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Abe Yanofsky v. Alberto Dulanto, Argentina 1939 (See diagram)

Fans of The Queen’s Gambit know that chess prodigies are possible, but many may not realize that Canada had its very own prodigy nearly a century ago.

Abe Yanofsky of Winnipeg started winning national events at 11, and 80 years ago he won the first of his eight Canadian championship titles.

How does White avoid losing his Queen or getting checkmated?The Globe and Mail

It was hardly a surprise, because he had already notched some significant international successes. He represented Canada at the Buenos Aires Olympiad when he was 14, winning the prize for best performance on the second board.

Even the reigning world champion took note of the young Canadian’s play, especially his game against the Peruvian champion which is featured in today’s diagram. The game was included in a compilation of chess highlights of the 20th century.

Yanofsky went on to become the first Grandmaster in Canadian history, and arguably the strongest player Canada has ever produced. While studying in London, he also managed to become British champion.

But chess wasn’t Yanofsky’s only pursuit. He was a practising lawyer, and an elected official. He became mayor of the Winnipeg suburb of West Kildonan, and served for many years on Winnipeg city council.

He died in 2000 at the age of 74.


White uncorked 22.Rxe6+ and after Kxe6 23.Re1+ Kd6 24.Qf6+ Kc5 25.Re5+ Kc4 and White can force mate.