Top Players - 2013 Canadian Open

Luis Manuel Perez Rodriguez (GM, Cuba)

GM Luis Manuel Perez
GM Luis Manuel Perez Rodriguez will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Tournament Results:

2013 =3rd  59th Campeonato Nacional e Internacional Abierto Mexicano
2012 =9th   JAHV McGregor de Ajedrez ITT, Bogota
2012 =2nd Cuban Men's Semi-Final, Havana
2011 =4th   Canadian Open, Toronto (1/2 point behind winners)
2011 =2nd  Panama Chess Open, Panama
2011 =8th   Continental American Championship, Toluca, Mexico
2009 =3rd   IRT Open de Las Americas, Colombia
2008 =4th   Torneo Internacional Abierto de Ajedrez, Costa Rica
2008 =2nd  Cuban Men's Championship (stage 1), Camajuani
2008 =1st    Internacional Diputacion de Malaga, Spain
2008 =6th   35th International, La Roda, Spain
2008    1st   Che Guevara 80th Anniversary RR, Las Tunas, Cuba

(added: June 29)

Edward Porper (IM, Canada)

IM Edward Porper will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Born in the Ukraine, Edward emigrated to Israel in 1990, earned his IM title in 1991, and moved to Canada in 2008. He represented Canada at the 2012 Olympiad. Edward lives in Edmonton, where he works as a chess coach, a translator (English, Russian, Hebrew and German), travel writer, chess writer and lecturer, and is the city's three-time chess champion. Canadian chess players might be most familiar with him from the CFC's monthly newsletter Canadian Chess News, which he edited from 2011-2013.

Tournament Results:
IM Edward Porper

2013  4th=  Chicago Open, (GM norm)
2013  2nd   Alberta Closed, Calgary
2013  1st    Edmonton Closed Championship, Edmonton
2013  1st=  Northern Alberta Open, Edmonton
2011  1st    Edmonton Fall 'A', Edmonton
2011  1st=  Alberta Open Championship, Edmonton
2011  1st    Holiday Open, San Bernardino, Switzerland
2011  1st    Edmonton Championship, Edmonton (7
½/8 in play-off)
2009  1st=  Canadian Open Championship, Edmonton
2009  1st=  Calgary International Chess Classic, Calgary
2009  1st    Edmonton Championship, Edmonton
2006  1st    Mannheim, Germany
2006  1st    32nd Guernsey Chess Festival, Bailiwick of Guernsey
2004  1st    Liechtenstein Open; (GM norm)
2003  1st    SWOCL Futurity, Guelph (9/10)
2002  1st    Rajka Open, Austria
1991  1st    Olot, Spain (final IM norm)

IM Porper won a beauty prize for the game Porper – Lock (Guernsey Chess Festival, 2006)

(added: June 10; photo: Betsy Dynako)

Elshan Moradiabadi (GM, Iran)

GM Elshan Moradiabadi will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Elshan Moradiabadi is a former Iranian National Champion (2001), a title he won at the age of 16 by scoring 10/11. He tied for first again in 2004, but lost the title on tie-breaks. Currently Iran's #2 #1 rated player, he has competed successfully for his country many times in team events: winning 3 bronze medals from the Asian Indoor Games (2007 Individual Blitz, 2007 team rapid, and 2009 Team Blitz), and 3rd place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games (Beijing), ahead of India, USA and Hungary. In addition to his GM and IM titles, he earned the FIDE Trainer title in 2012. 

Elshan Moradiabadi has a degree in chemical engineering from Iran's Sharif University of Technology. He currently working on an MBA at Texas Tech, where he studies on a chess scholarship and helped his team win the 2012 "Final Four" of US collegiate chess. 

Recent Tournament Results:
2012  1st=  Saint Louis Invitational, Missouri
1st   28th North America Masters (A), Illinois
2011  1st=  Cuitat de Balaguer, Spain 
2010  1st   33rd Ikaros Chess Festival, Greece (8/9) 
2010  1st=  Khashayar Mostafavi Kashani Cup, Iran  
2009  2nd= Sardaran Cup, Iran 

3rd    Team Blitz, Asian Indoor Games, Viet Nam  
2009  3rd=  Ravan Challenge, Sri Lanka 
2009  2nd= Arcapita Open, Bahrain (ahead of 11 GMs) 
2009  1st=  Rethymno 2009, Greece 
2009  2nd   Thailand Open, Thailand 
2009  2nd= Arcapita Open, Pahrain 
2007  4th=  Paris International Championship, France
2006  1st=  Ascala de Henares Intl Open, Spain  
2006  2nd=  Paris International, France 
2006  Asian Games, Qatar (3rd place Mixed Team, behind India and China) 
2005  1st=  13th Fajr Open, Iran
2005  1st=  Kish Persian Gulf Cup, Iran
2004  1st=  Iranian Men's Championship, Iran

