27 Super Grandmasters & World Champions Who Inspire You Everyday

Super Chess Champions of the World

Chess – The Game of Kings – and here’s a look at the dynasty of players who ruled the Chess World.

Chess has been one of the most cerebral games favored by Kings and admired by commoners alike. Many players have immortalized their names with their exceptional play and prowess at the ancient game of Kings.

According to us, we all who take the game very seriously have an opinion on who the greatest chess player in history is. The game of chess has had many legends, world champions, challengers, world-class players, and grandmasters. They have delighted, inspired, and taught chess players for generations.

The concept of a World Chess Champion

First, let’s take a look at how the concept of World Chess Champion took shape.

The concept of a world chess champion started to emerge in the first half of the 19th century, and the phrase “World Champion” first appeared in 1845. Since then, there have been several chess masters to claim the title, officially and unofficially, but for this article, we’ll address only those officially recognized as World Chess Champions.

However, it’s also worth noting that there were several unofficial champions previous to 1886 when the World Chess Championship first occurred, such as Paul Morphy.

World Chess Champions are players who have won a match or tournament for the World Championship at chess. Both men and women can become champions, but no woman has ever been a challenger for the title. There is, however, a separate championship for women. There are also separate championships for specific age groups.

Let’s take a look at the star-studded galaxy with 27 great names of all times.

A note: The names you see are the champions of the Golden Era of the game- starting from 2013 and going backward.

Magnus Carlsen (2013 – Current)

Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it’s OK to lose. I don’t. You have to be merciless.

Magnus is a Norwegian Chess Grandmaster and current World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Blitz Chess Champion.

Magnus first reached in top FIDE world rankings in 2010 and trailed Gary Kasparov in time spent as the world’s highest-rated player. His peak classical rating is 2882, the highest in chess history. He also holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in classical chess.

A chess prodigy since the age of 13, Carlsen was a GM just short of his 14th Birthday. At 15, he won the Norwegian Chess Championship. He surpassed a rating of 2800 at age 18 and reached number one in the FIDE world rankings, aged 19, the youngest person ever to achieve these feats. By 2013, Magnus became World Chess Champion.

He defeated Viswanathan Anand and retained his title against Anand in 2014 when he won both the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship. He has the unique distinction of holding all three titles simultaneously in that year, and he repeated the same in 2019.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate Total wins 634/1519 - 41.74% ref- fide website
2 Most played openings With white pieces
Sicilian (320) B90 B51 B30 B40 B33
Ruy Lopez (200)
C65 C78 C67 C77 C84
Queen's Pawn Game (135)
D02 A45 E10 A46 A40
Queen's Gambit Declined (120)
D37 D38 D35 D39 D31
Nimzo Indian (89)
E21 E32 E20 E54 E36
Slav (73)
D15 D17 D10 D12 D11
With Black pieces
Sicilian (358)
B30 B33 B31 B90 B22
Ruy Lopez (249)
C67 C65 C78 C95 C84
Queen's Gambit Declined (100)
D37 D38 D30 D31 D39
Queen's Pawn Game (95)
A46 A45 E10 D02 E00
Queen's Indian (92)
E15 E12 E17 E16 E14
Nimzo Indian (73)
E34 E32 E20 E21 E46
3 Notable Games www.lichess.org/study/9H8fNA5q
4 Notable Work Founded play magnus company with more and currently own major companies like new in chess, ichess, play magnus, everyman chess, chessable,chess24 etc
5 Website / Info Links www.magnuscarlsen.com/en/
6 Social Media Links Youtube
7 Top Achievements World champion 2013,2014,2016,2018
Winner in
1-world rapid 2019
2- candidates 2013
3- tata steel 10,13,15,16,18, 19
Won world championship against Anand in 2013,2014 Won world championship against Karjakin in 2016 and against Caruana in 2018
8 World Championship Title Years 2013,2014,2016,2018

Viswanathan Anand (2007-2013)

Intuition in chess can be defined as the first move that comes to mind when you see a position.

Known for his rapid playing speed as a child, Anand earned the nickname “Lightning Kid” as a budding chess player in the 1980s.

Considered by many as the greatest rapid chess player of his generation, Anand won the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017 and World Blitz Cup in 2000. The former world chess champion became the first grandmaster from India in 1988. He is one of the few players from the country and fourth in the world history of chess to have surpassed an Elo rating of 2800, a feat he first achieved in 2006.

A five-time world chess champion, Anand defeated Alexei Shirov in a six-game match to win the 2000 FIDE World Chess Championship and retained the title till 2002. He was the undisputed world champion in 2007, went on to defeat Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010, and Boris Gelfand in 2012. He lost the title to Magnus Carlsen in 2013, and after winning the 2014 Candidate’s Tournament, he lost to Carlsen again.

Anand also holds the six-longest period on record of holding the number one position for 21 months.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +642 -243 =1106 (60.0%)
2 Most played openings With white pieces
Sicilian (601) B90 B33 B30 B31 B32
Ruy Lopez (455)
C65 C67 C78 C84 C89
Ruy Lopez, Closed (170)
C84 C89 C92 C95 C96
Sicilian Najdorf (153)
B90 B92 B93 B91 B96
French Defense (149)
C11 C10 C18 C19 C16
Caro-Kann (106)
B12 B18 B17 B13 B14
With Black pieces
Sicilian (271)
B90 B92 B48 B80 B47
Ruy Lopez (192)
C65 C78 C67 C80 C84
Queen's Indian (116)
E15 E12 E17 E14 E19
Semi-Slav (111)
D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
Queen's Gambit Declined (96)
D37 D38 D30 D39 D35
Nimzo Indian (95)
E34 E21 E32 E20 E42
3 Notable Games Karjakin vs Anand, 2006 0-1
Anand vs Lautier, 1997 1-0
Aronian vs Anand, 2013 0-1
Anand vs Topalov, 2005 1/2-1/2
Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 0-1
Anand vs Karpov, 1996 1-0
Anand vs Kasparov, 1995 1-0
Anand vs Bologan, 2003 1-0
Kramnik vs Anand, 2008 0-1
Anand vs Topalov, 2010 1-0
4 Notable Work Awards
Indian national honours Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian sports person in Chess in 1985.
Padma Shri – Fourth highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 1987.
The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India's highest sporting honour in the years 1991–1992.
Padma Bhushan – Third highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2000.
Padma Vibhushan – Second highest civilian award awarded by Government of India in 2007.
5 Website / Info Links -
6 Social Media Links Twitter
7 Top Achievements Championship
Corus Group A (2006)
Corsica Masters (2004)
Corsica Masters (2011)
Buenos Aires Sicilian (1994)
Hoogovens Group A (1999)
Goodricke op 3rd (1992)
Groningen Candidates (1997)
Corsica Masters (2005)
Manila Interzonal (1990)
Linares (1993)
Interpolis 15th (1991)
Levitov Chess Week (2019)
Thessaloniki Olympiad (1984)
Dubai Olympiad (1986)
Tradewise Gibraltar (2016)
8 World Championship Title Years FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000)
World Championship Tournament (2007)
Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)
Anand - Topalov World Championship Match (2010)
Anand - Gelfand World Championship Match (2012)

