Top 10 Chess Players of All Time

The history of chess can be traced to the ancient India (c. 280 – 550) where the game has its roots. In the following years, the game expanded to the Middle East, China and the Southeast Asia and ultimately to Europe around 1000 AD. The first chess tournament of the modern era took place in London in 1851. Fifteen years later, in 1866, the first World Chess Championship was announced and since that year, the chess gained the status of a sport. As any other sport, chess game has it superstars and tournaments with the global reach.

However, it is very popular among the general population as well and you can see people playing chess at parks or in coffee shops. Also, the chess draws an attention when the best players try to beat supercomputers and these events are very popular. In the following list, we have charted some of the greatest chess players ever.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

10. Hiraku Nakamura (USA)

hiraku-nakamura-usaImage Credit: Wikipedia

We will start our all-time chess players list with Hiraku Nakamura, an American grandmaster who won an American championship four times and represented his country on several chess olympiads. His specialization is the rapid or „bullet“ version of chess and he wrote several books about it.

9. Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria)

veselin-topalov-bulgariaImage Credit: Wikipedia

Veselin Topalov is the chess grandmaster from Bulgaria. He was born in 1975 and he joined the elite club of the best chess players ever after he won the 2005 World Championships and because of his great performances also after the tournament, he was ranked No. 1 within the world chess rating from 2006 to 2007 and from 2008 to January 2010.

8. Vladimir Kramnik (Russia)

vladimir-kramnik-russiaImage Credit: Wikipedia

Vladimir Kramnikov (born 1975) of Russia is the chess grandmaster who held the title of the world champion from 2000 to 2006. He started his most successful period by defeating Gary Kasparov in London in 2000.

7. Viswanathan Anand (India)

viswanathan-anand-indiaImage Credit: Wikipedia

In 1988, Viswanathan Anand (born 1969) became the first Indian chess grandmaster and from 2000 to 2002 he was the world champion of FIDE. He received the Indian highest sporting award in 1991 and also the highest Indian civilian award in 2007 as the first sportsman. He has the rightful place among the greatest chess players ever.

6. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France)

maxime-vachier-lagrave-franceImage credit: Wikipedia

The French chess grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the best French chess player and one of the best players in the world. He holds several important chess tournament titles as well as he has the university degree from mathematics. He can use the title of grandmaster since 2005 when he was just 14 years old.

5. Wesley So (USA)

wesley-so-usaImage Credit: Wikipedia

Wesley So (born 1993) is the young American chess grandmaster of the Filipino origins. He has won several chess olympiads as well as other tournaments and is already considered to be one of the best all-time chess players in history.

4. Levon Aronian (Armenia)

levon-aronian-armeniaImage Credit: Wikipedia

The most important member if the Armenian national team and one of the best players in history. He is also very successful in other chess disciplines like the rapid or blitz chess. He holds several high national awards for sportsmen.

3. Fabiano Caruana (USA)

fabiano-caruana-usaImage Credit: Wikipedia

Fabiano Caruana is the Italian-American chess player who represented both Italy and the United States during his career. In 2014, he became the third highest ranked chess player in history. He reached the title of grandmaster in 2007 at the age of 14 what made him the youngest grandmaster of Italy and the US in history. His successful career and his young age make him one of the best chess players ever.

2. Garry Kasparov (Russia)

garry-kasparov-russiaImage Credit: Wikipedia

Garry Kasparov is probably the most famous chess player all around the world. In 1985, he became the youngest World Champion at the age of 22 when he defeated the famous Anatoly Karpov. He ended his professional career and became active in the politics. In Russia, he is often in the opposition to the president Vladimir Putin and he often points out to the totalitarian manners of today´s Russian government.

1. Magnus Carlsen (Norway)

magnus-carlsen-norwayImage Credit: Wikipedia

Magnus Carlsen has earned the title of chess grandmaster at the age of 13. When he was just 17, he started to play at the top-level tournaments against the greatest chess players ever and he soon became one of them. From 2013, he holds the title of the World champion.

This was our list of the best all-time chess players. Of course, there are many more players who would deserve to be included like Bobby Fisher, Jose Raul Capablanca, Anatoly Karpov and others but no list can be 100% precise due to the different ranking system in different eras. If you liked it and you want to read also about other top sportsmen, try also our Top 10 Swimmers of History list.

Post Author: SparkInList Staff

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