The 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa will be GM Moradiabadi's first tournament in Canada. 

entertaining notes to Short - Fressinet (Olympiad, 2010)
FIDE card

(added: May 24, 2013; updated: June 2013)
Walter Arencibia (GM, Cuba)

GM Walter Arencibia will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 

Walter Arencibia learned to play chess at the age of 8. In 1986 he won the World Junior Championship and Pan-American Junior Championship. He has won the Cuban National Championship twice (1986, 1990). He has competed on the Cuban Olympiad teams nine times, and contributed to winning five Pan-American Team championships for Cuba. In 2007 he earned the title FIDE Trainer, and as trainer for the Cuban women's team helped them to a 4th place finish at the 2010 Olympiad. He teaches chess in Canada, Spain and Cuba.

GM Arencibia has had significant success in Canada: this summer will be the sixth time he has competed in the Canadian Open, which he has already won twice (1st= in 2011 and 2006). 

Canadian Results: 
2011  1st=  Canadian Open, Toronto 
2011  2nd   Quebec Invitational, Montreal 
2006  1st=  Canadian Open, Kitchener 
2007  1st=  KW Winter Open, Kitchener 
2004  2nd=  Montreal International B, Montreal 
2004  3rd=  Canadian Open, Kapuskasing 
2003  3rd=  CMA Futurity, Toronto 
2003  3rd=  Canadian Open, Kapuskasing 
2002  1st=  CMA Futurity, Toronto 
2002  2nd= Guelph Pro-Am International, ON 

Early Successes:
1986  World Junior Champion, Gausdal
1986  Pan-American Junior Champion
1986  Cuban National Champion
1990  Cuban National Champion

More Recent Results:
2012  4th    Douglas Martinez International, Venezuela 
2011  2nd= Panama Chess Open, Panama City 
2010  2nd= Semifina Oriental Masculino, Cuba 
2008  3rd=  Calvia International Open, Spain 
2007  1st=  Guillermo Garcia International, Cuba 
2007  1st    Cuban National Championship – stage 1, Cuba 
2006  1st=  Capablanca Memorial, Havana 
2005  1st=  Zonal 2.3, Ecuador 
2005  1st=  Carlos Torre memorial, Mexico 
2004  3rd=  Capablanca Memorial, Havana 
2003  1st=  Guillermo Garcia International, Cuba 
2001  2nd=  Pablo Gorbea Memorial, Spain 

Official Website:

(Added: April 28)
Bindi Cheng (IM, Canada) 

IM Bindi Cheng will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 

Bindi Cheng grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, moved to British Columbia at 15 where he dominated the junior chess scene. He won the 2006 Canadian Junior Championship, earned his FM title in 2007, and IM title in 2011. He moved back to Ontario to study at the University of Toronto, where he earned a BA in Business Administration in 2012. He now lives and works in Toronto as a chess coach, giving lessons in person and over Skype. Bindi also has a channel on YouTube – “Live Blitz with Bindi Cheng” -- where he comments on internet blitz games of all levels. 

Bindi Cheng
Notable Tournament Results: 
2013  1st    Guelph Winter Pro-Am (ahead of GM Sambuev and IM Noritsyn) 
2013  2nd=  Hart House Reading Week Open, Toronto 

2012  2nd=  Hart House Reading Week Open, Toronto 
2012  2nd=  KW Fall Open, Kitchener 
2011  4th=  Canadian Open, Toronto 
2011  3rd=  Keres Memorial Open, Richmond BC 
2011  1st=  Portland Chess Club Centennial 
2011  1st=  Alliston Open, Alliston ON 
2011  Canadian University Team Championship (3½/4, board 1 for UofT) 
2010  2nd   Canadian Junior Championship, Toronto 
2010  1st    Toronto Thanksgiving Open 
2010  1st=  
Canadian Open Blitz Championship
2009  2nd= Hart House Reading Week Open, Toronto 
2008  1st   Grand Pacific Open, BC 
2008  1st   BC Youth Chess Championship (U18) 
2007  2nd   Paul Keres Memorial Open, BC 
2007  1st   Vancouver January Open 
2007  1st    BC Junior Championship 
2007  8th=  Quebec Open (8th, behind 6 GMs) 
2006  1st   Canadian Junior Championship 

Bindi/Barkyducky's YouTube channel: Live Blitz with Bindi Cheng
2011 Aurora simul: photos and video

