Eric Hansen is the 2012 Player of the Year!

GM Eric Hansen
GM Eric Hansen

Grandmaster Eric Hansen from Calgary is the 2012 Canadian Chess Player of the Year. Congratulations, Eric!

Eric won both the overall Player-of-the-Year vote and the Fan Ballot, the former determined in the main by a poll of Canadian chess journalists (such as they are) and the latter by votes from the fans! In the overall vote, soon-to-be-IM Aman Hambleton finished 2nd, Canadian Champion GM Bator Sambuev 3rd, and Canadian Junior Champion IM Richard Wang 4th.

2012 was quite a year for Hansen. In July, he won the Canadian Open in Victoria; in August, he tied for 5th at the World Junior in Athens. He then scored 7.5/10 for Canada at the Olympiad in Istanbul (qualifying for the GM title); and then 8.5/11 at the Continental in Mar del Plata (tying for 1st and qualifying by playoff for the 2013 World Cup). How could anyone not vote for him after a year like that!

He is now ranked 2nd in Canada by FIDE rating, behind GM Kevin Spraggett – or 3rd if inactive players are included (GM Mark Bluvshtein, now retired, still holds the top rating).

Check here for a more complete list of 2012 Canadian chess player accomplishments and past player-of-the-year winners.

Fans can check out Eric Hansen’s new website ( or follow @hansenchess on Twitter!

David Cohen has organized the “Canadian Player of the Year” award each year for the past ten years. As David explains, “The purpose is to recognize the achievements of a Canadian chess player in 2012; and to gain some publicity for Canadian chess.” He also thanks Michael von Keitz of CFC and Larry Bevand of CMA for their help.

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