He competed in the FIDE World Cup in 2011 and 2013. Hansen has represented Canada in the Chess Olympiad since 2012.
Eric Hansen was born in Irvine, California, United States, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He holds dual citizenship.
Hansen attended the University of Texas at Dallas for one year, beginning in September 2011, on a chess scholarship, representing the school in intercollegiate tournaments. He is taking a break from his studies to focus on chess full-time in the immediate future, and made his European base in Valencia, Spain, in the autumn of 2013.
Hansen began playing chess in grade school at the age of nine. By the age of 15, in 2008, Hansen became the youngest ever Alberta champion and earned the title FIDE Master (FM). He repeated as Alberta champion in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
In 2011, Hansen tied for first place in the Canadian Closed Championship with a score of 7½/9 points, but lost a two-game playoff to Bator Sambuev, who was declared champion. Nevertheless, Hansen was nominated to play in the FIDE World Cup 2011. In this event, Hansen played Vugar Gashimov, losing both games. In a September 4, 2012, video interview at the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Hansen reflected on his 2011 World Cup experience: "I got paired against Gashimov and he killed me," he said. "It was a good experience because I realized I wasn't serious enough to be competing with these guys. I'm more serious now ... it was good for motivating me."
He won the Canadian Open Chess Championship, held in Victoria, British Columbia, in July 2012. The following month, Hansen tied for 5th–10th places in the World Junior Chess Championship, held in Athens, Greece. He scored 9/13, achieving the best-ever finish by a Canadian in this event; the previous best had been FM Vinny Puri's tie for 8th place in 1988. At the Isthmia Open Tournament at Vrachati, which began a few days later, Hansen scored his first norm for the title Grandmaster (GM), with a tie for 1st–3rd places.
He achieved the final norm required for the GM title in the 40th Chess Olympiad, held in Istanbul, Turkey, in August–September 2012, where he made his debut in the Canadian national team. He played on board 4 and scored 7.5/10 points, boosting his FIDE rating by 25 points, reaching 2500 (the minimum for a GM title). Hansen is the second youngest Canadian to attain the title of Grandmaster, after Mark Bluvshtein, who reached it at age 16 in 2004, and the youngest homegrown Canadian (since Bluvshtein received Israeli youth chess training systems before immigrating to Canada in 1999 at age 11). FIDE awarded him the title in January 2013.
Hansen tied for 1st–5th places at the American Continental Championship 2012, held in October in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with Julio Granda Zuñiga, Alexander Shabalov, Diego Flores and Gregory Kaidanov. Since there were four qualifying places for the 2013 World Cup, Hansen played a rapidplay playoff with the mentioned players finishing fourth. In December, he won the 2nd Panama Open, scoring 8.5/9.
In early 2013, Hansen tied for first place at the Cappelle-la-Grande Open in France. In July he shared first place in the Canadian Open in Ottawa with Nigel Short, with both scoring unbeaten 7.5/9.
In the 2015 Canadian Zonal Championship, Hansen shared first place with Leonid Gerzhoy and Tomas Krnan, who was declared the winner on tiebreak.
Hansen has been known to be a very strong blitz and bullet player, both over-the-board and online. He has been spotted playing at Internet Chess Club (ICC), Chess.com, ChessCube, PlayChess.com, and lichess.org. For most of 2011, Hansen was recognized as the highest-rated player on ChessCube.com, with a 3000+ rating. By April 2012, he was recognized as the highest-rated bullet player on Chess.com. He subsequently qualified for and accepted Chess.com's Death-Match 4 against then-IM Conrad Holt, who had the highest-rated blitz rating. Interestingly, the two were living in the same dorm building on the University of Texas at Dallas campus. The two were tied 4-4 after the first 8 rounds of 5 minute + 1 second increment blitz games. In the second round of 3 minute + 1 second increment blitz games, Holt pulled ahead 5.5-3.5, and eventually won 15-11.
Since April 2015, Hansen has been active on lichess under the pseudonym chessbrahs, where he mostly plays bullet games. He also co-animates Twitch and YouTube accounts under the same pseudonym, along with other titled players such as GM Robin van Kampen, Women's Chess Coordinator for the CFC IM Aman Hambleton, NM Elias Oussedik and FM Lefong Hua. He also has given some lectures and commentary of tournaments at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which are posted on the YouTube channel.