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Esteban Canal
E Canal 
Esteban in 1976, from  
Number of games in database: 309
Years covered: 1916 to 1978

Overall record: +125 -89 =93 (55.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (42) 
    B22 B40 B50 B30 B62
 French Defense (21) 
    C01 C11 C13 C12 C04
 Four Knights (10) 
    C49 C48
 Caro-Kann (8) 
    B10 B12 B13
 French (8) 
    C11 C13 C12
 Giuoco Piano (7) 
    C50 C53
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (24) 
    B40 B45 B80 B86 B43
 Slav (23) 
    D10 D13 D12 D17 D18
 Dutch Defense (12) 
    A84 A90 A96 A99 A91
 Ruy Lopez (11) 
    C64 C80 C77 C71
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    A40 D02 A46 E10 A50
 Scandinavian (6) 
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 Johner, 1929 1-0
   E Canal vs E Paoli, 1966 1-0
   J Szekely vs E Canal, 1933 0-1
   E Canal vs NN, 1917 1-0
   E Canal vs P Johner, 1923 1-0
   E Canal vs A Becker, 1929 1-0
   E Canal vs G Fletzer, 1948 1-0
   E Canal vs Saemisch, 1929 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Reggio Emilia (1947)
   Venice (1953)
   Trieste (1923)
   Hoogovens-C (1963)
   Venice (1948)
   Merano (1926)
   San Benedetto (1957)
   Moravska Ostrava (1933)
   Bad Sliac (1932)
   Zuerich (1954)
   Madrid (1951)
   Reggio Emilia 1961/62 (1961)
   Venice (1967)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   Venice (1949)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Merano 1926 by jessicafischerqueen
   Moravska Ostrava 1933 by jessicafischerqueen
   The Latin American Super Grand Masters by Eduardo Bermudez
   Canal v Rosselli del Turco by Chessical

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Esteban Canal
Search Google for Esteban Canal

(born Apr-19-1896, died Feb-14-1981, 84 years old) Peru (federation/nationality 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.

Canal placed second at Trieste (1923), tied for second at Merano (1926), tenth at Budapest (1929), tied for tenth out of 22 at Karlsbad (1929), tied for seventh at Rohitsch-Sauerbrunn 1929, second at Budapest 1932, tied for fourth at Bad Sliac (1932), first at Budapest 1933, fifth at Moravska Ostrava (1933), and tied for first at Reus 1936. After World War II, he was tied for second at Venice 1947, tied for sixth at Bad Gastein 1948, tied for second at Venice (1948), and won Venice (1953).

Canal had an even record against World Champion Max Euwe, winning their game at Venice 1948.

He also led 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

Last updated: 2022-06-21 01:24:41

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 309  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Canal vs NN 1-0171916TournamentC12 French, McCutcheon
2. E Canal vs H Johner 1-0271917ZuerichC05 French, Tarrasch
3. E Canal vs NN 1-0241917Blindfold simul, 5bC52 Evans Gambit
4. S Rosselli del Turco vs E Canal 0-1391921Canal - Rosselli del TurcoA40 Queen's Pawn Game
5. E Canal vs S Rosselli del Turco 0-1461921Canal - Rosselli del TurcoC67 Ruy Lopez
6. S Rosselli del Turco vs E Canal ½-½601921Canal - Rosselli del TurcoC01 French, Exchange
7. E Canal vs S Rosselli del Turco ½-½651921Canal - Rosselli del TurcoC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
8. E Canal vs Alekhine 0-1841923Exhibition gameC53 Giuoco Piano
9. E Canal vs L Miliani  ½-½541923TriesteC53 Giuoco Piano
10. G Cancelliere vs E Canal  0-1511923TriesteA43 Old Benoni
11. S Rosselli del Turco vs E Canal  ½-½421923TriesteC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
12. E Canal vs Z Vecsey  1-0271923TriesteC01 French, Exchange
13. E Canal vs Tarrasch  ½-½591923TriesteB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
14. Yates vs E Canal 0-1451923TriesteB40 Sicilian
15. E Canal vs P Johner 1-0301923TriesteC56 Two Knights
16. D Marotti vs E Canal  0-1401923TriesteB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
17. E Canal vs L Asztalos  ½-½401923TriesteC77 Ruy Lopez
18. E Canal vs J A Seitz  ½-½401923TriesteA00 Uncommon Opening
19. B Alimonda vs E Canal  0-1301926MeranoB40 Sicilian
20. E Canal vs Colle  0-1221926MeranoB02 Alekhine's Defense
21. Spielmann vs E Canal 0-1361926MeranoB40 Sicilian
22. E Canal vs G Patay  1-0441926MeranoD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. Yates vs E Canal  0-1471926MeranoB40 Sicilian
24. E Canal vs Tartakower  ½-½221926MeranoA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
25. Kostic vs E Canal  ½-½491926MeranoB32 Sicilian
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 309  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Canal wins | Canal loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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

Nov-10-08  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...

