Alex Fishbein was born in 1968 in St. Petersburg, Russia and arrived in the United States in 1979. The early years in Russia gave Alex a sound chess foundation under the guidance of Vladimir Zak, who also had coached Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi. Alex became a master at the age of 14 in 1982, an IM in 1988, and a GM in 1992. He achieved his final Grandmaster norm by winning an international tournament in Stavanger, Norway.
In 2018, Fishbein bookended his chess career by winning the first Senior Tournament of Champions, having also won the first Denker Tournament of Champions in 1985). For most of his chess career, Alex Fishbein has not been a professional chessplayer, having worked in the finance industry for 25 years. Fishbein has found time away from work to write three chess books, and he currently writes a regular endgame column for American Chess Magazine.