Skip to main content

Canada is sending some of its top players to compete in next week’s Chess Olympiad, scheduled to begin July 28 in Chennai, India.

The Canadian men’s team is led by Eric Hansen, one of the country’s top grandmasters and a professional Twitch streamer. Also on the team is grandmaster Razvan Preotu, along with international masters Nikolay Noritsyn, Raja Panjwani and Artiom Samsonkin.

The tournament was originally scheduled for Moscow, but international organizers scrambled after the Ukraine invasion and relocated it to India. In a single day, Indian organizers booked 1200 hotel rooms and guaranteed $10 million to cover expenses.

The last Olympiad was held online, but organizers expect teams from more than 150 countries in this year’s in-person event.

Team captain Victor Plotkin of Toronto says he is busy studying data about each player’s strengths and weaknesses, which will inform how he decides the four-player lineup in each round. He is hoping Canada can come close to its 2016 result when it finished 11th.

“I try to make the best possible decisions, but then it’s up to the players,” he said.

Canada is also sending three players to compete in the women’s event: Maili-Jade Ouellet, Nemo Zhou and Svitlana Demchenko.

Madan Krishna Kayastha v Eric Hansen, Batumi Olympiad, 2018

Handout

How does Black finish off his opponent?

After 41. … Qd5 White is helpless, and he resigned.