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)


Anonymous said...

Ahh... and Anti-Yankees fan. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Good luck to Queens this year (except when facing Boston!).

-Matt, Manager of the Boston Blitz

Anonymous said...

Good luck to New Jersey too. :)

(Queens, NJ, NY, whatever...)


SCUGrad said...

Big fan of GM Joel. Have his book and everything.

Good luck with the baby, Joel! You can actually get him/her a onesie that has Future GM on the front.