Vladimir Kramnik (2000 – 2007)

No - I'm quite calm inside during the game for most of the time - not 100%, but generally very calm.

The Russian chess grandmaster was the Classical World Chess Champion from 2000 to 2006 and the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007.

He has won three team gold medals and three individual medals at Chess Olympiads. Kramnik rose to fame by defeating Garry Kasparov in 2000 to become the Classical World Chess Champion. He defended his title in 2004 against Péter Lékó. In 2006, FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov was a witness to his brilliance in a unification match. This match made Kramnik the first undisputed World Champion holding both the FIDE and Classical titles since Kasparov split from FIDE in 1993.

Kramnik lost the title to Viswanathan Anand in 2007. Kramnik remained a top player despite his losses to Anand in 2008 and reached a peak rating of 2817 in October 2016. The joint-eighth highest-rated player of all time. Kramnik publicly announced his retirement as a professional chess player in January 2019.

He is currently focusing on projects relating to chess for children and education.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +552 -172 =964 (61.3%)
2 Most played openings With white pieces
English (150)
A15 A14 A17 A13 A11
Sicilian (126)
B33 B30 B52 B92 B90
King's Indian (106)
E97 E94 E92 E91 E81
Queen's Pawn Game (105)
D02 A46 E10 D05 D00
Slav (98)
D17 D15 D11 D18 D12
Reti System (98)
A04 A06 A05
With Black pieces
Sicilian (253)
B33 B30 B31 B62 B65
Ruy Lopez (181)
C67 C65 C84 C78 C95
Queen's Gambit Declined (121)
D37 D35 D38 D39 D31
Semi-Slav (109)
D45 D43 D47 D44 D48
Petrov (101)
C42 C43
Nimzo Indian (77)
E32 E21 E46 E34 E58
3 Notable Games Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 1-0
Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0
Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
Aronian vs Kramnik, 2018 0-1
Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006 0-1
4 Notable Work Retired in 2019. Majorly focusing to boost chess all over the world.
5 Website / Info Links -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements 1990 Russian Championship, Kuibyshev (classical) I
1991 World Championship (U18),Guarapuava (classical) I
1992 Chalkidiki (classical) 7½/11 I
1994 Overall result PCA Intel Grand Prix'94 I
1995 Dortmund (classical) 7/9 I
1995 Horgen (classical) 7/10 I–II
1995 Belgrade (classical) 8/11 I–II
1996 Monaco 16/22 I
1996 Dos Hermanas (classical) 6/9 I–II
1996 Dortmund (classical) 7/9 I–II
1997 Dos Hermanas (classical) 6/9 I–II
1997 Dortmund (classical) 6½/9 I
1997 Tilburg (classical) 8/11 I–III
1998 Wijk aan Zee (classical) 8½/13 I–II
1998 Dortmund (classical) 6/9 I–III
1998 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 15/22 I
1999 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 14½/22 I
2000 Linares (classical) 6/10 I–II
2000 Dortmund (classical) 6/9 I–II
2001 Match Kramnik vs. Leko (rapidplay) 7–5
2001 Match Botvinnik memorial Kramnik vs. Kasparov (classical) 2–2
2001 Match Botvinnik memorial Kramnik vs Kasparov (rapidplay) 3–3
2001 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 15/22 I–II
2001 Match Kramnik vs. Anand (rapidplay) 5–5
2001 Dortmund (classical) 6½/10 I–II
2002 Match Advanced Chess Kramnik vs. Anand (León) 3½–2½
2003 Linares (classical) 7/12 I–II
2003 Cap d'Agde (France)
2004 Handicap Simul (classical)
2004 Kramnik vs. National Team of Germany 2½–1½
2004 Linares (classical) 7/12 I
2004 Monaco (overall result) 14½/22 I–II
2006 Gold medal at Turin Olympiad with overall best performance (2847) 7/10
2006 Dortmund (classical) 4½/7 I
2007 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 15½/22 I
2007 Dortmund (classical) 5/7 I
2007 Tal Memorial 6½/9 I
2009 Dortmund 6½/9 I
2009 Zürich (rapidplay) 5/7 I
2009 Tal Memorial 6/9 I
2010 President's Cup in Baku (rapidplay) 5/7 I–III
2010 Bilbao Grand Slam final 4/6 I
2011 Dortmund 7/10 I
2011 Hoogeveen 4½/6 I
2011 London Chess Classic 6/8 I
2013 Chess World Cup 2013
8 World Championship Title Years 2000, 2006-07
Won world championship match against Garry Kasparov in 2000 and against Topalov in 2006

Garry Kasparov (1985 – 2000)

I used to attack because it was the only thing I knew. Now I attack because I know it works.

Garry Kasparov was the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion of his time in 1985 at the age of 22 when he defeated the then-champion Anatoly Karpov.

He held the official FIDE world title until 1993 when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival chess organization, the Professional Chess Association.
He was the first world champion to lose a match to a computer under standard time controls in 1997 while playing against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in a highly publicized match. He was the reigning Classical World Chess Champion until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

Garry Kasparov was ranked world No.1 from 1984 until his retirement in 2005- 255 months overall for his career. His peak rating of 2851 achieved in 1999 was the highest recorded until Magnus Carlsen’s surpass in 2013. Kasparov also holds records for the most consecutive professional tournament victories (15) and Chess Oscars (11).