[photo credit: David Farrant]
(added: April 7)

Ioan-Cristian Chirila
(GM, Romania) 

GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 

Ioan-Cristian Chirila was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1991. He was introduced to chess at the age of five by his father, and by the age of 13, took 9th place at the 2004 Romanian Men’s Chess Championship. As you would expect from such a fast learner, he dominated Romanian junior chess, both individually and in team events: 
    Seven-time Romanian Youth Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009) 
    Four-time Romanian Junior Team champion (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Since 2010, Cristian has been on a chess scholarship at at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he and his UTD team have won the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship three times (2010, 2011 and 2012). He is currently living in Dallas where he is pursuing a BA in International Political Economy. When he plays in the 2013 Canadian Open in Ottawa it will be his first tournament in Canada. 

 Recent Individual Tournament Results:
1st   2012 78th Annual Southwest Open (6½/7) 
1st   2012 University of Texas at Dallas Invitational RR 
       (7/9; ahead of GMs Onischuk, Yotov, Sadorra and Holt)
1st= 2009 Victor Ciocaltea Memorial - GM, Bucharest
10th 2009 European Individual Chess Championship 2009, Montenegro
1st   2009 Black Sea Coast Trophy, Eforie Nord, Romania 

Notable results as a junior:
1st  1998 European Chess Championship, Hungary
2nd  2004 European Junior Rapid Chess Championship, Serbia
2nd  2004 European Junior Problem Solving Chess Championship
1st   2006 U15 World Schools Individual Championships, Greece
1st   2007 European Junior Rapid Chess Championship, Serbia
2nd  2007 European Junior Problem Solving Chess Championship
1st   2007 U17 World Schools Individual Championships, Greece
1st   2007 U16 World Youth Championships, Turkey (earned IM title)
1st= 2008 U18 World Youth Championships, Vietnam.

At UTD Cristian met and became good friends with Canadian GM Eric Hansen, with whom he shares ideas about chess and fitness via Skype... so don't expect GM Chirila to run out of ideas or energy in the late rounds at the 2013 Canadian Open.

USCF: story on 2012 UTD Invitational | I-C Chirila
Chessbase: Chirila annotates two Candidates games (03.25.2013)
Chess at UT Dallas: video | homepage

(added: March 20; updated: 03.25)

Reynaldo Vera (GM, Cuba)

GM Reynaldo Vera Gonzalez-Quevedo will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 
GM Vera

Reynaldo Vera is a two-time Cuban Champion (1997, 2001) and a member of the Cuban national chess team for more than two decades, highlighted by winning a gold medal at the 1998 Elista Olympiad for best score on 3rd board. He earned his grandmaster title in 1988, is a graduate of Havana University, has published two chess books, and has written for many chess magazines, including New in Chess, Jaque, and Peon de Rey. He has played in the Spanish and Brazilian national leagues, and will play in the Italian league this year. GM Vera also a FIDE Senior Trainer, and the coach to the Cuban national chess team; among his students are Spain's top-rated player Francisco “Paco” Vallejo (2000-05), and the first GM from Bolivia, Osvaldo Zambrana. 

Recent Results: 

2012  2nd=  Kuna Arandu - Elite, Paraguay

2012  3rd=  Memorial Pedro Lezcano Montalvo, Spain 

2011  2nd=  Memorial Pedro Lezcano Montalvo, Spain 

2009  4th=   Torneo Internacional Ciudad de La Laguna, Spain 

2008  4th=   Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez Alajuela, Costa Rica 

2007  1st     Baltic Sea Cup, Denmark 

2004  1st=   Ciutat de Cullera Magis, Spain 

2004  2nd    Ciudad de Albacete, Spain 

2004  2nd=  Iberoamericano International - A, Spain 

2001  1st=   Campeonato de Cuba, Cuba 

2001  1st=   Ciudad de Málaga, Spain 

Vera in Canada: 

2012 14th=  Quebec Invitational, Montreal 

2003 14th= Canadian Open

1997  3rd=  Canadian Open 

1996  3rd=  Quebec Open 

1997  3rd=  NBIO Open 

1996  4th=  Quebec Open 

When he plays in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship this summer it will be his first tournament in Ottawa since 1996, when he won the "Chess in the Park" active with a perfect score. Will his reception be so sunny?

GM Vera is the author of two books in Gambit's "Chess Explained" series: The Meran Semi-Slav (Gambit, 2007) and The Nimzo-Indian (Gambit, 2008).

(added: Feb.27)

Eduardas Rozentalis (GM, Lithuania)


GM Eduardas Rozentalis will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Rozentalis - Elephant Gambit?


