Indian chess players

Beginning with the invention of our beautiful game and continuing with the current global online chess craze, India has made significant contributions to the world of chess.

It is thought that chess originated in India and has been played there since the sixth century A.D.

Viswanathan Anand, India’s first chess Grandmaster, made India proud in 1988. Many other Indian chess players soon followed.

Consider the top 15 Indian Chess Players, several of them have received the Arjuna Award and Padma Awards, India’s highest civilian and sporting honours. 

Take a look at the Top 15 Indian Chess Players: 

S.NoPlayer NameRating (Updated on 22 August 2023)
1Viswanathan Anand2754
2Dommaraju Gukesh2751
3Vidit Gujrathi 2723
4Arjun Erigaisi2704
5Pentala Harikrishna2711
6Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa 2707
7Nihal Sarin 2684
8S.L. Narayanan2656
9Aravindh Chithambaram2645
10Abhijeet Gupta2625
11Leon Luke Mendonca2628
12Aryan Chopra2641
13Parimarjan Negi2616
14Karthikeyan Murali 2618
15Raunak Sadhwani2624

1. Viswanathan Anand – Highest Ranking – 2754

Player NameRatingAchievements
Viswanathan Anand2754First and only world champion to come from India (2007–12).The lone Indian player with a FIDE rating over 2800

On December 11, 1969, Viswanathan Anand, commonly known as Vishy Anand and the Tiger of Madras was born in Chennai, India.

He is the first Grandmaster from India and has five titles from the World Chess Federation, in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012.

He was the first winner of the Indian Chess Players’ highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, which was given out between 1991 and 1992.  He is largely recognized as the generation’s strongest quick player.

2. Dommaraju Gukesh – Highest Ranking – 2751

Player NameRatingAchievements
Dommaraju Gukesh2751Third-youngest Grandmaster in the entire world. At the age of 16, he became the youngest player to ever defeat Magnus Carlsen, a former world champion.

Dommaraju Gukesh comes in second on the list of top Indian chess players. He is an Indian Chess Player who goes by the name Gukesh D and was born on May 29, 2006, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

He received the title of Grandmaster from FIDE in March 2019, making him the third-youngest person in history to be eligible for it.

At the age of seven, he started playing chess. In addition to winning the Under-12 division of the World Youth Chess Championships in 2018, Gukesh also triumphed in the Under-9 division of the Asian School Chess Championships in 2015.

3. Vidit Gujrathi – Highest Ranking – 2723

Player NameRatingAchievements
Vidit Gujrathi2723He is the 30th grandmaster of Indian chess. In the history of Elo ratings, he is just the fourth Indian to surpass the 2700 mark. He also took first place in the Open U14 division of the World Youth Chess Championship, making him India’s first chess champion.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi comes next on the list of well-known Indian chess players in India. He is an Indian Chess player and was born on October 24, 1994.

When he accomplished so in January 2013, he became the 31st player from India to reach Grandmaster status.

He is India’s second-highest-rated player as of August 2021 (after Viswanathan Anand), and he is one of the fourth Indian chess players to surpass the 2700 Elo rating mark.

4. Arjun Erigaisi – Highest Ranking – 2704

Player NameRatingAchievements
Arjun Erigaisi2704He was the Indian National Champion in 2022.

Among the Indian chess players, Erigaisi Arjun has quickly gained recognition as a brilliant talent. Arjun has the chess world’s attention thanks to his propensity for tactical mastery and strategic acumen.

His potential to become a future grandmaster is shown by his commitment to the game from an early age as well as a remarkable list of achievements.

Arjun has steadily climbed the ranks, achieving major victories and showing steady improvement.

5. Pentala Harikrishna – Highest Ranking – 2711

Player NameRatingAchievements
Pentala Harikrishna2711In addition to the Commonwealth Championship in 2001, he also won the World Junior Championship in 2004 and the Asian Individual Championship in 2011. He was also India’s youngest general manager in 2001. Harikrishna beat Anand in 2016 for the first time in thirty years of unmatched Elo live rating.

In 2001, after winning the Commonwealth Championship, Harikrishna—who was born on May 10, 1986, in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh—became the Indian chess players are youngest  Grandmaster.

