Canada’s Robert Hamilton is considered by many to be one of the nation’s most dynamic and interesting chess personalities.
A native of Atlantic Canada, Hamilton was a child prodigy who by fifteen regularly won adult competitions and was the highest rated Canadian his age. Among his long list of early accomplishments Hamilton won the Canadian Junior Championship in 1981 and twice represented Canada in World Championships.
Since then Hamilton has won more than 100 national and international events, defeating many of the world’s elite Grandmasters along the way, and he’s currently on the verge of breaking the record for most games played in the Canadian Championship.
Hamilton is widely recognized as an exceptional chess promoter. He played his first simultaneous chess exhibition at 12 years of age, scoring a 48-0 victory against members of a local high school chess club. At 14 he won a national journalism award from the Canadian Society of Chess Journalists for his weekly newspaper column and that same year he taught his first chess course at the University of New Brunswick.
As an ambitious promoter, at 15 Hamilton co-organized the 1977 Canadian Open Chess Championship, an event that was later voted best Canadian Open of the decade. As a teen Hamilton organized dozens of chess events before launching the crown jewel, the 1988 World Chess Festival, which was the largest and most prestigious chess event in North America’s history. Along the way, Hamilton re-wrote the rules for the World Chess Championship cycle which were agreed to between FIDE President Florencio Campomanes and GMA President Garry Kasparov.
Beyond the World Chess Festival, Hamilton was Chair of Canada’s bid for the 1993 FIDE World Chess Championship and was Founder of the World Chess Network, an on-line chess site that boasted several hundred thousand members. He was also founder of “Stump The Masters,” an extremely popular series of North American shopping center chess events and, along with partner Maxim Dlugy, was co-founder of Telechess, one of America's leading chess information services.
More recently Hamilton served for two years as editor of Chess Canada, where he made a big impact on the quality of the publication. At the request of the Vice President of FIDE he also wrote plans for altering the current FIDE World Chess Championship cycle to increase its viability as a sponsorship property.
Hamilton’s accomplishments as a player and organizer have been covered by hundreds of media outlets including Canadian Business Magazine, the New York Times, the London Times and the New York Post, whose columnist Lev Alburt, three time US Champion, dubbed Hamilton “One of the World’s most talented young players.”
Hamilton currently resides in Ottawa with his wife, Karen Bongard, who works for the Department of Foreign Affairs. They have one child, Conrad, who is studying Philosophy at University of Guelph.