Eduardas Rozentalis is the top-rated player in Lithuania and a nine-time member of Lithuanian Olympiad team. He is a two time co-winner of the Canadian Open (1995, 2008) and a three-time Young Masters champion of the former USSR.

He has won tournaments in twenty countries: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA and Canada. He also competes in team events in Austria, Belgium, France, Israel, Poland and Sweden.

Among his more recent international tournaments are:

2013  1st    Norsk Sjakkfestival, Fagernes, Norway

2012  1st    Cultural Village Toernoii, Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands
2012  1st=  Oslo Chess International GM-Group, Norway
2012  1st=  Offene Internationale Bayerische Meisterschaft, Germany
2012  1st=  SS Manhem GM, Sweden
2011  1st    Max Gutmann Memorial, Germany
2010  1st    Magistral Ciudad de Asunción - Copa Roggio, Paraguay,
2009/10 1st= Rilton Cup, Stockholm
2009  2nd=  Palma de Mallorca, Spain


Rozentalis is a regular competitive guest at Canadian events, where he almost always finishes at or near the top:

2012  9th= Quebec Open Invitational (undefeated with 8 draws)
2012  3rd= Toronto International
2011  3rd= Quebec Invitational
2011  4th= Canadian Open, Toronto (½ point behind winners)
2010  7th= Canadian Open, Toronto
2008  1st= Canadian Open, Montreal
2007  2nd= Quebec Open A
2003  1st    Tournoi International de Montreal (8½/11)
2001  2nd= Tournoi International de Montreal
2001  3rd    Championnat Ouvert du Quebec
2000  1st    Toronto Summer International
1995  1st=  Canadian Open, Toronto
1995  1st=  Quebec Open, Montreal
1994  2nd= North Bay International

When he comes in Ottawa this summer, Eduardas Rozentalis will not only be competing to win the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship, he'll be trying to become only the second non-Canadian to win the Canadian Open three times. 

Eduardas Rozentalis is author of: Vierzig kommentierte Partien 1983–97 (Fölbach, 1998) and co-author of Play the 2.c3 Sicilian (Gambit, 2002)



    2008 Interview

(photo: Eduardas at Khanty-Mansiysk, 2010 Olympiad)
(added: Jan.28; updated: April 7)

Aman Hambleton (IM, Canada) 

Aman Hambleton, Canada's newest International Master, will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 

Aman Hambleton was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he learned chess at age five. He moved to Toronto and played his first chess tournament at age 6. He led his Toronto high-school team to the provincial championship, and his team at Western to the Canadian University championship. He's now 20 years old, has completed his 2nd year at the University of Western Ontario, studying economics and language, and lives in Ottawa.

As a junior, Aman's chess progress was steady but not spectacular: averaging about +100 Elo points per year from 2005-2009. Spending more time on school than chess Aman played only four events in each of 2010 and 2011. But now Aman is taking a year off University to pursue his chess, and he's been as successful as he has been busy: 

  • over 100 rated games Aman, ready to climb.
  • collected five IM-norms: 
         2012 World Junior Chess Championship, Greece
         2012 SPICE Cup Open, St.Louis
         2012 UNAM Open, Mexico City
         2012 Panama Chess Open, Panama City
         2013 Vandoeuvre Open, France
  • earned one GM norm (UNAM Open, Mexico) 
  • raised his FIDE rating 235 points from May '12 to Jan '13.
  • raised his CFC rating 166 points to 2571.

To do this you have to score well against everyone, but his record against GMs since the 2012 World Junior is outstanding: +9=10-2. If he has an Achilles' heel he might admit it would be the "hungry IMs who also want GM norms, they are the ones preventing me from getting my next norms!'

Recent Tournaments:
1st=  2013  Forni de Sopra, Italy   
1st    2013  Sunningdale Chess Congress, England (6½/7, 2783 TPR)
1st=  2012  Erfurter Schachfestival, Germany (6/8)
3rd=  2012  UNAM Open, Mexico (7/9; +2 =4 -0 vs GMs)
1st    2012  Ottawa Winter Open (5/5, 2722 TPR)
1st    2012  Elite Championship of Quebec (6½/7, 2693 TPR)
1st    2012  Ottawa Autumn Open
1st    2012  Montreal Open (4½/5; 2648 TPR)
1st=  2012  Labour Day at Hart House, Toronto
1st    2012  Eastern Ontario Open, Ottawa
1st    2012  Canadian University Teams Chess Championship, (Western)
7th=  2010  Canadian Open Championship, (2½/4 vs GMs)
1st    2010  Canadian Youth Chess Championship, 1st U18
1st    2009  Ontario High School Championship (Woburn Collegiate Institute)
1st    2008  Toronto Junior Championship 

Aman is an active member of Ottawa's RA Chess Club, and the titled-player liason for the 2013 Canadian Open, and so could be considered the “hometown” favourite... but since he's also lived in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Ontario (Toronto, Scarborough, London, and Ottawa) it's hard to imagine a Canadian with broader “hometowns” support than Aman Hambleton. 

