Best of CLO 2010: #7
January 24, 2011
GM Joel Benjamin, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL
The #7 article in Best of CLO 2010 is The US Championship in Black and White by GM Joel Benjamin, which chronicled the three-time US Champion's try at the 2010 US Chess Championship in Saint Louis. Judges praised the three-time US Champion's insightful analysis and his touching story about the tournament victor Gata Kamsky.

From 2006 to February 2010, Joel answered USCF member questions in the column, Ask GM Joel. He also writes book reviews for Chess Life Magazine and contributes blogs and reports to CLO. Joel's latest CLO dispatch was Garden State Blues: GM Joel on the US Chess League (Joel is a member of the New Jersey Knockouts).

JoelAmGM.jpgJoel's next piece will cover his trip to the Sundance Film Festival for the Bobby Fischer Against the World premiere. Joel attended in conjunction with a promotion by the World Chess Museum and Hall of Fame, to open in September 2011 in Saint Louis. Joel himself was inducted in the World Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.

Joel is the author of American Grandmaster, which you can purchase at USCF Sales.  Joel is also a chess coach in New York City and is the host of Game of the Week on the Internet Chess Club. 

Joel Benjamin is an invitee to the 2011 Saint Louis Invitational--the top two players will qualify into this year's US Championship. Read more on

The Judges Sound Off
Read more about the judges here.

A warm, human account of the top tournament in the USA.  Every game that GM Benjamin picked was full of fight, and his annotations, as always, give great insight.  What set this article apart from other strong pieces of chess journalism was the touching account, at the end, of Kamsky's apology for an incident that happened the first time he won the title in 1991.   It is moving that the great and powerful lion of chess has the wisdom and consideration to bring painful memories out into the open, where they can air out and heal.   Benjamin treats this small moment in the elevator with graciousness and aplomb, honoring a true champion- Damian Nash

Very good GM analysis with some nice self-criticism.—Arne Moll

A great article ... great chess, great analysis, great insight with poignancy (Kamsky’s apology) to boot.  This is why I read CLO—Michael Cornett
It had thoughtful analysis and gave some insight into the participants.— Dean Ippolito

Best of CLO 2010 Countdown
#7- The US Championship in Black and White by GM Joel Benjamin
#8-Adamson on IM Norm #2 at the North American Masters by Robby Adamson (Judging article)
#9-The Sicilian Slayed by GM Gregory Kaidanov (Judging article)
#10- Hilton on Not Winning the Pan Ams by Jonathan Hilton (Judging article)