Nick E. de Firmian


United States – Inducted 2008

One of the most popular players of his generation, Nick de Firmian found great success after attaining grandmaster status in 1985. He is a three-time U.S. Champion, taking the title in 1987, 1995, and 1998, and has represented the U.S. at various Interzonals, as well as in eight Olympiads between 1980 and 2000. He won the 1983 Canadian Open, the 1986 World Open, and finished second at the 1989 Moscow GMA World Cup Qualifier, one of the strongest open tournaments in history.

A noted expert on openings, de Firmian is editor of the 13th, 14th, and 15th editions of Modern Chess Openings and helped to prepare the opening book for IBM’s Deep Blue team in 1997. He also co-wrote The English Attack with John Fedorowicz in 2004 and revised Jose Raul Capablanca’s 1921 classic Chess Fundamentals in 2006. He holds a degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and is a founding member of Prochess, an advocacy group of grandmasters dedicated to promoting chess in the United States. Inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008, the Fresno, Calif., native currently resides in Denmark and New York City with his wife Christine, a chess expert and former member of the Danish Women’s Chess Team.