He was the world’s highest-rated player when he retired from professional chess in 2005.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +722 -106 =729 (69.8%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (192)
B30 B31 B50 B40 B33
Ruy Lopez (102)
C92 C84 C97 C67 C80
Nimzo Indian (91)
E32 E34 E21 E20 E46
Queen's Gambit Declined (86)
D37 D35 D31 D30 D38
Queen's Indian (77)
E12 E15 E17 E16
Slav (62)
D10 D18 D15 D11 D17
With Black Pieces
Sicilian (344)
B90 B84 B80 B93 B83
King's Indian (158)
E92 E97 E60 E80 E75
Sicilian Najdorf (108)
B90 B93 B97 B92 B96
Grunfeld (101)
D85 D97 D76 D78 D87
Sicilian Scheveningen (78)
B84 B80 B83 B81 B82
English (34)
A15 A10 A11 A13
3 Notable Games Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 1-0
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 0-1
Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1994 1-0
Kasparov vs Portisch, 1983 1-0
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 1-0
Kasparov vs Anand, 1995 1-0
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 0-1
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 0-1
Adams vs Kasparov, 2005 0-1
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 1-0
4 Notable Work Kasparov was named Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation in 2011.
He is also helping african chess community.
5 Website / Info Links www.kasparov.com
6 Social Media Links Twitter
7 Top Achievements First player to cross 2800 rating.
Frunze 1981, USSR Championship, 12½/17, tie for 1st;
Bugojno 1982, 9½/13, 1st;
Moscow 1982, Interzonal, 10/13, 1st;
Nikšić 1983, 11/14, 1st;
Brussels OHRA 1986, 7½/10, 1st;
Brussels SWIFT 1987, 8½/11, tie for 1st;
Amsterdam Optiebeurs 1988, 9/12, 1st;
Belfort (World Cup) 1988, 11½/15, 1st;
Moscow 1988, USSR Championship, 11½/17, tie for 1st;
Reykjavík (World Cup) 1988, 11/17, 1st;
Barcelona (World Cup) 1989, 11/16, tie for 1st;
Skellefteå (World Cup) 1989, 9½/15, tie for 1st;
Tilburg 1989, 12/14, 1st;
Belgrade (Investbank) 1989, 9½/11, 1st;
Linares 1990, 8/11, 1st.
Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1999, 10/13, 1st;
Linares 1999, 10½/14, 1st;
Sarajevo 1999, 7/9, 1st;
Wijk aan Zee Corus 2000, 9½/13, 1st;
Linares 2000, 6/10, tie for 1st;
Sarajevo 2000, 8½/11, 1st;
Wijk aan Zee Corus 2001, 9/13, 1st;
Linares 2001, 7.5/10, 1st;
Astana 2001, 7/10, 1st;
Linares 2002, 8/12, 1st.
8 World Championship Title Years 1985 to 1992 and 1993 to 2000

Anatoly Karpov (1975 – 1985)

To be a champion requires more than simply being a strong player; one has to be a strong human being as well.

Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov is a Russian and was the official world champion for a decade from 1975 to 1985 when Garry Kasparov out throned him.

At the peak of his career, Karpov had an Elo rating of 2780, and his 102 months as World Number 1 is the third-longest of all time in chess history, behind only Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov, since the inception of the FIDE ranking list in 1970. Karpov became the FIDE World Champion once again after Kasparov broke away from FIDE in 1993 and held the title until 1999 when he resigned in protest against FIDE’s new world championship rules.

In 2002, he won a match against Kasparov, defeating him in a rapid time control match 2½–1½. In 2006, he tied for first with Kasparov in a blitz tournament, ahead of Korchnoi and Judit Polgár.

Karpov and Kasparov played a mixed 12-game match from September 21–24, 2009, in Valencia, Spain. It consisted of four rapid (or semi-rapid) and eight blitz games and took place exactly 25 years after the two players’ legendary encounter at the World Chess Championship 1984. Kasparov won the match 9–3.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate Overall record: +949 -216 =1270 (65.1%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (233)
B92 B81 B44 B84 B31
King's Indian (193)
E60 E62 E81 E71 E63
Queen's Indian (147)
E15 E17 E12 E16 E19
Ruy Lopez (137)
C95 C82 C84 C92 C80
Queen's Gambit Declined (125)
D30 D37 D35 D39 D38
Grunfeld (100)
D85 D78 D73 D97 D87
With Black Pieces
Caro-Kann (258)
B17 B12 B18 B10 B14
Queen's Indian (241)
E15 E12 E17 E19 E14
Nimzo Indian (177)
E32 E54 E21 E42 E41
Ruy Lopez (176)
C92 C77 C69 C95 C98
Ruy Lopez, Closed (136)
C92 C95 C93 C98 C84
Sicilian (89)
B46 B44 B40 B47 B42
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1005155
4 Notable Work -
5 Website www.anatolykarpovchessschool.org
6 Social Media Links Instagram
7 Top Achievements He finished equal first in the Leningrad Interzonal, qualifying for the 1974 Candidates Matches.
Karpov won candidates match with korchnoi in 1974
In 1994 karpov won linares championship
8 World Championship Title Years 1975 to 1985 and 1993 to 1999

Bobby Fischer (1972 – 1975)

You can only get good at Chess if you love the game.

Bobby Fischer was a famous and notorious chess prodigy. At age 13, he won a game to put him in the chess hall of fame forever.

At 14, he became the youngest ever U.S. Chess Champion. He was the youngest grandmaster (GM) of the time and the youngest candidate at the World Championship by the time he was 15.

The only perfect score in the US Championship history (11/11) is recorded in Fischer’s name, who achieved the distinction in 1963/64 at the age of 20. He won the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a record 3½-point margin. He won 20 consecutive games in the last seven rounds of the Interzonal and the Candidates Matches, the latter including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps. When the first official FIDE rating list was published in July 1971, Fischer was the highest-rated player by a wide margin.

