Pal Benko

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Pal Benko (born July 15, 1928) is a chess grandmaster, author, and composer of endgame studies and chess problems.

Benko was born in France but was raised in Hungary. He emigrated to the United States in 1958.

Benko was the Hungarian champion by age twenty. FIDE awarded him the title of grandmaster in 1958. He was a candidate for the World Championship in 1959 and 1962. He qualified for the 1970 Interzonal tournament, the leaders of which advance to the playoffs for the World Championship. However, he gave up his spot in the Interzonal to Bobby Fischer, who went on to win the World Championship in 1972. Benko finished in first place (or tied for first place) in eight U.S. Open Chess Championships. Some chess openings he pioneered are named for him: Benko Gambit and Benko's Opening. He was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1993.

In addition to his success as a player, Benko is a noted authority on the chess endgame and a composer of endgame studies and chess problems. For decades, he has had a column on endgames in Chess Life magazine, which is published by the United States Chess Federation. In 2003 he revised the classic book Basic Chess Endings, by Reuben Fine.

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