Eduardo Iturrizaga

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Eduardo Iturrizaga
Iturrizaga Bonelli,Eduardo Pat 2016 Dresden.jpeg
Dresden 2016
Full name Eduardo Patricio Iturrizaga Bonelli
Country  Venezuela
Born (1989-11-01) 1 November 1989 (age 27)
Caracas, Venezuela
Title Grandmaster
FIDE rating 2671 (April 2017)
Peak rating 2661 (September 2013)

Eduardo Patricio Iturrizaga Bonelli (born 1 November 1989) is a Venezuelan chess player who achieved the title of Grandmaster in 2008, making him the first and, to date, only Venezuelan chess grandmaster.[1][2]

Chess career[edit]

Iturrizaga was born 1 November 1989 in Caracas. He learned to move the chess pieces at age five. "I opened with pawn to e4, then moved my knights, and put pawns on h3 and a3 for castling and to connect the rooks. For me that was all", he recalls.[2] He moved to Peru when he was seven, and it was upon his return to Venezuela at age nine he started to take the game seriously.[2] At age thirteen he attained the title of International Master.[3] Iturizzaga won the Pan American under-16 championship in 2004[4] and the Pan American junior (U20) championship in 2006, both times in Bogotà.[5]

Iturrizaga won four consecutive national championships from 2005 to 2008, and has been playing for Venezuela at the Chess Olympiad since 2004. His best performance came at the 37th Chess Olympiad (2006), when he scored 8.5/11 points playing second board. The result earned him an individual bronze medal.[6] He qualified for the Chess World Cup 2007 after a shared first place at the American Continental Championship.[7] He was set to face Peter Svidler in the first round, but forfeited the first game due to getting lost between Russian airports.[8] He lost the second game. In 2008, Iturrizaga won an online qualifier for the C-group in the 2009 Corus Chess Tournament, defeating GM Alexandr Fier 3-1 in the final.[9] He ended up on a shared eight place out of fourteen in the main tournament, scoring 5.5/13.[10] Iturrizaga finished second in the 2008 Iboamerican Championship in Linares, Spain, losing to Julio Granda in the final.[11] Iturrizaga was the last person to arrive at the tournament, had to play one game at night, and nearly arrived late for one of the matches.[12]

After sharing first place at the Zonal 2.3 Chess Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica with Lázaro Bruzón, Iturrizaga qualified for the Chess World Cup 2009. He was knocked out by Baadur Jobava in the second round, having defeated Sergei Tiviakov 3.5 - 2.5 in the first round.[13]

In April 2010, Iturrizaga won the 12th Dubai Open Chess Championship with 7 points out of 9, besting a field consisting of 36 GMs and 154 players total.[14] He placed fourth in the 2010 Iboamerican Championship held in Mexico City. He defaulted the third-fourth playoff, despite winning the first game, after arriving an hour late for the second.[15]

Iturrizaga competed in the Chess World Cup 2013, where he was knocked out in the first round by Alexander Onischuk. In the 2015 edition of the same event, he was eliminated in round one again, this time by Maxim Rodshtein. In January 2015 Iturrizaga tied for 1st–5th with Arkadij Naiditsch, Alexander Donchenko, Matthias Dann and Miloš Pavlović in the Masters tournament of the Basel Chess Festival.[16]

Playing style[edit]

As of 2010, Iturrizaga mostly plays queen's pawn openings, and the English Opening with the white pieces, and the Accelerated Dragon Sicilian Defence with black. Iturrizaga admires Bobby Fischer and is a follower of Levon Aronian's playstyle.[2]


  1. ^ "Festeja la UNAM Campeonato Iberoamericano de Ajedrez 2010" (in Spanish). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "El ajedrecista venezolano Eduardo Iturrizaga: "Puedo llegar lejos, pero necesito ayuda"" (in Spanish). El Nacional. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Iturrizaga persigue la gloria en ajedrez" (in Spanish). El Universal. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Bogotá 2004 - 20° Campeonato Panamericano u16 (boys), BrasilBase
  5. ^ Bogotá 2006 - 31° Campeonato Panamericano Juvenil, BrasilBase
  6. ^ "Iturrizaga, Eduardo". OlimpBase. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Polgar, Susan (20 July 2007). "5 tie for 1st at the Continental Championship". Susan Polgar. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Greengard, Michael (23 November 2007). "World Cup 2007 Begins". Mig Greengard. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Greengard, Michael (10 November 2008). "¡Hazañas Latinoamericanas!". Mig Greengard. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Corus 2009 pairings and results". Chessdom. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Woisin, Nadja (7 March 2008). "Iberoamericano: Granda nuevo campeón" (in Spanish). ChessBase. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Pradas, Marisol (7 March 2008). "Iturrizaga la gran figura del Iberoamericano de Ajedrez" (in Spanish). Boletín Digital Universitario de la Universidad de Carabobo. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Chess in Khanty-Mansiysk". FIDE. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Eight players share first, GM Eduardo Iturrizaga champion on superior tiebreak". Chessdom. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Crowther, Mark (22 November 2010). "III Iberoamerican Championships 2010". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "Arkadij Naiditsch wins another trophy in Switzerland". Chessdom. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 

External links[edit]