In 1972, Fischer won the World Chess Championship defeating Boris Spassky, a match dubbed as a Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR. Fischer refused to agree to FIDE conditions in 1975 and refused to defend his World Champion title, which by default was handed over to Anatoly Karpov, the Soviet GM.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +433 -87 =247 (72.6%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (200)
B90 B32 B88 B44 B77
Ruy Lopez (128)
C92 C69 C95 C98 C97
French Defense (81)
C19 C18 C11 C16 C15
Ruy Lopez, Closed (79)
C92 C95 C97 C98 C89
Caro-Kann (52)
B11 B10 B18 B13 B14
French Winawer (48)
C19 C18 C16 C15 C17
With Black Pieces
Sicilian (125)
B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
King's Indian (117)
E80 E62 E97 E60 E67
Sicilian Najdorf (83)
B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
Nimzo Indian (23)
E45 E40 E46 E43 E58
Grunfeld (20)
D79 D86 D80 D98 D82
English (18)
A16 A15 A10 A19
3 Notable Games D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956 0-1
R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963 0-1
Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 1-0
Fischer vs Myagmarsuren, 1967 1-0
Fischer vs Fine, 1963 1-0
Fischer vs Benko, 1963 1-0
Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 0-1
Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 1-0
Fischer vs Tal, 1961 1-0
4 Notable Work In 1988, Fischer filed for U.S. Patent 4,884,255 for a new type of chess clock, which gave each player a fixed period at the start of the game and then added a small increment after each completed move.

On June 19, 1996, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fischer announced and advocated a variant of chess called Fischer random (later also known as Chess960)
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements - US Junior Championship 1956
- US Junior Championship 1957
- US open 1957
- US Championship 1958,59,60,62,63,65,66
- 1971 candidates finals against Bent Larsen
- 1972 world championship match against Boris Spassky
8 World Championship Title Years 1972-1975

Boris Spassky (1969 – 1972)

When I am in form, my style is a little bit stubborn, almost brutal. Sometimes I feel a great spirit of fight which drives me on.

The oldest living former World Champion, Boris Spassky, was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972.

He played three world championship matches; first, he lost to Tigran Petrosian in 1966 and then defeated him in 1969 to claim the title. But eventually, he lost to Bobby Fischer in the very famous match of 1972.

Spassky was the winner of the Soviet Chess Championship twice outright (1961, 1973) and twice lost in playoffs (1956,1963). He was a 7-time World Chess Championship candidate in which he won 2 (1965, 1968) and was one of the semi-finalists (1974) and finalist (1977). A champion of Sicilian Defense and Ruy Lopez, Spassky is famous for beating six undisputed World Champions at least twice (not necessarily while they were at their prime), namely Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +785 -209 =1274 (62.7%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (215)
B25 B20 B23 B43 B42
Ruy Lopez (130)
C77 C92 C95 C78 C73
French Defense (93)
C18 C11 C16 C19 C17
Nimzo Indian (76)
E30 E31 E46 E54 E21
Caro-Kann (73)
B18 B17 B12 B14 B16
Ruy Lopez, Closed (60)
C92 C95 C93 C96 C98
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (234)
C95 C64 C84 C92 C93
Ruy Lopez, Closed (135)
C95 C84 C92 C93 C89
Sicilian (117)
B83 B81 B31 B52 B23
Orthodox Defense (91)
D58 D55 D59 D50 D56
Queen's Gambit Declined (79)
D37 D35 D31 D30 D38
Nimzo Indian (78)
E59 E21 E47 E42 E43
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1005190
4 Notable Work On 27 March 2010, at 73 years old, he became the oldest surviving former World Chess Champion following the death of Vasily Smyslov

In 2006, Boris Spassky described himself as an Orthodox Christian, a monarchist and a Russian nationalist.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements - World junior champion in 1955
- Spassky won at Belgrade 1964 with an undefeated 13/17
- Spassky won candidates match against Mikhail Tal in 1955
- In 1969 he won world championship match against petrosian
8 World Championship Title Years 1969-1972

Tigran Petrosian (1963 – 1969)

Chess is a game by its form, an art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery in it. Chess can convey as much happiness as a good book or work of music can.

“Iron Tigran” was known for his impenetrable defensive playing style that emphasized safety above all else. Tigran Petrosian was a World Chess Champion from 1963 to 1969.

Petrosian was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship on eight occasions (1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977, and 1980). He won the World Championship in 1963 against Mikhail Botvinnik and successfully defended it in 1966 against Boris Spassky. He lost his title to Boris Spassky in 1969.

Tigran defended his World Champion or World Championship Candidate titles in ten consecutive three-year cycles, proving his tenacity and brilliance. He was partially deaf, and it is said that on one occasion, he switched off his hearing aid and didn’t hear the opponent offering a draw and went on to win the game.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +713 -159 =1074 (64.2%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
King's Indian (121)
E92 E81 E80 E60 E91
English (95)
A15 A10 A16 A13 A14
Queen's Indian (80)
E12 E14 E19 E17 E15
Nimzo Indian (78)
E41 E40 E55 E46 E53
Queen's Gambit Declined (67)
D37 D30 D35 D31 D38
Queen's Pawn Game (57)
A46 A40 D02 E10 D05
With Black Pieces
French Defense (141)
C07 C16 C11 C18 C15
Sicilian (133)
B81 B52 B40 B94 B84
King's Indian (79)
E67 E81 E63 E62 E95
Caro-Kann (79)
B18 B17 B11 B14 B12
Nimzo Indian (59)
E54 E32 E46 E56 E52
French Tarrasch (54)
C07 C05 C03 C09
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1014968
4 Notable Work Petrosian was a Candidate for the World Chess
Championship on eight occasions (1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980).
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements - Won the World Championship in 1963 (against Mikhail Botvinnik)
- Won the World Championship in 1966 (againstBoris Spasky)
8 World Championship Title Years 1963-1969

Mikhail Tal (1960 – 1961)

To play for a draw, at any rate with white, is to some degree a crime against chess.

Mikhail Tal is considered to have been the greatest attacking player of all time. He was the eighth World Chess Champion.

Tal played in 21 Soviet championships, winning it six times, a record only equaled by Botvinnik. He was a member of eight Soviet teams which won the gold medal in the Chess Olympiads. He won the individual gold medal five times.

He holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history. From July 1972 to April 1973, Tal played 86 consecutive games without a loss (47 wins and 39 draws). Between 23 October 1973 and 16 October 1974, he played 95 consecutive games without a loss (46 wins and 49 draws), shattering his previous record.