    Aman's homepage.
    Aman is doing live commentary on TATA Steel and Gibralter Open on  (Jan-Feb, 2013)
    TV interview during Newfoundland Championship

(Added: Jan.22; updated: April 22; updated: July 3)

Ivan Sokolov (GM, Netherlands)

Sokolov, 2013 Tata Steel, rd.2

GM Ivan Sokolov will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Ivan Sokolov was born in Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina), learned to play chess at six from his father, earned the GM title at 19, moved to the Netherlands during the Yugoslavian war and is now a Dutch citizen. He competes in tournaments around the world and regularly plays in European team leagues in Germany, France and the Netherlands. 
    Sokolov has tournament wins against most of the best players of the last 30 years: Anand (2x), Topalov (3x), Kramnik (1), Kortchnoi (6x), Short (2x), Shirov (2x), Aronian (2x), Adams (2x), and Carlsen (2x). Famously, he defeated Garry Kasparov in 28 moves at the 1999 Wijk aan Zee super-tournament. 

As of today (Jan.12-27, see photo) Ivan is competing in the top group at the 2013 Tata Steel Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, where he'll once again face many of the world's best players: Magnus Carlsen, Lev Aronian, and World Champion Vishy Anand.

A partial list of Sokolov's tourament successes:
    2012  1st   World Cities Team Championship, Abu Dhabi (5/7 for winning team Hoogeveen)
    2012  1st   World Open, Philadelphia (ahead of 31 GMs)
    2012  2nd= Dutch Championship (behind Anish Giri)
    2012  1st=  Politiken Cup, Denmark
    2012  2nd= Reykjavik Open (behind Caruana)
    2011  2nd= Nakhchivan Open, Azerbaijan
    2011  2nd   Dutch Championship, Boxtel
    2011  1st=  Reykjavik Open, Iceland
    2010  2nd= Chigorin Memorial, St. Petersburg
    2010  1st   Reykjavik Open, Iceland
    2009  1st= Corsica Masters, France
    2009  1st=  Individual European Chess Championship, Montenegro
    2008  1st    Essent, Hoogeveen, NED
    2007  1st=  Ciudad Real Rapid, Spain
    2006  1st    Staunton Memorial, London
    2005  1st=  Villarrobledo Rapid, Spain
    2005  1st=  BOSNA International, Sarajevo
    2004  1st    Essent, Hoogeveen, NED
    2003  1st=  Milk Tournament, Iceland
    2003  1st    BOSNA International, Sarajevo
    2002  2nd= GM Super-Tournament, Sarajevo
    2001  1st=  J.T. Jonsson Memorial Open, Iceland

By my count, Ivan Sokolov has won tournaments in eighteen countries: Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Montenegro, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. He added the United States to this list last year when he won the 2012 World Open in Philadelphia. 

You may have noticed that Canada is not on that list. That's because when Ivan Sokolov plays at the 2013 Canadian Open in Ottawa it will be his first tournament in Canada.


Ivan Sokolov is the author of:
        The Strategic Nimzo-Indian – Vol. I Rubinstein Variation (New in Chess, 2012)

        The Ruy Lopez Revisited (New In Chess, 2009)
        Winning Chess Middlegames: An Essential Guide to Pawn Structures, (New In Chess, 2008)
        Sokolov's Best Games, (Everyman/Cadogan, 1997)
        The Nimzo-Indian Defence (Cadogan, 1995)

(Added: Jan.13)

Eugene Perelshteyn (GM, United States)

GM Eugene Perelshteyn will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Eugene Perelshteyn was born in Ukraine and learned chess from his father, a FIDE Master. He moved to the United States at the age of fourteen and won the U.S. U18 Championship in 2000. Eugene earned a chess scholarship from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he graduated in computer science. In 2002 he was awarded the Samford Chess Fellowship – given to the top American Player under 25 years old – which helped him earn the GM title in 2006. He currently lives in Massachusetts, and competes mainly in New England. 
    He is a regular contributor to, and is co-author of two books, Chess Openings for White, Explained and Chess Openings for Black, Explained, both in their second editions.
    Unlike most of the titled players coming to the 2013 Canadian Open, GM Perelshteyn is not a full-time professional chess player (he works for Symantec), and so doesn't compete as frequently as the others. Despite this, his results, particularly in Open events, are consistently strong:

2012 1st 36th Queen City Open, Manchester, New Hampshire.
2010 1st= 70th New England Chess Championship, Connecticut.
2008 1st= Southern New Hampshire Open, Manchester, New Hampshire.
2009 1st= SPICE Cup - B, Lubbock, TX.
2009 1st= Harry Nelson Pillsbury Memorial, Leominster, Mass.
2007 1st SPICE Cup, Lubbock, TX.
2006 1st 38th Atlantic Open, Washington D.C.
2006 1st= Foxwoods Open, Connecticut.