Oct-16-09  Caissanist: Solis Felipe Pinzon wrote a 1987 memoir with a long and interesting chapter on Canal, with many games not included here. In Spanish:
Apr-19-10  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.

Dec-11-13  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'

Sep-07-15  zanzibar: <Karpova> gives dob as 1897, from NWS, <CG> bio intro gives it as 1896 (specfically Apr-19-1896), his gravestone gives it as 1893:

In fact, Winter has this to say:

<Canal’s year of birth is given as 1893, whereas standard reference books (e.g. Chess Personalia and the Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi) state that he was born on 19 April 1896, in Chiclayo, Peru.

Our correspondent mentions that doubts as to the facts were expressed by Alvise Zichichi on page 2 of his book Esteban Canal (Brescia, 1991). According to Zichichi, Canal sometimes said in private that he was born before 1896 and in Spain, not Peru. The book also noted Giancarlo dal Verme’s statement in L’Italia Scacchistica, April 1981, pages 106-107, that Canal was born in Santander, Spain of a Spanish mother and a Peruvian father.> (about 1/2 way down)

* * * * *

Here's a good game, a boisterous KGA, from the Leipzig 1916 tournament which marks his first international success (I think):

Canal, Esteban -- Leonhardt, Paul
Lipsia (1) Lipsia
1916 1-0 C37

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.d3 Bh6 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Bd2 Nge7 11.Rae1 Qf5 12.Nd5 Kd8 13.Qe2 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Qxd5 15.Bc3 Qe6 16.Qh5 Qg6 17.Qxg6 fxg6 18.Bf6+ Ne7 19.Rxe7 Rf8 20.Rfe1 c6 21.Re8+ Kc7 22.Bd8+ Kb8 23.Be7 1-0 >

My version is from <MillBase>, but at least one other online source has it (<CT>).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: Beating a World Champion
E Canal vs Euwe, 1948
Apr-19-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Esteban Canal.
Apr-19-16  diagonal: Happy birthday and a powerful Picture!

Portrait: (ESP)


Biggest success:
From April 8-26, 1933, the 11th Hungarian National Championship was held in Budapest as an International Tournament and won by Esteban Canal, who scored 10 out of 14 points, followed by Pál Réthy (9½), Andor Lilienthal (9), Lajos Steiner (8½), and Erich Eliskases (8).

According to the French Wikipedia, Canal and Eliskases played hors concours concerning the national title of the Hungarian Federation, stipulating that Pál Réthy was awarded as national champion of Hungary. Certainly, Canal was clear first in strong tournament.

Survey of his most memorable results:
2nd Trieste 1923, =2nd Merano 1926, 2nd Budapest 1932, 1st Budapest (ch) 1933, 1st-2nd Reus 1936, =2nd Venice 1947, 1st Reggio Emilia (Prequel) 1947, 1st Venice 1953 Trieste 1923 Merano 1926 see Budapest 1933

http://clubescacssantandreu.blogspo... Reus 1936 Venice 1953 survey Reggio Emilia survey Reggio Emilia and Venice series, by Jan van Reek

Famous game:
E Canal vs NN, 1934,

In Historical ELO rating (by Sonas chessmetrics), Esteban Canal was <best-ranked as 8th of the world> in 1933-34!

Dec-18-20  posoo: OLD CHAP CANAL.

It looks like u lived da life.


on this holaday

To ALL of da chusgums users, even dat CLOUN who keeps YELING about how he is RIGHT.


May u all live long enough to see true happiness in some form.

Dec-18-20  RandomVisitor: As far as the Canal variation:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.c3

stockfish thinks there is nothing special:

click for larger view


<60/55 1:25:25 0.00 9...Ne7 10.Ne3 Bxe3> 11.fxe3 0-0 12.0-0 c6 13.Bb3 Ng6 14.Qe1 Qb6 15.d4 a5 16.Rb1 a4 17.Bc4 Be6 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Qg3 Rf6

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If you just play the first few moves of the opening is it a Root Canal?
Mar-16-21  Deus Ex Alekhina: Has anyone seen his book Strategia di Avamposti?
Mar-17-21  Jean Defuse: ...

A Spanish version is available: <Estrategia de Puestos de Avanz>


Apr-19-21  Nosnibor: <Tabanus> I always thought that the Canal Gambit arose in the Grunfeld from the following moves :- 1 d4, Nf6. 2 c4, g6. 3 Nc3, d5. 4 Bg5, Ne4. 5 cxd5 and after 5 Nxg5, 6 h4 regaining the piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Nosnibor> Maybe, but I read it in a Larsen book, he called it "Canal's insane gambit" :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: He travelled a lot between England and France.
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