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 27)
Irvine, California, U.S.
TitleGrandmaster (2013)
FIDE rating2606 (February 2020)
Peak rating2629 (September 2017)

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


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

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 is taking a break from his studies to focus on chess full-time in the immediate future,[2] and made his European base in Valencia, Spain, in the autumn of 2013.[3][better source needed]

Chess career[edit]

Hansen began playing chess in grade school at the age of nine. By the age of 15, in 2008, Hansen became the youngest ever Alberta champion[citation needed] and earned the title FIDE Master (FM). He repeated as Alberta champion 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.[4][5] In this 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," he said. "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."[6]

He won the Canadian Open Chess Championship, held in Victoria, British Columbia, in July 2012.[7] The following month, Hansen tied for 5th–10th places in the World Junior Chess Championship, held in Athens, Greece. He scored 9/13 points,[8] achieving 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, which began a few days later, Hansen scored his first norm for the title Grandmaster (GM), with a tie for 1st–3rd places.[9]

He achieved the final norm required for the GM title in the 40th Chess Olympiad, held in Istanbul, Turkey, in August–September 2012,[10] where he made his debut in 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 reached it at age 16 in 2004, and the youngest homegrown Canadian (since Bluvshtein received Israeli youth chess training systems before immigrating to Canada in 1999 at age 11). FIDE awarded him the title in January 2013.[11]

Hansen tied for 1st–5th places at the American Continental Championship 2012, held in October 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 mentioned players finishing fourth.[12] In December, he won the 2nd Panama Open, scoring 8½/9.[13][14]

In early 2013, Hansen tied for first place at the Cappelle-la-Grande Open in France.[15] In July he shared first place in the Canadian Open in Ottawa with Nigel Short, with both scoring unbeaten 7½/9.[16]

In the 2015 Canadian Zonal Championship, Hansen shared first place with Leonid Gerzhoy and Tomas Krnan, who was declared the winner on tiebreak.[17]

Online chess and streaming[edit]

Hansen is a very strong blitz and bullet player, both over-the-board and online. He has been spotted playing at Internet Chess Club (ICC),, ChessCube,, and For most of 2011, Hansen was recognized as the highest-rated player on, with a 3000+ rating.[18] 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-rated blitz rating. The two were living in the same dorm building on the University of Texas at Dallas campus.[19] The two 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.[20]

While Hansen is no longer the highest ranked blitz and bullet player on, as of January 2020 he is ranked 11th in bullet[21] and 145th in blitz.[22]

Since April 2015, Hansen has been active on lichess under the alias "chessbrahs",[23] where he mostly plays bullet games.

Eric is one of the principal hosts of the "Chessbrah" streaming channel on Twitch along with other titled players such as GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Robin van Kampen, GM Aman Hambleton, NM Elias Oussedik, FM Lefong Hua, and FM Thomas F. Shelby. Stream highlights are often subsequently posted on a YouTube account that has the same name as the Twitch channel. As of February 2020, the Twitch channel has over 99,000 [24] followers and the YouTube channel has over 100,000 [25] subscribers.

Eric 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.


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

External links[edit]