Best Chess Players in the World

In the realm of strategic intellect and tactical brilliance, a select group of individuals has risen to claim the coveted title of the best chess players in the world. These remarkable minds have redefined the boundaries of strategic thinking and have etched their names in the annals of chess history.

As we delve into the elite echelons of the chess universe, we unveil the definitive compilation of the “10 Best Chess Players in the World.”

Their unparalleled expertise, unwavering dedication, and awe-inspiring performances on the grandest stages have positioned them as the epitome of excellence in the realm of this intricate and captivating game.

Join us on this journey to explore the minds and moves that have earned these players the esteemed recognition as some of the greatest chess players on the planet.

Below is the list of the 10 best chess players in the world:

Sr. NoChess PlayerHighest Ranking
1Magnus Carlsen2882
2Fabiano Caruana2844
3Liren Ding2875
4Maxime Vachier-Lagrave2819
5Ian Nepomniachtchi2819
6Levon Aronian2830
7Alexander Grischuk2810
8Wesley So2822
9Shakhriyar Mamedyarov2820
10Teimour Radjabov2793

Below are the details of the 10 best chess players in the world:

1. Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen, hailed as the best chess player in the world, holds the titles of World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Blitz Chess Champion. Renowned for his exceptional skill, Carlsen achieved the esteemed grandmaster status at the remarkably young age of 13.

Notably, his peak FIDE rating of 2882 in 2014 stands as the highest ever attained by any chess player, underscoring his unparalleled prowess.

A hallmark of Carlsen’s gameplay is his remarkable versatility, evidenced by his constant exploration of diverse openings. This dynamic approach renders him an incredibly formidable adversary, even for the most accomplished competitors on the global stage.

His strategic evolution is palpable; while he initially garnered fame for his aggressive tactics and willingness to sacrifice material for greater activity, his style has matured into a more universally adaptable one over the years.

The 2016 film “Magnus” serves as a captivating portrayal of his meteoric ascent in the world of chess, offering a glimpse into the intricacies of the mind of one of history’s most exceptional geniuses.

A must-watch for both chess enthusiasts and those intrigued by the journey of individuals who consistently strive for self-improvement, the film provides valuable insights into the relentless pursuit of greatness.

2. Fabiano Caruana

Becoming a grandmaster at the tender age of 14, Fabiano Caruana secured his place as the youngest American player to attain such a prestigious title at that time. Hailing from Park Slope, Brooklyn, Caruana initially represented the United States until 2005, subsequently transitioning his affiliation to Italy.

Regarded as one of the most exceptional American players since the legendary Bobby Fischer, Caruana’s endeavours, however, have yet to dethrone the reigning chess monarch, Magnus.

Notably, his pinnacle FIDE rating of 2844 in 2014 ranks as the third-highest in the annals of chess history, trailing only behind the remarkable achievements of Carlsen and Garry Kasparov. This makes Caruana the best chess player in the world.

3. Ding Liren

Liren Ding has etched his name in history as the preeminent Chinese best chess player in the world. Liren also holds the distinction of the highest-ever Elo rating from his nation.

Notably, in 2016, his mastery over Blitz chess propelled him to the summit as the world’s highest-rated Blitz player, boasting an impressive rating of 2875. Furthermore, Ding achieved another monumental milestone in September 2018, when he crossed the coveted threshold of an Elo rating exceeding 2800.

This accomplishment firmly establishes him as the sole Chinese player to attain this remarkable rating, solidifying his status among the best chess players in the world.

4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Joining the ranks of grandmasters at a remarkably young age of 14, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, often referred to as MVL, has ascended to the coveted position of the highest-ranked player in France.

Remarkably, his apex FIDE rating, standing at an impressive 2819, secures him the prestigious distinction of being the seventh-highest-ranked player in the annals of chess history.

Presently, he maintains his status as the world’s number four player, sharing this position with Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Undoubtedly, MVL’s contributions have solidified his legacy as not only one of the most exceptional players on the global stage but also as one of the preeminent figures in the storied lineage of French best chess players in the world.

5. Ian Nepomniachtchi

Presently reigning as the foremost Russian player on the global stage, Ian Nepomniachtchi’s classical rating of 2184 positions him in a shared fourth rank with MVL. In a stellar collection of accomplishments, Nepomniachtchi has claimed victory in the World Team Chess Championship, notably triumphing as a valued member of the Russian team in both 2013 and 2019.

Furthermore, his prowess extended to winning the 2015 European Team Chess Championship. These feats unquestionably position him as the one of the best chess players in the world. Plus marking his indelible mark on the international chess landscape too. 

6. Levon Aronian

Occupying the esteemed sixth position among the world’s elite players, Levon Aronian has held the title of grandmaster since the turn of the millennium in 2000. His remarkable talents have consistently positioned him as a prominent figure in global chess for the majority of his career.

In a defining moment of his journey, the year 2014 witnessed Aronian’s ascent to a FIDE rating of 2830, solidifying his place as the fourth-highest-rated player in the annals of chess history. Notably, he secured the titles of World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2009 and 2010, respectively, underscoring his multifaceted prowess.

Aronian’s consistent contributions and exceptional achievements unmistakably establish him as one of the best chess players in the world.

7. Alexander Grischuk

Adding to the list of illustrious Russian players—a country with a longstanding tradition of producing top-tier chess talents—Alexander Grischuk stands out prominently. Grischuk’s renown rests on his exceptional skills not only in traditional tournament chess but also in the domain of elite blitz play.

Earning distinction as a true force in rapid chess, he clinched victory in the World Blitz Chess Championship on multiple occasions, triumphing in the years 2006, 2012, and 2015.

This impressive feat positions him as one of the most decorated and accomplished blitz players currently active in the chess circuit.

Grischuk’s multifaceted abilities undeniably establish him as the one of the best chess players in the world.

8. Wesley So

While presently holding the 8th rank, Wesley So, the Filipino-American chess sensation, boasts a March 2017 ELO rating of 2822, elevating him to the esteemed status of the fifth highest-rated player in chess history.

Notably, in the preceding year, he achieved a remarkable feat by outplaying Magnus Carlsen to secure the title of the first World Fischer Random Chess Championship.

Fischer Random Chess introduces an innovative twist to the game by randomizing the initial positions of the board and pieces, fostering an environment of unparalleled creativity. So emerges as another prodigious talent on this list, having achieved grandmaster status at the tender age of 14.

Undoubtedly, his remarkable accomplishments firmly establish him as the best chess player in the world.

9. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Securing a personal zenith rating of 2820 in September 2018, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov solidified his standing as the sixth-highest-rated chess player in history.

Hailing from Azerbaijan, Mamedyarov boasts an illustrious record of achievements, showcasing his exceptional prowess on the global chess stage. Particularly noteworthy is his remarkable victory over Magnus Carlsen for the coveted title during the 2018 Biel Chess Festival.

In the annals of chess history, Mamedyarov’s consistent excellence undeniably establishes him as the one of the best chess players in the world.

10. Teimour Radjabov

Joining the ranks of distinguished Azerbaijani players in the top ten list, Teimour Radjabov shares a remarkable connection with the all-time chess legend Garry Kasparov, having been born in the same city.

A defining moment in Radjabov’s ascent occurred in the Linares tournament of 2003, where, at the youthful age of 16, he achieved a resounding victory over the renowned Kasparov.

This triumphant feat propelled Radjabov onto the international stage, solidifying his reputation as an accomplished and globally recognized chess player. Undoubtedly, Radjabov’s achievements position him as one of the best chess players in the world.

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