GM Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2733)
46 years old.
One of the greatest chess players of the past 30 years.
GM Ivanchuk is currently ranked 23rd in the world but he has been ranked as high as number 2 on several occasions.
His tournament wins include winning the Linares Super-tournament 3 times, winning Wijk Aan Zee, Tal Memorial, M-Tel Masters, etc... Vassily won the 2007 Blitz World Championship and finished Runner-Up in the 2001 FIDE World Championship.
Vassily is the defending Edmonton International champion. He won last year's event with an impressive 7.5/9 score!
FM Vladimir Pechenkin (Edmonton, Canada, 2314)
37 years old.
Last year Vlad managed to accomplish one of the biggest upset results of the event as he drew the pre-tournament favourite, Grandmaster Wesley So. Vlad did not always have great results at the Edmonton International, but his strangest result occurred in the 2011 edition where he managed to score 8 draws that went along with one win!
If in good shape Vlad is capable of showing a good result, which he proved at the 2012 Calgary International where he earned an IM norm.
This will be Vlad's 7th appearance in the Edmonton International. His best result was a tie for fourth at the 2011 edition with 5/9.
GM Sam Shankland (USA, 2656)
23 years old.
Currently ranked fifth in the US. GM Shankland's major accomplishments include: winning the individual gold medal in the 2014 Tromso Olympiad, tying for first in the 2008 World Under 18 championship and taking 3rd in the 2011 US Championship. Last year GM Shankland was selected to be a member of the US National team for the first time as they played a match against China.
This will be GM Shankland's second Edmonton International appearance. He tied for 3rd last year with 5.5/9.
GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly (India, 2625)
31 years old.
GM Surya Shekhar is a member of the Indian National team. He has won the Indian National Championship in 6 consecutive years (2003-2008) after which he never played in this event again.
GM Ganguly was a member of Anand's team as he helped the World Champion in preparation for his matches against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand.
This will be GM Ganguly's second Edmonton International. He finished third with5.5/9 in 2008.
WIM/FM Agnieszka Matras-Clement (Poland, 2269)
32 years old.
WIM Matras-Clement recently moved to Alberta and already managed to make her mark on the local chess scene as she reached the semi-finals at the 2015 Edmonton Championship.
Some of Agnieszka's major accomplishments include: 2002 European U-20 Women's Active Chess Champion, a member of the World Champion U-20 team Poland (2001).
WIM Matras-Clement is also eligible for a FIDE Master title which she didn't officially receive yet.
This will be her first ever appearance in the Edmonton International.
GM Pentala Harikrishna (India, 2733)
29 years old.
GM Harikrishna is the second highest ranked player from India and he is only behind the legendary Viswanathan Anand. He is currenly ranked 25th in the world.
GM Harikrishna represented India in chess olympiads six times.
His major individual accomplishments include: Winning the World Under 20 Championship (2004), the Asian Championship (2011), and the Masters Open Biel Tournament (2013).
This will be GM Harikrishna's first Edmonton International .
GM Wang Hao (China, 2704)
25 years old.
GM Wang Hao is known for his aggressive style and interesting games. His biggest tournament victories include: Rekjavik, Iceland (2008), Bazna, Bosnia (2010), Biel, Switzerland (2012). The latter was ahead of the current world champion-Magnus Carlsen.
This will be GM Wang Hao's first ever Edmonton International.
FM Dale Haessel (Calgary, Canada 2180)
47 years old.
FM Haessel is the only player to participate in all10 Edmonton Internationals.
A 3 time Alberta Champion, FM Haessel is very capable of upsetting some very high rated opponents. His best performance to date came in the 2011 Calgary International where he scored an IM norm.
Dale's best performance in his 9 previous appearances came in 2008 when he scored 4.5/9.
NM Robert Gardner (Edmonton, Canada 2133)
50 years old.
NM Gardner won the Qualifier tournament which allowed him to participate in this event. Rob "The Rocket" has been on the Alberta chess scene for more than three decades.
This will be NM Gardner's sixth Edmonton International participation, his best result came in the 2012 edition when he scored 5/9 and achieved a very deserved IM norm.
IM Aman Hambleton (Ottawa, Canada, 2446)
22 years old.
IM Hambleton is one of the top players in Canada and he has represented the country in many international competitions including the 2014 Chess Olympiad.
Aman's tournament successes include winning the Canadian U-18 championship and tying for third in the very strong Ortisei Chess Festival behind only GMs Nisipeanu and Volkov.
Currently Aman is studying at Western University and teaching chess.
This will be IM Hambleton's first Edmonton International appearance.
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