Eric Hansen (chess player)

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Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen 2014 Iceland - Reykavik Tournament (cropped).jpg
Hansen in 2014 during the Reykjavik Open
Born (1992-05-24) May 24, 1992 (age 28)
Irvine, California, U.S.
TitleGrandmaster (2013)
FIDE rating2606 (May 2021)
Peak rating2629 (September 2017)

Eric Hansen (born May 24, 1992) is a Canadian chess player and Twitch streamer. FIDE awarded him the title of Grandmaster in 2013. He competed in the FIDE World Cup in 2011 and 2013. Hansen has represented Canada in the Chess Olympiad since 2012.


Hansen was born in Irvine, California, United States,[1] but grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He holds dual citizenship.

In a March 2016 interview with La Presse, Hansen said he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was 8 or 9 years old.[2]

Hansen attended the University of Texas at Dallas for one year, beginning in September 2011, on a chess scholarship, representing the school in intercollegiate tournaments. He took a break from his studies to focus on chess full-time,[3] and made his European base in Valencia, Spain, in autumn 2013.[4]

Chess career[edit]

Hansen began playing chess in grade school at age nine. By 15, he became the youngest ever Alberta champion[5] and earned the title FIDE Master (FM). He became Alberta champion again in 2009, 2011 and 2013.[citation needed]

In 2011, Hansen tied for first place in the Canadian Closed Championship with a score of 7½/9 points, but lost a two-game playoff to Bator Sambuev, who was declared champion. Nevertheless, Hansen was nominated to play in the FIDE World Cup 2011.[6][7] In that event, Hansen played Vugar Gashimov, losing both games. In a September 4, 2012, video interview at the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Hansen reflected on his 2011 World Cup experience: "I got paired against Gashimov and he killed me. It was a good experience because I realized I wasn't serious enough to be competing with these guys. I'm more serious now ... it was good for motivating me."[8]

Hansen won the Canadian Open Chess Championship in Victoria, British Columbia, in July 2012.[9] The next month, he tied for 5th–10th places in the World Junior Chess Championship in Athens, Greece, scoring 9/13 points,[10] the best-ever finish by a Canadian in this event; the previous best had been Vinny Puri's tie for 8th place in 1988.[citation needed] At the Isthmia Open tournament at Vrachati a few days later, Hansen scored his first Grandmaster norm with a tie for 1st–3rd place.[11]

Hansen achieved his final Grandmaster norm in the 40th Chess Olympiad, in Istanbul, Turkey, in August–September 2012,[12] where he made his debut on the Canadian national team. He played on board four and scored 7½/10 points, boosting his FIDE rating by 25 points, reaching 2500 (the minimum for the GM title). Hansen is the second-youngest Canadian to attain the title of Grandmaster, after Mark Bluvshtein, who did so at age 16 in 2004, and the youngest homegrown Canadian (because Bluvshtein received Israeli youth chess training systems before immigrating to Canada in 1999 at age 11). FIDE awarded him the title in January 2013.[13]

Hansen tied for 1st–5th places at the October 2012 American Continental Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with Julio Granda Zuñiga, Alexander Shabalov, Diego Flores, and Gregory Kaidanov. Since there were four qualifying places for the 2013 World Cup, Hansen played a rapidplay playoff with the other four, finishing fourth.[14] In December, he won the 2nd Panama Open, scoring 8½/9.[15][16]

In early 2013, Hansen tied for first place at the Cappelle-la-Grande Open in France.[17] In July he shared first place in the Canadian Open in Ottawa with Nigel Short, with both scoring 7½/9.[18]

In the 2015 Canadian Zonal Championship, Hansen shared first place with Leonid Gerzhoy and Tomas Krnan, who was declared the winner on tiebreak.[19]

Online chess and streaming[edit]