These remained the two longest unbeaten streaks in modern chess history for over three decades and the longest by a top-flight player until Magnus Carlsen’s 111+ game streak in 2019-2020.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +1117 -295 =1276 (65.3%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (349)
B43 B46 B32 B82 B96
Ruy Lopez (261)
C95 C92 C93 C96 C84
Ruy Lopez, Closed (163)
C95 C92 C93 C96 C84
Caro-Kann (105)
B18 B17 B14 B12 B10
French Defense (103)
C07 C18 C05 C09 C16
English (94)
A15 A14 A13 A17 A16
With Black Pieces
Sicilian (327)
B43 B40 B92 B46 B22
King's Indian (111)
E69 E92 E80 E62 E98
Modern Benoni (84)
A56 A64 A61 A70 A62
Nimzo Indian (81)
E48 E56 E52 E53 E46
English (80)
A15 A14 A10 A13 A16
Queen's Pawn Game (73)
A46 E10 A40 E00 A41
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1005503
4 Notable Work Mikhail Tal was chess writer and has written many chess books. The most famous book is The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements Champion in Keres memorial 1981,83
Champion in chigorin memorial 1982
Wijk aan Zee tournament, 1st (10½/15)
Hastings tournament, 1st–4th (10/15)
Become world champion by defeating Mikhail Botvinik in 1960
8 World Championship Title Years 1960-1961

Vasily Smyslov (1957 – 1958)

I have frequently stated that I regard chess as an art form, where creativity prevails over other factors.

Vasily Smyslov wasn’t just an eight times World Chess Championship candidate. He was also a concert-level singer.

His delicate sense of humor was as famous as his chess and his baritone singing and fellow grandmaster Taimanov’s piano recitals were famed evening events at many major chess tournaments. He was one of the five players selected to compete for the 1948 World Chess Championship tournament to determine who should succeed the late Alexander Alekhine as champion.

Many questioned this, but his second-place finish only behind Mikhail Botvinnik silenced his critics.

His victories in the double-round Candidates tournaments of 1953 and 1956 were the most incredible tournament wins of the 1950s. He played three 24-game world championship matches against the formidable Botvinnik, drawing the first in 1954, winning the second in 1957 but losing the return match in 1958. His total of 17 Chess Olympiad medals won is an all-time record.

In five European Team Championships, Smyslov won ten gold medals (team and individual). He remained active and successful in competitive chess well into the 1960s and 1970s, and he qualified for the finals of the World Championship Candidates’ matches as late as 1983. Vasily won the first World Senior Chess Championship in 1991.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +928 -307 =1394 (61.8%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Sicilian (164)
B92 B22 B40 B58 B42
English (134)
A15 A13 A14 A10 A17
Ruy Lopez (106)
C77 C92 C79 C97 C98
King's Indian (85)
E61 E60 E62 E66 E94
Reti System (78)
A05 A04 A06
English, 1 c4 c5 (70)
A30 A33 A36 A35 A37
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (218)
C60 C76 C92 C69 C67
Slav (146)
D18 D10 D11 D15 D17
Nimzo Indian (122)
E54 E32 E41 E55 E34
Ruy Lopez, Closed (92)
C92 C93 C97 C98 C84
Grunfeld (75)
D94 D98 D85 D86 D99
English, 1 c4 e5 (73)
A28 A21 A29 A22 A20
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1012973
4 Notable Work he was an accomplished baritone singer
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements Awarded the International Grandmaster title in 1950 by FIDE on its inaugural list.
Champion in Candidates tournament in Zurich 1953
Champion in candidates tournament in Amsterdam in 1956
He become world champion by defeating Mikhail Botvinik in 1957
8 World Championship Title Years 1957-1958

Mikhail Botvinnik (1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-1963)

Chess mastery essentially consists of analyzing Chess positions accurately.

Three-time World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik was also an electrical engineer, one of the few chess masters to have a distinguished career while playing top-class competitive chess.

Botvinnik was the first world-class player to develop with the Soviet Union. The expectations of an entire nation rode on his shoulders, and he played a significant role in Soviet Chess. Post World War II, Botvinnik was instrumental in the design of the World Chess Championship system.

Based on his strong results during and just after World War II, Botvinnik was one of five players to contest the World Chess Championship 1948, held at The Hague and Moscow. He won the tournament convincingly, with a score of 14/20, three points clear, becoming the sixth World Champion. Botvinnik then held the title, with two brief interruptions, for the next fifteen years, during which he played seven world championship matches.

His retirement also made his foray into chess coaching, and some of the notable names he tutored were Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, and Vladimir Kramnik.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +565 -138 =463 (68.3%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Nimzo Indian (89)
E40 E45 E48 E24 E23
King's Indian (64)
E67 E69 E60 E62 E72
English (55)
A16 A13 A15 A14 A10
Queen's Gambit Declined (43)
D37 D35 D31 D30 D38
English, 1 c4 e5 (37)
A22 A28 A25 A26 A20
Slav (34)
D10 D13 D14 D18 D11
With Black Pieces
French Defense (87)
C18 C19 C15 C07 C01
Sicilian (56)
B63 B62 B58 B27 B32
Ruy Lopez (47)
C98 C90 C92 C68 C82
French Winawer (46)
C18 C15 C19 C17
Nimzo Indian (45)
E34 E21 E33 E26 E53
Caro-Kann (40)
B18 B12 B10 B15 B11
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1011737
4 Notable Work He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering in 1951.[99] In 1956, he joined the Research Institute for Electrical Energy as a senior research scientist.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements In 1931, at the age of 20, Botvinnik won his first Soviet Championship in Moscow
In spring 1939, Botvinnik won the USSR Championship
Gold medal in Amsterdam world chess Olympiad 1954
He also won the gold medal in European Team
Championship which was held at Oberhausen in 1961.
8 World Championship Title Years 1948 to 1957, 1958 to 1960, 1961 to 1963

Max Euwe (1935-1937)

Whoever sees no other aim in the game than that of giving checkmate to one's opponent will never become a good Chess player.

Max Euwe was the 5th World Chess Champion from 1935 to 1937. He was a Dutch chess grandmaster, mathematician, and author.

Against all expectations, Max beat the reigning champion Alexander Alekhine in World Chess Championship in 1935. That Alekhine won the title back two years later is another story.

