Kevin Spraggett

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Kevin Spraggett
Kevin Spraggett 2010.jpg
Kevin Spraggett, Erts 2010
Full nameKevin Spraggett
Country Canada
Born (1954-11-10) 10 November 1954 (age 67)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
TitleGrandmaster (1985)
FIDE rating2487 (January 2022)

Kevin Spraggett (born 10 November 1954) is a Canadian chess grandmaster. He was the fourth Canadian to earn the grandmaster title, after Abe Yanofsky, Duncan Suttles and Peter Biyiasas. Spraggett is the only Canadian to have qualified for the Candidates' level, having done so in 1985 and 1988. He has won a total of eight Canadian Open Chess Championships, seven Closed Canadian Chess Championships, and has represented Canada eight times in Olympiad play.[1] Spraggett has also written for Canadian chess publications.

Chess career[edit]

Kevin Spraggett was raised in Montreal. He is one of seven children and began playing chess at age ten. He tied for first in the 1973-74 Junior Canadian Chess Championship, but lost the playoff match to John MacPhail. One of his key early tournament victories came in the 1974 Montreal Championship, where he scored 5½/6. He had reached national master strength by this time, just before his twentieth birthday.[2] He attended McGill University, studying engineering, and was an excellent student; however, he left McGill before completing his degree, in favour of becoming a chess professional. Spraggett spent his early years developing his game in minor Canadian and American Swiss system open events, where the prizes were often low. His younger brother Grant is also a strong player, having earned the FIDE Master (FM) title.

He was awarded the IM title in 1975, following a second-place finish at the Zonal Canadian Chess Championship in Calgary; Peter Biyiasas won. Spraggett raised his game to meet the challenge of the powerful Soviet defector Igor V. Ivanov, who had settled in Montreal in the early 1980s. Those years saw Spraggett attain success in several strong tournaments, with victories in the 1983 World Open, 1984 Commonwealth Championship, 1984 New York Open, and 1985 Commonwealth Championship. He did not play an international-standard grandmaster round-robin tournament until Wijk aan Zee early in 1985, just after his thirtieth birthday, at which time he was the highest-rated IM in the world.[3]

Spraggett won his first of seven Canadian titles in 1984, which qualified him into the Taxco Interzonal the next year. His fourth-place result at Taxco 1985, where he topped many more famous players, automatically earned the International Grandmaster title, and seeded him to the Candidates event, the first Canadian to achieve this. He came in last at Montpellier Candidates 1985, but qualified again for the next Candidates. In his first-round match at Saint John, 1988, Spraggett defeated world No. 3 Andrei Sokolov in a blitz playoff. He then lost in extra games in the 1989 Candidates' quarterfinal round to Soviet Grand Master Artur Yusupov at Quebec City.

Spraggett has followed up with mostly superb performances in eight Chess Olympiads, eight victories in the Canadian Open Championship, and a host of tournament victories in Europe. Spraggett is widely considered to be the strongest chess player in Canadian history. His FIDE rating peaked at 2633, in January 2007, at age 52, and in the late 1980s he was ranked consistently amongst the top 100 players in the world. Spraggett has lived in Portugal since the late 1980s, and plays most of his tournaments in Europe, although he visits North America every year or two on average, to compete there. His best recent finishes include a victory at the Figueira da Foz International Chess Festival (December 2008, with 7½/9) and a clear second place at the Calvià Open (in October 2007, with 7/9).


  • World Open Champion 1983;
  • New York Open Champion 1984;
  • Commonwealth Champion 1984 (Hong Kong) and 1985 (London);
  • Seven Closed Canadian Chess Championship titles (1984, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2002);
  • Eight Canadian Open Chess Championship titles (1983, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000);
  • Tied first place Canadian Junior Championship 1973-4;
  • Canadian Closed Blitz Champion 1996;
  • Represented Canada at World Championship Interzonals (1985, Taxco, and 1990, Manila);
  • Represented Canada at World Championship Candidates' tournament 1985, Montpellier;
  • Represented Canada at World Championship Candidates' matches (1988, 1989); he beat Andrei Sokolov (+2 –1 =9) in 1988 at Saint John, but was then eliminated by Artur Yusupov (+1 –2 =6) in 1989 at Quebec City;
  • Represented Canada at World Championship Knockout (1997, 1999);
  • Represented Canada at Chess Olympiads (1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002);
  • Silver medal, Board 2, Olympiad 2000, Istanbul;
  • Top rated Canadian at year-end 23 times (1980, 1982–90, 1992–2000, 2002-5);
  • Canadian Chess Hall of Fame 2000;
  • Grandmaster Spraggett wrote a column during 2006 with Chess Canada magazine.

Notable chess games[edit]


  1. ^ "Kevin Spraggett's profile on". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  2. ^ CFC Bulletin, November 1974, p. 15.
  3. ^ The British Chess Magazine, May 1985, pp. 213-216.

External links[edit]