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Esteban Canal
Number of games in database: 140
Years covered: 1916 to 1976
Overall record: +49 -46 =44 (51.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (20) 
    B29 B51 B80 B30 B22
 French Defense (10) 
    C11 C13 C01 C05 C12
 French (6) 
    C11 C13 C12
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C50 C53
 Four Knights (4) 
With the Black pieces:
 Slav (10) 
    D12 D10 D19 D11 D17
 Sicilian (8) 
    B40 B91 B83 B86 B23
 Queen's Indian (5) 
    E12 E15 E16
 Dutch Defense (5) 
    A84 A96 A91
 Queen's Pawn Game (4) 
    D02 A46 E10 A50
 Nimzo Indian (4) 
    E34 E22 E21 E35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   E Canal vs NN, 1934 1-0
   NN vs E Canal, 1935 0-1
   E Canal vs P F Johner, 1929 1-0
   E Canal vs P F Johner, 1923 1-0
   E Canal vs Schmid, 1953 1-0
   Saemisch vs E Canal, 1929 0-1
   E Canal vs Tarrasch, 1923 1/2-1/2
   E Canal vs E Paoli, 1965 1-0
   E Canal vs A Becker, 1929 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Budapest (1929)
   Karlsbad (1929)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   The Latin American Super Grand Masters by Eduardo Bermudez

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Esteban Canal
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(born Apr-19-1896, died Feb-14-1981, 84 years old) Peru (citizen of Italy)

[what is this?]
Esteban Canal was born in Chiclayo, Peru. Awarded the IM title in 1950, he became an Emeritus GM in 1977. He lived the first 26 years of his life in Peru but from 1923 onwards he was domiciled in Italy.

In 1933, he won the Hungarian championship. He was 2nd= at Meran in 1926 and 1st at Budapest in 1933. He also lead the Peruvian team at the 1950 Olympiad in Dubrovnik scoring (+1, =6, -8). He passed away in Varese, Italy in 1981.

Wikipedia article: Esteban Canal

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 140  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. E Canal vs NN 1-017 1916 TournamentC12 French, McCutcheon
2. E Canal vs H Johner 1-023 1917 ZuerichC05 French, Tarrasch
3. Yates vs E Canal  0-145 1923 International Master TtB40 Sicilian
4. E Canal vs Tarrasch  ½-½59 1923 TriesteB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
5. E Canal vs L Asztalos  ½-½40 1923 International Master TtC77 Ruy Lopez
6. E Canal vs Alekhine 0-184 1923 Torino,Caffe NazionC53 Giuoco Piano
7. E Canal vs P F Johner 1-030 1923 Trieste (Italy)C56 Two Knights
8. Spielmann vs E Canal  0-136 1926 03, MeranB40 Sicilian
9. E Canal vs Gruenfeld  0-141 1926 MeranoA47 Queen's Indian
10. E Canal vs A C Sacconi  1-017 1926 MeranC01 French, Exchange
11. Przepiorka vs E Canal  1-039 1926 MeranoD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Grob vs E Canal  0-142 1926 MeranoE12 Queen's Indian
13. E Canal vs Tartakower  ½-½33 1929 KarlsbadC13 French
14. Przepiorka vs E Canal  1-034 1929 Rogaska Slatina SLOA47 Queen's Indian
15. G A Thomas vs E Canal  0-157 1929 KarlsbadE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
16. E Canal vs K Havasi  1-045 1929 BudapestB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
17. E Canal vs Capablanca ½-½45 1929 KarlsbadC50 Giuoco Piano
18. Marshall vs E Canal  1-031 1929 KarlsbadE12 Queen's Indian
19. A Vajda vs E Canal  ½-½44 1929 BudapestE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
20. E Canal vs Spielmann 1-059 1929 KarlsbadA07 King's Indian Attack
21. E Canal vs K Joanovic  1-041 1929 Rogaska Slatina SLOB01 Scandinavian
22. Nimzowitsch vs E Canal ½-½49 1929 KarlsbadE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
23. E Canal vs Prokes ½-½32 1929 BudapestC11 French
24. Rubinstein vs E Canal 1-053 1929 SauerbrunnD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. A Brinckmann vs E Canal  0-161 1929 BudapestB23 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 140  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Canal wins | Canal loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-12-04  Lawrence: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE. Esteban Canal (1896-1981) became the first Peruvian the age of 81. Lived most of his life in the enchantingly beautiful city of Venice, and there's a chessclub there named after him.
May-12-04  iron maiden: Is he the oldest player to recieve the GM title? (I'm talking about the age at which the player actually earned the title, not someone who, say, got it at 20 and then lived to 90.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Esteban Canal
Born 19th April 1896 Chiclayo
Died 14th February Varese

Became an IM in 1950 and Emeritus GM in 1977. He was also Hungarian champion in 1933.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: My previous post should have said
Died 14th February 1981.