The 2013 Canadian Open in Ottawa will be Eugene's third Canadian Open in a row, and fourth in five years. No points for detecting a pattern: 
            2012 Canadian Open (½ point out of 1st)
            2011 Canadian Open (½ point out of 1st)
            2009 Canadian Open (½ point out of 1st) 

We've all heard the investing maxim 'past performance is no guarantee of future results'... Eugene Perelshteyn's competitors for a podium finish at the 2013 Canadian Open would be unwise to bank on it.

USCF: 2012 article: "Rediscovering Live Speed Chess" | E.Perelshteyn
2008 Monroi video interview
Perelshteyn's lectures on DVD

(added: Jan.5, 2013)

Lázaro Bruzón Batista (GM, Cuba)

GM Lázaro Bruzón will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa. 

Lázaro Bruzón ought to be better known in the English-speaking chess-world. He is: 
  • the five-time National Champion of Cuba (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010). 
  • the 2000 World Junior Chess Champion (ahead of Aronian, Ponomariov, and Bacrot). 
  • a return member of the 2700+ Club (Dec.2012).
Bruzón has repeatedly shown himself to be a dangerous player, with victories over many of the world's best, including: Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov and Jobova (Turin Ol, 2006), Ivanchuk and Carlsen (2005 Samba Cup), Morozevich and Sokolov (2005 Wijk aan Zee), Beliavsky, Sutovsky and Ponomariov (Calvia Ol, 2004). Perhaps best of all, he defeated Vishy Anand, arguably the best rapid player of all time, in only 29 moves! (2006 Leon Rapid). But a string of uneven results in 2006-2007 resulted in his rating dropping below 2600, and cutting off invitations to the most famous elite events. 

His results the past two years have improved dramatically, and suggest that he has recovered his world-beating form:

1st    2013 Edmonton International (8/9)
1st    2012  Copa AES, Dominican Republic
1st    2012  JAHV McGregor de Ajedrez ITT, Colombia
1st=  2012  Ciutat de Barcelona 
1st=  2012  Torneo Iberoamericano, Ecuador (5/5 in qualifying group TPR=3226) 
2nd   2012  Quebec Invitational, Montreal
7½/8 2012  Catalan Teams (TPR=+3000!)
1st=  2011  Continental American Championship, Toluca, Mexico
2nd= 2011  GM 'B' Tata Steel Chess, Wijk aan Zee 
1st=  2011  JAHV McGregor de Ajedrez ITT, Colombia 
2nd   2011  Torneo Centroamericano y del Caribbean, Dominican Rep. 
1st=  2010  Barcelona Casino RR (2800+ TPR) 
1st    2010  Torneo Internacional A.D.San Juan, Pamplona Spain

Most impressively, he made a long run through the the 2011 World Cup knock-out matches in Khanty-Mansiysk, defeating Yuniesky Quesada Perez (Cuba), Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain), and Le Quang Liem (Vietnam), before losing to former FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) in a blitz tie-break game. 
Ominously for some of our other Top Players in the 2013 Canadian Open, in 2012 Bruzón defeated Nigel Short (Poikovsky) and Eric Hansen (Quebec Open), both times with Black. And as if to prove he hasn't gone soft, Bruzón repeated this feat in June 2013: defeating Nigel Short and Eric Hansen en route to winning the Edmonton International with 8/9!

So, if you didn't know about Lázaro Bruzón before the 2013 Canadian Open, don't say you weren't warned!

Links: Bruzón games at Chessgames,com. Brief interview at 2011 World Cup.

