdotes and reflections from thirty years of US and worldwide chess events
- New perspectives on the legendary Kasparov-Deep Blue match
- Insights into how Grandmasters earn their living
- A deep look into the current major issues of chess
Joel Benjamin is an American Grandmaster, a 3-time US Champion, 6-time member of the Olympiad team, and was a double gold medallist at the 1993 World Team Championship. In 2007 he plays in his 24th consecutive US Championship, an incredible record that will prove extremely difficult to beat.
Hi, my name is Joel. I'm a forty-three year-old Pisces. I like sports, crossword puzzles, nature programs, and controlled mating attacks. Welcome to my story.
In the past, when this book was purely hypothetical, I thought a lot about what to include. The games tell much of the story; put in the context of the tournaments, they reveal not only my best accomplishments but also my ups and downs, my dreams fulfilled and my hopes dashed. I have sprinkled in a number of my favorite anecdotes (the ones I can tell in the name of decency) and capsule summaries of several of my colleagues. People and places made the games worth playing. I hope that I have conveyed the excitement, intensity, frustration, disappointment, and joy of being an American chess professional.
It gives me great pleasure (and hopefully some for the readers, too) to recount the "what it was like then", but the "what it is like now" impacts the future of chess in America. In the last section I have described various problems that confront the current American chess scene. I don't claim to have easy solutions, but bringing the issues to the forefront may help us move in the right direction.
007 1 In the Beginning
009 2 Second Coming...of Bobby?
015 3 Junior Days
027 4 Bright College Years
032 5 Iron Man of the U.S. Championship: 1981-1996
068 6 Team America
204 7 The Circuit
229 8 International Adventures
267 9 Domestic Agenda
180 10 Blue Period
202 11 Second Wind: U.S. Championship 1997-2006
224 12 The World Championship is not Enough
234 13 Feed Your Mind
237 14 Searching for a Film Career
239 15 Teach Your Children Well
245 16 Chess in Retirement
247 17 How I see it: The Current State of Chess in America
265 Index of Opponents