The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen
Full name
Eric Hansen
May 24, 1992 (age 31)‎
Place of birth
Irvine, California, United States



Eric Hansen is a Canadian grandmaster, commentator, and chess streaming superstar. He is the main host of ChessBrah—one of the most popular chess channels on Twitch and YouTube. 

An incredibly talented bullet and blitz player, Hansen was the highest-rated bullet player on in April 2012. In May 2013 he was the highest-rated player in Canada on the FIDE rating list. 

Early Career To Grandmaster

Hansen learned how to play chess when he was nine years old. He earned the FIDE master title at age 15 and became the youngest Alberta champion in history. In 2011 he tied for first place in the Canadian Closed Championship alongside GM Bator Sambuev and earned his first trip to the FIDE World Cup.

In 2012 he won the Canadian Open Chess Championship and then represented Canada in the 2012 Chess Olympiad. He scored 7.5/10 at the Olympiad and earned his final grandmaster norm. Hansen tied for first through fifth places at the 2012 American Continental Championship alongside GMs Julio Granda Zuniga, Alexander Shabalov, Diego Flores, and Gregory Kaidanov. This placement earned him his second trip to the World Cup.

Eric hansen chess
Hansen at the 2018 Olympiad. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Hansen was awarded the grandmaster title in 2013 and tied for first at the Cappelle-la-Grande Open. In May 2013 Hansen was the number-one Canadian player on the FIDE rating list. He tied for first place at the Canadian Open in 2013 alongside GM Nigel Short. He represented Canada in the 2014 Olympiad scoring 4/5 and earning a win against GM Ilya Smirin.

In 2015 Hansen tied for first place at the Canadian Zonal Championship. At the 2016 Chess Olympiad, Hansen had another great performance with a score of 9/11. He defeated multiple GMs in this event, including GM Sam Shankland and GM Andrey Zhigalko. Hansen's victory over Zhigalko at this tournament displays some of Hansen's tactical magic and creative vision. After a tense middlegame battle, Hansen goes for the throat with 19.g6!?

Hansen's pseudo-queen sacrifice with 33. Qxe7+! is a memorable tactic. His prowess in murky and messy positions is equaled by his technique in simpler positions—he is an all-around player with a universal style. In the following game from the 2019 PRO Chess League against GM Alexander Shabalov, we see Hansen torture Shabalov with the bishop pair in an equal endgame after 31. Bd5:

Hansen put on a clinic in the minor piece endgame: he fixed weaknesses, attacked them, and won material—not an easy task against a powerful and seasoned veteran like GM Shabalov!

PRO Chess League

Hansen has played in the PRO Chess League (PCL) since its inaugural season in 2017. He has been a player and a manager for his team: the Chessbrahs:

Eric Hansen PCL
Hansen has always been a member of the Chessbrahs in the PCL.

Although his teammates have changed from season to season, the 2020 Chessbrahs had their strongest lineup yet. Hansen was joined by world-class super-GMs Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri, and Alireza Firouzja that season. In the 2020 PCL quarterfinals, it was Hansen who scored 3.5/4 to lead the Chessbrahs to their first final four.

Eric Hansen PCL
Hansen's 3.5/4 in the 2020 PCL quarterfinals sent them to the Final Four.

Although the Chessbrahs haven't won a PCL title yet, they are always one of the most popular teams. This is mainly because of their huge following on their Twitch and YouTube channels.

ChessBrah Channels

As mentioned, Hansen is the founder and one of the main hosts of the extremely popular chess channel known as "ChessBrah." Their Twitch channel can be found at The channel is mainly hosted by Hansen and GM Aman Hambleton, but often has appearances by other chess celebrities like GM Yasser Seirawan and WFM Alexandra Botez.

As of November 2020, the ChessBrah channel has about 150,000 followers on Twitch. Hansen streams many times a week on the channel and plays lots of different online events. You can catch him playing against world-class grandmasters in SCC GPs, Titled Tuesdays, SCC Invitationals, or even playing against viewers like yourself! If you find yourself playing against Hansen on his stream, beware of his insane calculation abilities:

The Chessbrah YouTube Channel has over 150,000 subscribers (as of November 2020). The channel has almost 40 million total views and features a lot of great content, including speed runs to a 3000-rating and Hansen playing against World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen.

Best Game

Most Played Openings