Max was the best player in Western Europe immediately after World War II era. He played in two world championship candidates’ tournaments. Although he finished 4th in World Championship in 1948, by then, he had already started using his teaching skills for chess. He wrote 20 chess books, most aimed at helping the chess player improve on various topics.

Max invented a subscription-based correspondence course called The Chess Archives, which is universally known as Euwe’s Archives. The course was a comprehensive professional teaching aid on chess openings which were then an area of great weakness for chess players and amateurs alike.

He also served as President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 1970 to 1978 and did excellent work in successfully expanding chess into more countries.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +827 -256 =528 (67.7%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Orthodox Defense (106)
D63 D50 D52 D51 D55
Nimzo Indian (98)
E38 E33 E32 E22 E34
French Defense (58)
C13 C12 C11 C07 C02
Ruy Lopez (53)
C86 C83 C78 C85 C62
King's Indian (48)
E60 E67 E62 E66 E64
Queen's Gambit Declined (42)
D30 D31 D35 D06 D37
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (123)
C83 C77 C80 C68 C78
Slav (76)
D12 D15 D17 D10 D14
Sicilian (68)
B83 B56 B88 B28 B58
Ruy Lopez, Open (61)
C83 C80 C82 C81
King's Indian (52)
E60 E94 E61 E67 E85
Queen's Pawn Game (50)
D02 A46 A45 D00 D04
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1028902
4 Notable Work uwe won every Dutch chess championship that he contested from 1921 until 1952.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements On December 15, 1935, after 30 games played in 13 different cities around the Netherlands over a period of 80 days, Euwe defeated Alekhine by 15½–14½, becoming the fifth World Chess Champion.
8 World Championship Title Years 1935-1937

Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935, 1937-1946)

Chess first of all teaches you to be objective.

Alexander Alekhine was the fourth World Chess Champion, with the distinction of being the only chess master to die holding the title.

By the time he was 22, Alexander was considered to be one of the strongest grandmasters. One of the hypermoderns, i.e., a school of chess players who set out to rethink some of the chess openings principles, Alexander won many tournaments with his attacking style. He had a knack for turning an initiative into a win. He was the first world champion to work hard on opening theory. He was also the first full-time dedicated chess professional of the modern type, producing many chess openings.

In 1927, Alekhine became the World Champion by beating Capablanca in a match of 24 games, the longest world championship match held until 1985. Alekhine was defeated by Euwe in 1935 but regained his crown in the 1937 rematch. Soviet chess leaders declared him “one of the founders of the Soviet School of Chess” after his death.

He is still regarded as a fine chess writer; the collections of his games have influenced many players across generations.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +873 -164 =437 (74.1%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Ruy Lopez (168)
C68 C77 C62 C78 C86
Orthodox Defense (161)
D51 D63 D50 D67 D61
French Defense (120)
C01 C11 C07 C15 C10
Queen's Pawn Game (106)
D02 D00 A46 A40 D05
Sicilian (104)
B20 B40 B32 B30 B62
Queen's Gambit Declined (101)
D06 D30 D37 D31 D35
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (105)
C79 C78 C77 C68 C71
Queen's Pawn Game (67)
D02 A46 A40 A50 E10
French Defense (61)
C01 C11 C12 C02 C00
Nimzo Indian (39)
E34 E33 E22 E32 E46
French (34)
C11 C12 C13 C00 C10
Slav (29)
D11 D18 D17 D15 D12
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1012578
4 Notable Work The asteroid 1909 Alekhin was named in honor of Alekhine.
Alekhine's burial was sponsored by FIDE, and the remains were transferred to the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France, in 1956.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements In 1927 he won the world championship match against Capablanca.
Alekhine won both world championship matches against Efim Bogoljubov in 1929 and 1934.
Alekhine won gold medals in the world olympiad for board one at Prague in 1931 and Folkestone in 1933.
In 1937 he won the world championship match with Max euwe.
8 World Championship Title Years 1927 to 1935, and 1937 to 1946

Jose Raul Capablanca (1921 – 1927)

To improve at chess you should in the first instance study the endgame.

José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera was a Cuban chess player who was World Chess Champion from 1921 to 1927. A child prodigy, Capablanca had an astonishing natural talent for the game.

During eight years spanning from 1916-1924, Capablanca did not lose a single tournament game! His record of 40 wins and 23 draws over this period (where he also became world champion) was unprecedented.

Renowned for his play’s simplicity, legendary endgame prowess, accuracy, and speed, he earned the nickname of the “Human Chess Machine.” Capablanca’s style is well known to consist of fantastic positional, tactical, and endgame skills. He was also known for his quick speed of play and an unmatched ability to look at a position briefly and come up with the best move – almost as if he was a computer.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +374 -47 =267 (73.8%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Ruy Lopez (152)
C66 C78 C62 C84 C64
Orthodox Defense (79)
D63 D51 D52 D50 D67
Queen's Gambit Declined (67)
D30 D37 D31 D06 D38
Queen's Pawn Game (51)
D02 D00 D05 D04 A46
French Defense (50)
C12 C01 C11 C14 C13
Four Knights (36)
C49 C48
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (53)
C72 C66 C68 C77 C73
Orthodox Defense (53)
D63 D67 D53 D51 D64
Queen's Pawn Game (40)
A46 D00 D02 D05 E10
Nimzo Indian (20)
E24 E34 E37 E23 E40
French Defense (19)
C01 C12 C15 C10 C11
Caro-Kann (19)
B13 B18 B15 B12 B10
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1012971
4 Notable Work He is widely renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play.
Lasker once said: "I have known many chess players, but only one chess genius: Capablanca
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements He won world championship match against Lasker Emanual in 1921
8 World Championship Title Years 1921-1927

Emanuel Lasker (1894 – 1921)

When you see a good move, look for a better one.

Chess player, Mathematician, and Philosopher, Emanuel Lasker was World Chess Champion for 27 years from 1894 to 1921, the longest reign of any officially recognized World Chess Champion in history. Lasker was one of the most assertive and most dominant champions in his prime.

His contemporaries were aware of his psychological hold on a game, and he was known for deliberately playing inferior moves to confuse opponents. However, recent game analyses of the master indicate that his approach was way ahead of his time, and he used a very flexible approach that misguided his opponents.