(added: Dec.27; updated: Feb.12; updated: July 3)

Nigel Short (GM, England)

GM Nigel Short will be competing in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

Nigel Short, GM, MBE, is arguably the best English chess player of all time. His career achievements are too many to list. They include:
  • three time Commonwealth Champion (2004, '06, '08)
  • three time British Chess Champion (1984, '87, '98)
  • three time Olympiad Team silver medallist (1984, '86, '88)
  • individual Olympiad gold medallist (1986, 10/13 board 3)
  • 1993 World Championship Challenger (vs Kasparov)
  • 1992 first player (other than Kasparov) to defeat Karpov in a match (+4=4-2).
  • victories over 12 of the 19 recognized World Chess Champions.
Impressive as that is, this Wikipedia-ready set of highlights might suggest that Short’s chess achievements are long past. Not so. A string of excellent results in 2011 and 2012 saw him win tournaments around the world and raise his FIDE rating to 2707 (Oct.2012):

1st= 2013 Tradewise Chess Festival, Gibraltar (ahead of 44 GMs)
1st   2012 Pühajärve Rapid, Estonia (28½/31) 
1st   2012 Edmonton International
1st   2012 Bangkok Chess Club Open, (8/9)
1st   2012 Tradewise Chess Festival, Gibraltar, (8/10, ahead of eleven 2700+ GMs)
1st= 2011 British Championship, Sheffield, (8½/11).
1st= 2011 Commonwealth Championship & South Africa Open, (9½/11)
1st   2011 Thanksgiving Open, St.Louis
1st   2011 CUCA International, Angola, (8/9)
1st= 2011 Thailand Open, (7½/9)
2nd  2011 Tradewise Chess Festival, Gibraltar, (8½/10, TPR=2883; behind only Ivanchuk's ridiculous 9/10 3000-Elo performance)

In addition to being a feared attacker over the board, away from the board Nigel is a highly quotable raconteur. He combines these talents in his lectures, his Chessbase DVDs, as a columnist for New in Chess magazine, and most recently as a play-by-play commentator at the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London. These two qualities come together in Quote #1 in Andrew Soltis’s The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess (Batsford, 2008):
“Modern chess is much too concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it. Checkmate ends the game.” - Nigel Short

The 2013 Canadian Open will be Nigel’s third tournament in Ottawa. He played in the 2007 Canadian Open (2nd=) and in 2012 generously agreed to play in a one-day active event at the RA Chess Club to raise money to support the Canadian Olympiad team (1st, 5/5). In fact, the RA Chess Club is lucky enough to call Nigel a regular guest, as he has given simuls and lectures for us in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Links: Nigel at the RACC | Nigel Short's Chessbase DVDs |  Candidates play-by-play (Rds. 4-6, 9-12)

(added: Dec.20; updated: April 7)

Bator Sambuev (GM, Canada)

GM Bator Sambuev, the current Canadian Closed Champion, will play in the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

GM Sambuev dominated the 2012 Canadian Closed Championship, winning his first eight games against all his nearest rivals before ending with a GM draw and a 2828 TPR. As this event was a FIDE Zonal, his win qualifies him for the next stage of the World Chess Championship, in Tromso, Norway.

Bator Sambuev earned the IM title at the age of 17. He studied with GM Alexander Lastin, and worked as his second to help him tie for first in the 2001 Russian Championship and win the 2002 Russian Championship. Bator first came to Canada from Russia when he played in the 2007 Canadian Open in Ottawa. This trip changed his life. He played well – finishing =2nd, ½ point behind winner GM Bu Xiangzhi — but the most important move was off the board: Bator decided to emigrate to Canada from Russia. He now lives with his wife and son in Montreal, where he gives private chess lessons and is currently setting up a chess school. And of course, Bator competes relentlessly in tournaments in Quebec and Ontario. Since moving to Canada, GM Sambuev has won 45 50 CFC-rated events:

2013 KW Riedstra Memorial
2013 Hart House Reading Week Open
2013 Ottawa Spring Open
2013 Desjardins Class
2012 Pere Noel, Montréal
2012 Guelph Fall ProAm
2012 KW Fall Open
2012 CMA Superfest Chess Event
2012 Guelph Spring ProAm
2012 Canadian Closed Championship (Zonal)
2012 KWCC Riedstra Memorial Open
2012 Ottawa Winter Open
2011 Hart House Holidays Open
2011 Ottawa Autumn Open A
2011 Championnat Ouvert de Montreal
2011 Eastern Ontario Open
2011 Ontario Open
2011 Canadian Zonal Championship
2011 Hamilton Winter Open
2011 Ottawa Spring Open
2011 Guelph Winter ProAm
2011 Ottawa Winter Open
2010 Hart House Holidays Open
2010 National Capital Open
2010 Guelph Fall ProAm Open
2010 Ottawa Autumn Open
2010 Toronto Labour Day Open
2010 Eastern Ontario Open
2010 Ontario Open
2010 RA Spring Open
2010 RA Winter Open
2009 Toronto Thanksgiving Open
2009 RA Fall Open Section A
2009 Toronto Labour Day Open
2009 Ontario Open
2009 PWC Toronto Open
2008 Hart House Holidays Open
2008 Sat the 13th Early Christmas Active
2008 RA Harvest Active
2008 National Capital Open
2008 RA Fall Open
2008 Eastern Ontario Open
2008 CMA Spring Masters
2008 RA Spring Open Section A
2008 Guelph Winter ProAm (Pro)
2008 RA Winter Open
2007 Holidays Open
2007 National Capital Open A
2007 Thanksgiving Open
2007 Chessca Open
2007 Toronto Labour Day Open

