Friday, August 24, 2007
Player Profile: GM Joel Benjamin
Grandmaster Joel Benjamin, 43, is the captain and manager of the New Jersey Knockouts. While growing up in Brooklyn, he learned the game of chess from his brother, when he was eight years old. Only seven years later, he played his personal favorite game against Yasser Seirawan, at the US Junior Championship in 1979, which you can replay here.
He's looking forward to the excellent competition that the USCL provides, and the camaraderie of being on a team. Indeed team play certainly has been special to him, as one of his favorite chess moments was in 1993 at the World Team Championship, where he won two gold medals.
In his spare time, GM Joel will catch a Mets game (and especially revels in the Mets thrashing the Yankees in interleague play), work on a crossword puzzle, play some Scrabble, or read the latest "Reacher" novel by Lee Child.
And, who does GM Joel consider his favorite chess player? It is someone he confesses wracks his nerves to watch play. Kasparov? Anand? Kramnik? No, it is none other than his wife, Deborah Quinn Benjamin!
(Picture courtesy of the United States Chess League)