Chess tournaments Chess strategy Computer chess Chess players FIDE Chess variants Chess rules and history

Eduardo Iturrizaga

Full name Eduardo Patricio Iturrizaga Bonelli
Country Venezuela
Born 1 November 1989
Caracas, Venezuela
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2661 (September 2013)

Eduardo Patricio Iturrizaga Bonelli (born 1 November 1989) is a Venezuelan chess player. He achieved the title of Grandmaster in 2008, making him the first and only Venezuelan chess grandmaster.

Chess career

Iturrizaga was born 1 November 1989 in Caracas. He learned to move the chess pieces at age five. "I opened with pawn to e4, then moved my knights, and put pawns on h3 and a3 for castling and to connect the rooks. For me that was all", he recalls. He moved to Peru when he was seven, and it was upon his return to Venezuela at age nine he started to take the game seriously. At age thirteen he attained the title of International Master.

Iturrizaga won four consecutive national championships from 2005 to 2008, and has been playing for Venezuela at the Chess Olympiad since 2004. His best performance came at the 37th Chess Olympiad (2006), when he scored 8.5/11 points playing second board. The result earned him an individual bronze medal. He qualified for the Chess World Cup 2007 after a shared first place at the American Continental Championship. He was set to face Peter Svidler in the first round, but forfeited the first game due to getting lost between Russian airports. He lost the second game. In 2008, Iturrizaga won an online qualifier for the C-group in the 2009 Corus Chess Tournament, defeating GM Alexandr Fier 3-1 in the final. He ended up on a shared eight place out of fourteen in the main tournament, scoring 5.5/13. Iturrizaga finished second in the 2008 Iboamerican Championship in Linares, Spain, losing to Julio Granda in the final. Iturrizaga was the last person to arrive at the tournament, had to play one game at night, and nearly arrived late for one of the matches.

After sharing first place at the Zonal 2.3 Chess Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica with Lázaro Bruzón, Iturrizaga qualified for the Chess World Cup 2009. He was knocked out by Baadur Jobava in the second round, having defeated Sergei Tiviakov 3.5 - 2.5 in the first round.

In April 2010, Iturrizaga won the 12th Dubai Open Chess Championship with 7 points out of 9, besting a field consisting of 36 GMs and 154 players total. He placed fourth in the 2010 Iboamerican Championship held in Mexico City. He defaulted the third-fourth playoff, despite winning the first game, after arriving an hour late for the second.

Iturrizaga competed in the Chess World Cup 2013, where he was knocked out in the first round by Alexander Onischuk. In 2015 in the same event, he was eliminated in round one again, this time by Maxim Rodshtein.

Playing style

As of 2010, Iturrizaga mostly plays queen's pawn openings, and the English Opening with the white pieces, and the Accelerated Dragon Sicilian Defence with black. Iturrizaga admires Bobby Fischer and is a follower of Levon Aronian's playstyle.