Hansen is predominantly a blitz and bullet player, both over-the-board and online. He played at Internet Chess Club (ICC),, ChessCube,, and For most of 2011, Hansen was recognized as the highest-rated player on, with a 3000+ rating.[20] By April 2012, he was recognized as the highest-rated bullet player on He subsequently qualified for and accepted's Death-Match 4 against then-IM Conrad Holt, who had the highest blitz rating. The two were living in the same dorm on the University of Texas at Dallas campus.[21] They were tied 4-4 after the first 8 rounds of 5 minute + 1 second increment blitz games. In the second round of 3 minute + 1 second increment blitz games, Holt pulled ahead 5.5–3.5, and eventually won 15–11.[22]

As of January 2020 Hansen is ranked 11th in bullet[23] and 145th in blitz on[24]

Since April 2015, Hansen has been active on lichess under the alias "chessbrahs",[25] where he mostly plays bullet games.

Hansen is the main host of the "Chessbrah" chess channel on Twitch along with GM Aman Hambleton. The channel occasionally features other "brahs", most of whom are titled players, such as GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Robin van Kampen, GM Aryan Tari, NM Elias Oussedik, and FM Lefong Hua. Stream highlights are often later posted on a YouTube account with the same name as the Twitch channel. As of March 2021, both channels have over 200,000 followers/subscribers.[26][27][non-primary source needed]

Hansen has also given some lectures and commentary on tournaments at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which are posted on the YouTube channel.[citation needed]

In April 2021, the Chessbrah Youtube channel was given copyright strikes, particularly on videos including media from fellow Grandmaster and streamer Hikaru Nakamura. This led to strong public outcry, much of which was against Nakamura for allegedly abusing his authority as a top world player and influencer.[28][29] Nakamura publicly apologized and retracted the copyright strikes, indicating he would take a more active role in the management of his content and business.[30]


  1. ^ IM title application. FIDE.
  2. ^ "Grand maître 2.0". La Presse. March 28, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "29th Cappelle-La-Grande Open: Sjugirov edges out pack". Chess News. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  4. ^ [1], announcement by GM Eric Hansen, June 2013
  5. ^ "Alberta Chess Report - September 2008" (PDF). Alberta Chess Review. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  6. ^ von Keitz, Michael (2011-05-17). "2011 Canadian Closed Chess Championship". ChessBase. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  7. ^ Ficzere, Tony (2011-05-13). "GM Sambuev wins the 2011 Canadian Closed Championship!". Susan Polgar Global Chess Daily News and Information. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  8. ^ "Interview With Eric Hansen Of Canada". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  9. ^ "The Week in Chess 923". Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  10. ^ "World Junior Championship: GM Alex Ipatov is the winner". ChessBase. 2012-08-16.
  11. ^ "GM Dmitry Svetushkin wins International Chess Tournament Isthmia 2012". 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  12. ^ Title Applications - 1st quarter PB 2013, Yerevan, ARM, 18-20 January 2013. FIDE.
  13. ^ "Titles approved by the 1st quarter FIDE PB 2013". FIDE. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  14. ^ Silver, Albert (2012-10-23). "Mar del Plata 2012 : The banana ate the monkey". Chess News. ChessBase.
  15. ^ "Eric Hansen impressive in Panama Open". Chessdom. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  16. ^ L'Ami, Alina (2012-12-11). "2012 Panama Open: IM Eric Hansen scores 2900 performance!". ChessBase.
  17. ^ "29th Cappelle la Grande Open 2013 - The Week in Chess". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  18. ^ "Short wins 2013 Canadian Open Championship | Chess News". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  19. ^ "IM Tomas Krnan wins Canadian Championship, qu | Chessdom". alifies for World Chess Cup. 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  20. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  21. ^ "Blitz v. Bullet in Death-Match 4". 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  22. ^ "Holt Takes 4th Blitz "Death Match"". 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Eric Hansen (2015-04-23). "chessbrahs : 8343 Games played •". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Hikaru Nakamura drops chessbae, apologizes for YouTube strike". Retrieved 2021-04-17.

External links[edit]