Lasker published chess magazines and is the author of 5 chess books. He was a research mathematician and a first-class contract bridge player.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +379 -80 =177 (73.5%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Ruy Lopez (213)
C68 C62 C66 C67 C64
French Defense (101)
C11 C12 C01 C13 C10
French (71)
C11 C12 C13 C10 C00
King's Gambit Accepted (66)
C39 C33 C38 C37 C34
King's Gambit Declined (53)
C30 C31 C32
Sicilian (52)
B45 B32 B30 B40 B20
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (121)
C65 C67 C66 C77 C68
Orthodox Defense (49)
D50 D63 D52 D60 D53
Giuoco Piano (36)
C50 C53 C54
Queen's Pawn Game (31)
D00 D05 D02 A46 D04
Sicilian (29)
B32 B73 B45 B30 B33
Four Knights (18)
C49 C47 C48
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1040772
4 Notable Work In 1892 Lasker founded the first of his chess magazines, The London Chess Fortnightly, which was published from August 15, 1892, to July 30, 1893.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements Lasker become 2nd world champion in history by defeating Wilhelm Stenitz in 1894
Lasker won against Steinitz in world championship rematch which happened in 1896
8 World Championship Title Years 1894-1921

Wilhelm Steinitz (1886 – 1894)

When you have an advantage, you are obliged to attack; otherwise you are endangered to lose the advantage.

A highly influential writer and chess theoretician, William Steinitz was the first official World Chess Champion from 1886 to 1894. Steinitz was unbeaten in match play for 32 years, from 1862 to 1894.

Although Steinitz became “world number one” by winning in the all-out attacking style that was common in the 1860s, he unveiled in 1873 a new “Positional” style of play. He demonstrated that it was superior to the previous style. His new style was controversial, and some even branded it as “cowardly,” but many of Steinitz’s games showed that it could also set up attacks as ferocious as those of the old school.

Steinitz was also a prolific writer on chess and defended his new ideas vigorously. The ferocious and often bitter debates in print on the various new ideas came to be known as the “Ink War.” But by the early 1890s, Steinitz’s approach was widely accepted, and the incoming generation of top players acknowledged their debt to him, notably his successor and World Champion, Emanuel Lasker.

# Requirement Answers
1 Overall Win Rate +453 -192 =149 (66.4%)
2 Most played openings With White Pieces
Vienna Opening (98)
C25 C29 C28 C27 C26
French Defense (76)
C00 C01 C11 C02 C13
King's Gambit Accepted (60)
C39 C37 C38 C33 C35
French (46)
C00 C11 C13 C10 C12
King's Gambit Declined (36)
C30 C31 C32
Evans Gambit (26)
C51 C52
With Black Pieces
Ruy Lopez (125)
C62 C70 C60 C64 C65
Evans Gambit (73)
C52 C51
Giuoco Piano (33)
C50 C53 C54
King's Gambit Accepted (26)
C33 C39 C38 C34 C37
Scotch Game (21)
Three Knights (16)
3 Notable Games www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1014967
4 Notable Work An analysis based on one of these rating systems shows that he was one of the most dominant players in the history of the game. Steinitz was unbeaten in match play for 32 years, from 1862 to 1894.
5 Website -
6 Social Media Links -
7 Top Achievements In 1866 he arranged a match against adolf andersson and defeated him. The prize fund for that tournament was 100 pound for winner and 20 pound to loser He won match against Zukertort in 1886 and become first official world champion.
8 World Championship Title Years 1886-1894

Paul Morphy (1858 – 1860)

Chess is not only the most delightful and scientific, but the most moral of amusements.

As he is often referred to, the “Pride and Sorrow of Chess,” Paul Morphy has been the greatest chess master of his Era and the unofficial second World Chess Champion from 1858-1860.

Morphy earned the moniker because of his brilliant but short chess career that he ended himself while he was still young and in his prime. Bobby Fischer and Viswanathan Anand ranked Morphy among the ten greatest players of all time. Fischer described Morphy as “perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived.”

Morphy’s claim to fame in chess began early when he won the first American Chess Congress in New York City, where strong players like Alexander Meek and

Louis Paulsen were the obvious choices as winners. He was hailed as the chess champion of the United States. Throughout 1857, Morphy won a majority of his game and set his eyes on Europe in 1858. Morphy played almost every strong player in Europe, including the unplayed challenge he threw at then European Champion Howard Staunton, and often won easily.

Returning to New Orleans in late 1859, at the age of 22, Morphy retired from competitive chess.

Adolf Anderssen (1851-1858) (1860-1868)

Attack! Always Attack!

Adolf Anderssen was a German chess master having won the great international tournaments of 1851 and 1862. However, he lost matches to Paul Morphy (1858) and Wilhelm Steinitz in 1866.

Anderssen became the most successful tournament player in Europe in the pre-World Chess Championship era, winning over half the events he entered, including the formidable Baden-Baden 1870 Chess Tournament.

Most of his achievements came at the advanced age of 50, earning him respect and admiration for generations to come. A likable personality, he was considered an “elder statesman” of the game to whom others turned for advice and arbitration.

Anderssen is famous today for his brilliant sacrificial attacking play, notably the “Immortal Game” (1851) and the “Evergreen Game” (1852).

He was an important contributor to the development of chess problems, driving forward the transition from the “old school” of problem composition to the elegance and complexity of modern compositions.

Howard Staunton (1843 – 1851)

The game of chess is the most fascinating and intellectual pastime which the wisdom of antiquity has bequeathed to us.

Regarded as the world’s strongest player from 1843 to 1851, owing to his 1843 victory over Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, Staunton created the Staunton pattern, a set of clearly distinguishable pieces of standardized shape still required for competitions. He set the groundwork for popularizing chess in England by organizing the first international chess tournament in 1851.

The 1840s saw Staunton as a leading chess commentator who won matches against most top players. According to modern chess experts, Staunton’s understanding of positional play has been considered to have been far ahead of his contemporaries. HE was not an all-out attacking player but attacked when his preparations were complete. His widely read articles and books further fanned the popularity of chess in the United Kingdom.

Notably, his Chess-Player’s Handbook (1847) as a reference book for decades. The chess openings – English Opening and Staunton Gambit were named after him.

Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant (1840-1843)

Pierre-Charles-Fournier-de Saint-Amant

Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant was a leading French chess master and also the editor of the chess periodical Le Palamède.

