Meet Eric Hansen, Canada’s Young Grandmaster and ‘Chessbrah’

Hansen might be the country's best player ever.

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By Will Levith / October 29, 2017 9:00 am

Canadian Eric Hansen is a cold, calculated murderer—in the chess world, that is. A self-described “Chessbrah,” Hansen is a grandmaster—the best of the best in the chess world—and has a penchant for the speedy, one-minute-move-based “bullet” games in which one’s brainpower is the only thing between a win and loss. And according to The Walrus, Hansen could be the greatest chess player to ever emerge from the Great White North.

The Montreal-based grandmaster has made a name for himself on live streaming video platform Twitch, where he unleashes hell on amateurs and fellow chess stars on a regular basis. And he’s not the average chess club dork. Writes The Walrus‘ Sasha Chapin, “He likes to party, and drink, and dance. He is often seen with pretty young women.”

His goal, though, is not to live stream chess killings, but to be a top tournament chess player like Magnus Carlsen. (He’s got a long way to go; he’s ranked 152nd in the world among active players, but is No. 2 in Canada.) One thing that may be holding him back is that Canada doesn’t really have a chess culture like Russia or the United States.