GM Nick de Firmian of USA

(ELO 2545 – born 26.07.57)


Achieving his IM-title back in 1979 and his GM-title as early as 1985, Californian Nick de Firmian soon introduced himself among the top US player from the post-Fischer generation. Later winning the US championship in 1987, 1995 and 1998, de Firmian finished second as late as 2002. For the last two decenniums de Firmian has spent much time upon chess theory, writing several highly recommended opening books. Now aged 51 he however still remains a dynamic and dangerous tournament opponent for everyone – at his best combining a deep positional understandable with some real entertaining Texas tactics. Although de Firmian’s results for the last years have been somewhat more unstable, including too many draws and even some losses against lower rated players, he compensates with some remarkable wins to keep his ELO rather stable around 2550. A well known and respected member of the international chess community he has all the way up to the last years been invited for strong closed tournaments, and has often done remarkably well against starts from younger generation.
Having played many tournaments in Norway, and a true Gausdal friend for more than 25 years now, de Firmian has from his new home base in Denmark also visited several other Norwegian tournaments. Although not objectively a favourite for top three in this strong field, the oldest GM still is a strong candidate for top five – and capable to defeat everyone present if having the right day with the right opening.

Text: Hans Olav Lahlum