Honza told me Jaques Mieses was the oldest player to be awarded the GM title. At the time I thought it was Geza Maroczy.

Dec-27-04  DanielBryant: Didn't Mario Monticelli receive it fairly late?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Canal had once been in a tramway and bumped into a lady. he was probably lost in thought and said "j'adoube". he was quite surprised when the lady answered: "oh, you are a chessplayer. then you should know that you have to say j'adoube first!"
Mar-23-05  ughaibu: I wonder if she'd been stalking him?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <Daniel Bryant>
yes, Mario Monticelli became GM in 1985
Apr-19-06  BIDMONFA: Esteban Canal

CANAL, Esteban

Sep-15-07  pastpawn: <Lawrence: ... Lived most of his life in the enchantingly beautiful city of Venice>

It's funny that someone with a name like Canal would live in Venice :).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Inventor of the "Canal gambit",

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c5 5.cxd5 Qb6?!, something to consider in OTB play :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Canal left Peru as a 13 year-old student and travelled all around Europe, spending time in Spain, France and Belgium before arriving in Germany in 1914. He learned chess there and became the champion of Leipzig in 1916.

Source: David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, "Oxford Companion to Chess", 2nd edition, OUP, 1992

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Pictures of Esteban Canal's and his wife's (Anna Klupacs) grave in Cocquio Trevisago, Italy presented in Winter's C.N. 5831:
Nov-10-08  brankat: The gravestone has 1893 as E.Canal's year of birth, "official" Bio 1896. Winter's note also says that, in private, Canal used to say he had been born "before 1896, in Spain, not Peru".
Feb-15-09  WhiteRook48: let's go down the Esteban! Even though it's not a real Canal
Apr-19-09  laskereshevsky: A well respect player.

Between the grand masters he was a great estimator of Lasker, wich whome he shared a lot of opinions about life and chess, siping togheter good beers... A personal friend of Capablanca, and a very ironical "persecutor" of Nimtzovich...

But for me the most he was a really fantastic chess-games commentator.....

To pass-through a game commentated by him, its like to read "novellas" (short stories in good english..) wrotes by the greatest letteracture's writers.

At Memoriam, Maestro Esteban...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Solis Felipe Pinzon wrote a 1987 memoir with a long and interesting chapter on Canal, with many games not included here. In Spanish:
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <pastpawn: <Lawrence: ... Lived most of his life in the enchantingly beautiful city of Venice>

It's funny that someone with a name like Canal would live in Venice :).>


Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Lawrence>Lived most of his life in the enchantingly beautiful city of Venice, and there's a chessclub there named after him.

Here are details of the Circulo Esteban Canal:

Sep-15-11  SeanBurdine: Tabanus: Inventor of the "Canal gambit",

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c5 5.cxd5 Qb6?!, something to consider in OTB play :)


Also the discoverer (inventor?) of the Canal Variation in the Giuoco Piano.

1 P-K4 P-K4 2 N-KB3 N-QB3 3 B-B4 B-B4 4 P-Q3 N-B3 5 N-B3 P-Q3 6 B-KN5 P-KR3 7 BxN QxB 8 N-Q5 Q-Q1 9 P-B3 and White cannot be prevented from forming an "ideal center".

The great Reuben Fine has this to say about the variation [in his classic work Ideas Behind The Chess Openings]: "The lines where White does not try to secure a Pawn at Q4 are, with one exception, easy to meet and consequently of little importance. ... The exception is the Canal Variation, which has led to some striking successes." Fine recommends Black avoid it by playing either 6... B-K3 or 6... N-QR4 instead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: A bit more on Canal's life:

Born 1897 in Peru, at the age of 13 he visited Spain to study and then two years later France. As a student, he also stayed in Belgium, but moved to Germany in 1914, where he learned to play chess.

Already in 1916, he won a tournament in Leipzig, wherein also some masters participated. Apart from serious games against Teichmann and H. Johner in Switzerland in 1917, this was his only serious chess event until Trieste 1923.

After the war, he returned to America, but cose Italy as his second home. At the moment (i.e. late 1923), he works in Turin. Alekhine toured Italy and also visited Turin, thereby rousing Canal's desire for chess again. Soon afterwards, Canal drew a match against Rosselli del Turco (+1 -1 =2), the then reigning Italian Champion. He is also good at blindfold chess, and 10 games are not a problem for him.

Source: Page 286 of the November 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

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