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Mark Bluvshtein v Veselin Topalov, Russia 2010 (See diagram)

When Mark Bluvshtein thinks about his success in the world of business, he is quick to credit his training as a competitive chess player.

“Chess forces me to think one step ahead,” he says. “It has gotten me to be very analytical in everything I do.”

How does White break through against the world's Number 2 player?The Globe and Mail

At 33, he is vice-president of operations for Humi, a Toronto-based firm that provides HR, payroll and benefits systems to small and medium-sized businesses.

Before that, he held several leadership positions with Wave Financial, a one-time startup that was acquired by H&R Block for $537-million in 2019.

Born in the Soviet Union, Bluvshtein moved to Canada at the age of 11 and was soon winning every chess tournament in sight. He became an international master at 13, and the youngest chess grandmaster in Canadian history at 16.

But after his undergraduate degree he decided he didn’t want to pursue chess as his career. He joined TD as an investment banker, then got his MBA before applying his analytical skills to increasingly senior roles with businesses.

As for the future, it will be in business and management. But one thing won’t change.

“I love chess. I still look at chess every day.”


Bluvshtein played 24.Nxd6 and after Bxd6 25.Rxd6 Rxe2 26.Rxd8+ Kf7 27.Bxe2 White has a decisive advantage.