Best known for losing a match against Howard Staunton in 1843, which is often considered to have been an unofficial match for the first World Chess Championship.

He led the Paris team in their +2 victory over the Westminster club in 1836, and while visiting England in 1843, he lost a casual match to John Cochrane (+4, =1, -6) but beat Howard Staunton (+3, =1, -2). Later in November of that year, a more formal match took place, Staunton – Saint Amant (1843). Saint-Amant lost (+6, =4, -11), ending 100 years of French supremacy.

Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1821 – 1840)


Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1795–December 1840) was a French chess master, possibly the strongest player in the early 19th century.

He played in an era before a World Chess Championship was established but was considered to be perhaps the strongest player in the world from 1821 — when he became able to beat his chess teacher Alexandre Deschapelles — until he died in 1840.

The most famous match series at that time was the series against Alexander McDonnell in 1834. Kasparov analyzed these matches of 85 games in his book My Great Predecessors.

Other Names Worth Mentioning

Alexander Khalifman (1999-2000)

Never play for the win, never play for the draw, just play chess!

FIDE awarded Alexander Valeryevich Khalifman the Grandmaster title in 1990.

He was the FIDE World Chess Champion in 1999. With several international and Russian tournament wins under his belt, Khalifman was a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the Chess Olympiads for three years and at the 1997 World Team Chess Championship. Khalifman runs a chess academy with his trainer Gennady Nesis in St. Petersburg called the “Grandmaster Chess School.

He is coaching several national and international teams and players, both men and women, since then.

Ruslan Ponomariov (2002-2004)

After all, you know yourself that if you don’t train and stay at your best, you can't achieve anything.

Ruslan was FIDE World Chess Champion from 2002 to 2004.

A runner-up in the Chess World Cup 2005 and Chess World Cup 2009, Ruslan’s career began early in 1996 when at the age of 12, he won the European Under-18 Championship. By the time he was 14, he had already won the World Under-18 Championship and was awarded the Grandmaster title, making him the youngest ever player at that time to hold the same.

In 2002, he beat his fellow countryman Vassily Ivanchuk in the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2002 to become FIDE World champion at the age of 18, the first teenager and the youngest person to do so. He finished second in the very strongly contended Linares Tournament, finishing only behind the maestro Garry Kasparov in the same year.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004 – 2005)

Once an exception is made, there will be no end to exceptions.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov, the chess grandmaster and former FIDE World Champion (2004-05), was also the Asian Champion in 1998.

For the longest time, he was the second to Viswanathan Anand, playing beside the chess great during 2008, 2010, and 2012 World Championship matches. Kasimdzhanov achieved several notable successes as a junior, winning the Asian Championship in 1998, placing second in the World Junior Championship in 1999, and earning a bronze medal for the first board in the 2000 Olympiad.

These and other results propelled him to 11th on the FIDE world ranking list in late 2001. In 2004 he became FIDE World Champion by winning the knockout tournament in Tripoli. In match play, he managed to upset all four of the top seeds: Veselin Topalov, Michael Adams, Vassily Ivanchuk, and Alexander Grischuk. Kasimdzhanov was then scheduled to play a match with Garry Kasparov in 2005, with the ultimate goal of reunifying the world chess champion title.

When Kasparov withdrew from playing the match, Kasimdzhanov was instead given an invitation to compete in that September’s FIDE World Championship Tournament in San Luis, Argentina, where he finished sixth out of eight players. Notably, he helped Viswanathan Anand as a second during the Anand – Kramnik World Championship Match (2008).

Levon Aronian (2000- )

Chess programs are our enemies, they destroy the romance of chess. They take away the beauty of the game. Everything can be calculated.

Armenian origin Levon Grigori Aronian is an American chess grandmaster playing for the USA. FIDE awarded him the Grandmaster title in 2000.

In March 2014, FIDE was ranked number two globally with an Elo rating of 2830, making him the fourth-highest rated player in history.

Aronian won the FIDE World Cup twice in 2005 and 2017. He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010, qualifying him for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2012, where he was knocked out in the first round. He was also world champion in Chess960 in 2006 and 2007, in rapid chess in 2009, and in blitz chess in 2010. In 2016, CNN called Aronian the “David Beckham of chess.”

As of March 2021, Levon Aronian was the No. 2 ranked player in the United States and the No. 5 globally, with a FIDE rating of 2781.

Savielly Tartakower (1950 – 1956)

The move is there, but you must see it.

Savielly Tartakower was the first awardee of the title “International Grandmaster in its inaugural year in 1950. Tartakower was most active from 1906 till 1939, winning several tournaments against some of the most distinguished players of the time.

Post-World War I, Tartakower accepted Polish Citizenship and captain and trainer of the Polish Chess team in six international tournaments, winning a gold medal for the country at the Hamburg Olympiad in 1930.

Tartakower relocated to France and started contributing to several chess magazines. His book “Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie” (The Hypermodern Chess Game) was first published in 1924 and has seen almost 100 editions since.

He has five team medals (gold in 1930, two silver in 1931 and 1939, and two bronze in 1935 and 1937) to his credit.

Aron Nimzowitsch (1927- 1931)

The beauty of a move lies not in its appearance but in the thought behind it.

Aron Nimzowitsch, chess player and writer, was the foremost figure amongst the hypermodern. His very influential book on chess theory- My System, has been the go-to book for all new generation chess players. In the late 1920s, he was one of the best chess players in the world.

The height of Nimzowitsch’s career was the late 1920s and early 1930s. According to Chessmetrics, he was the third-best player in the world from 1927 to 1931, behind names like Alexander Alekhine and Jose Capablanca. Nimzowitsch never developed a knack for match play, though; his best match success was a draw with Alekhine, but the match consisted of only two games and took place in 1914, thirteen years before Alekhine became world champion.

Nimzowitsch never beat Capablanca but fared better against Alekhine. He even beat Alekhine with the black pieces in their short 1914 match at St. Petersburg. One of Nimzowitsch’s most famous games is his celebrated immortal zugzwang game against Sämisch at Copenhagen 1923. Another game on this theme is his win over Paul Johner at Dresden 1926.

When in form, Nimzowitsch was very dangerous with the black pieces, scoring many fine wins over top players.

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