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GM Alex Fishbein



About Alex



Alex Fishbein was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1968 and learned chess from his father, Gregory, at the age of four.   He studied under some of the best Russian chess teachers, picking up not just some Soviet chess secrets but, more importantly, a love for the game of chess and a desire to compete.  Alex's passion for the sport is apparent when you meet him and is the reason that some of his biggest accomplishments on the chessboard have come long after he embarked on a career in finance.   In the 2000s, he played in the US Championship four times.  The one-game-a-day format and strong caliber of competition suited him well, and he was always in the running, including being tied for first with 3 rounds to go in the 2003 Championship.  He was virtually the only nonprofessional player to be that close to the top in US Chess.  During this time, Alex also developed a reputation as an uncompromising player, winning the Bent Larsen award for fighting chess in the 2005 US Championship.

Between 2006 and 2013, Alex played in a relatively few tournaments.  Then, motivated by the chess boom in the United States, his own kids' interest in chess, and what he sees as a more fascinating sport now, Alex returned to regular tournament competition.  Even as he continues a demanding career outside of chess, he is again appearing at the top boards of international Opens in the US, one of just a handful of the Fischer-boom generation grandmasters still actively competing there.

2018, the year Alex turned 50, was perhaps his most successful year in chess so far. That year, Alex won the first Senior Tournament of Champions, modeled after the Denker tournament of which he was also also the inaugural winner 33 years earlier. He also tied for second in the US Open and finished in the top 10 in the USCF Grand Prix for the first time.

Matching the energy of opponents a third his age, Alex Fishbein is attempting to scale the mountain of American chess one more time.

Alex has lived in New Jersey since 1993, where he is currently the state champion.


Selected Victories

      Stavanger,Norway(1992)             World Open (1999)
National Open (1991)
Chicago Open (1996)
National Chess Congress (1994,2014)
Liberty Bell Open (1996,2014) 



King and Pawn Endings, American Chess Promotions, ISBN 0-939298-39-2 (1993)

Fischer!, R & D Publishing, ISBN 1-883358-11-6 (1996)

The Scotch Gambit, Russell EnterprisesISBN 978-1-941270-74-5 (2017)


Lessons & Coaching

Alex has taught chess privately since the 1980s, working with talented young people who later became masters or better. His instruction focuses on giving each student the tools to take his or her game to a new level, offering a unique approach to learning from mistakes and polishing the chess style. 

Alex is currently accepting serious and advanced students (rated 2000 and higher). 

Interested students should contact afish@panix.com