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Ivanov, Igor Vasilievich

Igor Ivanov (1947-2005) was a Grandmaster (2004) who defected from the Soviet Union to Canada in 1980.  He had been part of a Soviet team which went to Cuba to play in the Capablanca Memoria.  On the way back to Russia, during a refueling stop in Gander, Newfoundland, he left the aircraft (and KGB officers) and defected.  His first game in the West was drawn after 14 moves, thinking his opponent was a strong master.  His opponent's rating was later found out to be 1651.  In 1982, while representing Canada in the Toluca Interzonal, Ivanov missed the Grandmaster title and qualifying for the Candidates by a half-point.  He tied for 1st place at the American Open in 1984, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 1997.  He was won the U.S. Grand Prix championship 9 times and has won the Canadian nationals championship 5 times.  He learned English by watching television (his favorite show was the Untouchables).  He died of cancer of the esophagus on November 17, 2005, in St, George, Utah.  He was born in Leningrad on January 8, 1947.  He was an accomplished musician on the piano and cello.

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