In 2004 and 2011, he won the Asian Individual Championship and the World Junior Championship, respectively. He represented India at seven chess Olympiads between 2000 and 2012.

On the live Elo rating scale, Harikrishna Pentala beat Vishwanathan Anand in March 2016 after achieving a rating of 2763.3. 

6. Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa – Highest Ranking – 2707

Player NameRatingAchievements
Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa2707He was the Indian National Champion in 2022.

He is a chess prodigy and the fifth-youngest Grandmaster (GM) ever, behind Javokhir Sindarov, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D, and Abhimanyu Mishra.

He defeated Magnus Carlsen in a quick game in the Airthings Masters Rapid Chess Tournament on February 22, 2022, being the youngest Indian chess player to ever achieve this feat at the age of sixteen.

Following his victory at the 2013 World Youth Indian Chess Players Championship Under, Praggnanandhaa, then age 7, earned a FIDE Master.

7. Nihal Sarin – Highest Ranking – 2684

Player NameRatingAchievements
Nihal Sarin2684U-10 World Blitz Championship winner in 2013.2014 champion of the U-10 World Youth Chess Championship.Winner of the 2022 FIDE Chess Olympiad’s bronze medal.Tata Steel India Rapid competition champion.

Indian chess player Nihal Sarin was born on July 13, 2004, in Thrissur, Kerala.  His early years were spent in Kottayam. By the age of three, he was able to identify 190 different countries’ flags and capital cities.

He had also learned to memorize and recall the scientific names of plants and insects by the time he was the same age.

He spoke English well by the time he was in upper kindergarten, and by the time he was six years old and had just started first grade, he knew all the multiplication facts up to sixteen.

8. S.L. Narayanan – Highest Ranking – 2656

Player NameRatingAchievements
S.L. Narayanan 2656Winner of the 2012 Asian U-16 championship.(2016) Asian Junior Blitz Chess Championship gold medalist.

Indian chess player Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan was born on January 10, 1998, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He became the 41st Grandmaster from India in 2015 and holds the title.

He had professional instruction from International Master Varugeese Koshy and former Kerala State Champion P. Sreekumar.

In August 2007, Narayanan won his first competition, the Kerala State Under-9 Championship. G.N. Gopal, Kerala’s first Grandmaster, arrived on the same day.

Narayanan won the under-11 category in the state of Kerala in 2008, the under-13 category in 2010, the state’s sub-junior championship in 2011, the state’s junior championship in 2012, and the state’s senior championship in 2012.

9. Aravindh Chithambaram – Highest Ranking – 2645

Player NameRatingAchievements
Aravindh Chithambaram2645(2019) Triple Crown National Champion.A member of the Indian team that won the FIDE Online Olympiad (2020) gold medal.

The youngest Grandmaster in India is Aravindh Chithambaram. Given his achievements, his age is meaningless in light of them.

At the age of 12, he won the National Under-19 Championship. Outstanding young Indian chess player Chithambaram idolizes Vishwanath Anand and strives to match his skill.

Chess gained popularity in India after Vishesh Anand attracted attention and media coverage in 2012.

We should promote greater chess involvement since we believe that Indian chess Players originated in India, which is plausible given that only Indians are capable of creating such cerebral sports.

10. Abhijeet Gupta – Highest Ranking – 2625

Player NameRatingAchievements
Abhijeet Gupta2625Five times champion of the Commonwealth Chess Championship2008 winner of the World Junior Chess Championship2011 Dubai Open Chess Championship champion2013 recipient of the esteemed Arjuna Award

The first Indian to win four Commonwealth Chess Championships is Abhijeet Gupta. He attained the GrandMaster title in 2008, and in 2009 he triumphed in Turkey at the World Junior Chess Championship.

He won the Indian National Premier  Chess Championship after winning the Dubai Open Chess Championship and the Indian Chess Players to win the National Chess Championship.

11. Leon Luke Mendonca – Highest Ranking – 2628

Player NameRatingAchievements
Leon Luke Mendonca
2628The Indian Grandmaster who is the youngestAttained the title of International Master when he was 12 years old. Represented India in a number of international chess competitions.Obtained Grandmaster standards at competitions in Italy and Hungary.