In addition to the CFC events listed above, GM Sambuev has won 17  20 FQE-rated events in Quebec:

2013 Championnat Ouvert de la Mauricie, Trois-Rivières
2013 Championnat par Classe, Montréal
2012 Super Festival Échiquéen, Sainte-Adèle
2012 Tournoi de la Saint-Jean, Québec
2011 Championnat Ouvert de Montmagny
2011 Championnat de parties rapides du Québec, Montréal
2011 Championnat Ouvert de Montreal (also on CFC list)
2011 Semi-rapide printanier du CEGEP Ahuntsic, Montréal
2011 Printanier Ahuntsic, Montréal
2011 Oasis, Montréal
2010 Championnat Ouvert de Montréal
2010 Championnat Ouvert du Québec (Invitation)
2010 Tournoi Ouvert de Sherbrooke 
2010 Printanier Ahuntsic, Montréal
2010 Tournoi Régional de Lanaudière, Repentigny
2010 Championnat Ouvert du Saguenay, Chicoutimi
2010 Championnat Ouvert de la Mauricie, Trois-Rivières
2010 Tournoi du Père Noël, Montréal
2009 Ahuntsic d'Automne, Montréal
2009 Open de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke
2009 Championnat Ouvert de la Mauricie, Trois-Rivières

That’s 62 70 tournament wins in five years -- more than one per month --  with 23 25 of those wins by 100% scores! Some of those white-washes were in tournaments where GM Sambuev was the clear favourite, but not all: one highlight in that list is the 2011 Hamilton Winter Open, which Bator won with a perfect 5/5, including wins over IM’s Samsonkin and Noritsyn, and visiting Phillipine GM Wesley So.

The only perfect score at a Canadian Open was 50 years ago, when IM Laszlo Witt scored 9/9 at the 1962 Canadian Open in Ottawa. If history is going to repeat itself in Ottawa this summer, don't bet against Bator.

Link: Bator's Chess school, The Royal Game/Jeu Royal
(photo credit: David Farrant)

(added: Dec.14; updated: April 22)

Eric Hansen (GM, Canada)
GM elect Eric Hansen (Canada)

Canada's newest Grandmaster, Eric Hansen, the current Canadian Open Champion, will defend his title at the 2013 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa.

2012 has been a very good year for 20-year-old GM Eric Hansen, with a string of excellent results:
  • July: 1st, Canadian Open, Vancouver (7½/9)
  • August: =5th, World Junior Chess Championship, Athens; best ever Canadian result.
  • August: =1st, and GM norm at the Isthmia Open, Greece.
  • September: best Canadian score and GM norm at the Olympiad (7½/10)
  • October: =1st, Continental Chess Tournament (Mar del Plata)
  • December: 1st, Panama Chess Open (8½/9; TPR=2898!!)
  • January 20, 2013: GM title confirmed by FIDE.
As a result of these recent wins, Eric is earning a reputation as a strong finisher in tournaments, with excellent late-round scores:
2/2 to tie for first with GM Sambuev in the 2011 Canadian Zonal 
3½/4 to win the 2012 Canadian Open
5/6 to finish 5th= at the 2012 World Junior
3/3 to tie for first at Isthmia, Greece, 2012.
And, in October, in the Continental tournament in Mar del Plata, Eric won his last two rounds in the main event to qualify for a five-man tie-break, and won the last round of the tie-break to qualify for the next stage of the World Chess Championship in Tromso, Norway!

He is also a ridiculously strong blitz and bullet player, having achieved a bullet rating over 2800 on, and a blitz rating over 3350 on ICC!

So, if you get a chance to play Eric in a late round at the 2013 Canadian Open there is good news and bad news. The good news: you are probably one of the tournament leaders. The bad news: you’re paired against Eric Hansen.

Eric Hansen's website (new)
Interviews with Eric Hansen
: during Olympiad, at  2012 Canadian Open, on

(added: Dec.9, updated Jan.22; Feb.19)

last: July 2, 2013