Bob Rice, author of Three Moves Ahead: What Chess Can
Teach You About Business, wrote: “The more you look at the business world, the more you see that successful companies and the people who run them use chess strategies routinely (whether they know it or not).” While many chess masters play the game full time, Chessbase.com tracked some exceptional players who also excelled in business. • Anna Hahn, rating 2 235, Trader, DE Shaw & Co, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in finance and computer science and worked at Goldman Sachs as a programmer before becoming a senior trader at DE Shaw & Co. • James Sherwin, rating 2 246, director and advisor to Hunter Douglas, who in 1988 was investigated for stock manipulation, in a case that was eventually dismissed with prejudice. He lives in the UK where he plays a lot of chess. • Matthew Herman, rating 2 394, hedge fund manager, had a rating of 1 900 at the age of 12. At age 18, he took a job at Goldman Sachs. Currently he is working at a hedge fund and continues to play competitive chess. • Anna Gulko, rating 2 397, research analyst, Invesco, was one of many chess masters to join Banker’s Trust. She and her husband, GM Boris, founded the Gulko Chess Academy. • Duncan Suttles, rating 2 420, president, Magnetar Games, a chess grandmaster who went into software development. “I quit chess because I felt I had developed a satisfactory strategic understanding of the game and whatever improvement remained was in technique. This would require a lot of effort for minimal returns.” • Vivek Rao, rating 2 435, former quantitative financial analyst, who by 16 was the highest rated junior player in the country, known for his obsession with theory. He got a job a on Wall Street and considered this job “a pleasant mix of investing, math and computer programming.” • Norman Weinstein, rating 2 450, former trader, was the first chess whiz hired by Banker’s Trust in the early 1990s. He was so successful that they kicked off a recruitment programme for other strong chess players, which brought in David Norwood, Max Dlugy, Gulko and more. • David Norwood, rating 2 494, former trader, joined Banker’s Trust in 1991 after they began recruiting top chess players. “Out of the blue, I got contacted. I had no idea what trading was.” He retired as a millionaire at the age of 40. • Pascal Charbonneau, rating 2 517, analyst at Alpine Associates, a Canadian national champ in 2002 and 2004, who started working on Wall Street straight out of college in 2006. • Ken Rogoff, rating 2 505, professor of economics, Harvard University, was a US master at the age of 14. He missed out on most of his last two years of high school to play in tournaments across Europe and lived off of his prize winnings. • Max Dlugy, rating 2 518, manager, Diversified Property Fund; co-founder, International Chess Management Inc, dipped into the business world when he replied to an ad posted by Banker’s Trust requesting chess players. He worked on their foreign exchange spot desk and later started his own hedge fund. • Michael Wilder, rating 2 540, partner at McDermott Will & Emery, winner of the US championship in 1988, today a partner at McDermott Will & Emery specialising in “tax issues arising from corporate transactions involving US and foreign entities”. • Patrick Wolff, rating 2 564, director of Grandmaster Capital, was the US chess champion in 1992 and 1995. In 2005 he was hired by Peter Thiel as an analyst. Wolff later started his own hedge fund, Grandmaster Capital, with $50 million under management, much of it coming from Thiel.