Mendonca, Leon Luke, a talented chess Indian Chess player, boldly competes on the world stage. Mendonca, who comes from a country with a long history in chess, has demonstrated his strategic prowess and devotion to the game.

His impressive development as a young Indian chess player is demonstrated by his noteworthy accomplishments and admirable results in numerous tournaments.

Mendonca stands out on the board because of his dedication to the development and his mastery of challenging positions.

12. Aryan Chopra – Highest Ranking – 2641

Player NameRatingAchievements
Aryan Chopra2641Second-youngest Grandmaster who is IndianSignificant triumph vs Georgian GM Levan PantsulaiaA strong showing at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Chess Masters competitionA significant factor in the 2017 Match of the Millennials triumph for the international team.

In 2016, Indian chess player Aryan Chopra, who was then 14 years, 9 months, and 3 days old, attained grandmaster status. FIDE formally bestowed the title in 2017.

He rose to the position of Grandmaster as the second-youngest Indian after Parimarjan Negi. Currently, he is India’s fifth-youngest Grandmaster. He started playing chess when he was 6 years old and was forced to stay home due to an accident.

13. Parimarjan Negi – Highest Ranking – 2616

Player NameRatingAchievements
Parimarjan Negi2616Was the Asian and Indian chess champion.2010 National Premier Chess Championship winner, 48th edition.seventh-youngest grandmaster in the world and the youngest in India.obtained a bronze medal for India in the 2014 Chess Olympiad.

Parimarjan Negi is the sixth-youngest grandmaster in history, having earned the title at the age of 3 years, 4 months, and 20 days. Negi, a Stanford graduate in mathematics, is presently enrolled in a postgraduate program at MIT.

His winning ways were apparent when he took first place in the U-10 division of the Asian Youth Chess Championship at the age of 9. By drawing with Russian Grandmaster Ruslan Sherbakov in 2006 and receiving a score of 6/9, he attained his final GM standard.

14. Karthikeyan Murali – Highest Ranking – 2618

Player NameRatingAchievements
Karthikeyan Murali 26182015 Indian Champion title. One of India’s youngest Grandmasters was the 2011 (Brazil) U-12 World Youth Chess Champion. many gold, silver, and bronze medalists in illustrious competitions.

Karthikeyan Murali, a two-time National Champion, received the Grandmaster title in 2015. At the age of 5, he started taking chess lessons.

He triumphed in the Under 12 division of the World Youth Chess Championships in December 2011. The Indian Chess Players team won the Under 16 Chess Olympiad in Gyr, Hungary, in 2014, and he tied for third at the Abu Dhabi Masters competition.

He also fulfilled the conditions for the title of Grandmaster in this latter competition. Murali thrives under pressure and is known for pulling off stunning comebacks and victories in situations that appear hopeless.

15. Raunak Sadhwani – Highest Ranking – 2624

Player NameRatingAchievements
Raunak Sadhwani2624One of India’s youngest Grandmasters was the 2011 (Brazil) U-12 World Youth Chess Champion.2015 Indian Champion title.many gold, silver, and bronze medalist in illustrious competitions.

Raunak Sadhwani stands out as a talented Indian chess player, adding to the country’s extensive chess legacy.

His chess career has been nothing short of amazing, filled with outstanding accomplishments and steady development. In the world of competitive chess, Sadhwani has carved out a niche for himself using a combination of tactical skills and strategic acumen.

His performances demonstrate his commitment to the game and passion for it, making him a player to keep an eye on in the world of chess.

Sadhwani contributes to the thriving legacy of Indian chess Players with every move he makes as he develops and competes on international stages.

Conclusion

In summary, the world of Indian chess players is a tapestry woven with extraordinary abilities, brilliant strategic thinking, and a tradition of excellence.

India’s chess journey is a tribute to the commitment, passion, and unflinching pursuit of mastery, from grandmasters who have made an enduring impression on the world chess scene to youthful prodigies who are defining the future.

These athletes have not only won amazing games, but their unwavering dedication to the sport has inspired generations of players.

As Indian chess players advance, they uphold a tradition that honours intelligence, strategy, and the tenacious spirit of competitiveness, enthralling fans around the world and leaving an enduring mark on the game’s history.

Also, check out Best Top 10 Indian Female Chess Players

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