Chess is an ancient Indian game, originally known as Chaturanga, which translates as four divisions of the military: infantry, cavalry, elephantry, and chariots, represented by the pawns, bishops, rooks, and knights. Over the years, Indian chess players have made their motherland proud on the international stage. And when it comes to making our country proud, no one did that as well as Viswanathan Anand, India’s first chess Grandmaster. He has inspired the youth to play this game, and with all his success and achievements, he has become a role model.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of the top 100 Indian chess players.
According to the International Chess federations (FIDE), out of the top 100 Indian Chess players based upon ranking in March 2022, 45 have received Grandmaster (GM) title. Here is an overview of the titles won by the top 100 players:
|Titles||Number of Indian players|
|Women Grand Master (WGM)||2|
|International Master (IM)||43|
|FIDE Master (FM)||5|
|Candidate Master (CM)||1|
Top 100 Indian Chess Players
Take a look at the list of the top 100 Indian Chess players:
|Sr.no||Top 100 Indian Chess Players||Rating||Title|
|2||Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||2723||Grandmaster|
|13||Puranik, AbhInternational Masteranyu||2618||Grandmaster|
|16||Aravindh, Chithambaram VR.||2611||Grandmaster|
|17||Ganguly, Surya Shekhar||2609||Grandmaster|
|18||Lalith Babu M R||2558||Grandmaster|
|21||Mendonca, Leon Luke||2536||Grandmaster|
|22||Shyam, Sundar M.||2528||Grandmaster|
|24||Visakh N R||2522||Grandmaster|
|25||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||2520||Grandmaster|
|30||Bharath Subramaniyam H||2508||International Master|
|34||Pranav, V||2493||International Master|
|36||Raja Rithvik R||2490||Grandmaster|
|37||Aditya Mittal||2487||International Master|
|40||Aronyak Ghosh||2482||International Master|
|42||Saksham Rautela||2480||International Master|
|43||Raahul V S||2478||International Master|
|44||Rathanvel, V S||2477||International Master|
|45||Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran||2474||Grandmaster|
|47||Das, Arghyadip||2471||International Master|
|48||Ravi, Teja S.||2470||International Master|
|49||Koustav Chatterjee||2466||International Master|
|50||Krishna C R G||2466||International Master|
|51||Das, Sayantan||2459||International Master|
|52||Rahul Srivatshav P||2458||International Master|
|53||Pranesh M||2455||International Master|
|54||Nitish Belurkar||2447||FIDE Master|
|55||Neelash Saha||2445||International Master|
|56||Vignesh N R||2444||International Master|
|58||Shyaamnikhil P||2442||International Master|
|59||Raghunandan, Kaumandur Srihari||2441||International Master|
|60||Ajay Karthikeyan||2436||International Master|
|61||Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh||2436||International Master|
|62||Pranav Anand||2436||International Master|
|63||Samant Aditya S||2433||FIDE Master|
|65||Nitin, S.||2427||International Master|
|67||Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad||2422||International Master|
|68||Prasanna Raghuram Rao||2420||International Master|
|69||Srijit Paul||2419||International Master|
|70||Audi Ameya||2418||International Master|
|71||Dushyant Sharma||2416||FIDE Master|
|72||Bitan, Banerjee||2410||International Master|
|73||Prraneeth Vuppala||2409||Candidate Master|
|75||Aditya Vikram Paul||2409||FIDE Master|
|76||Gusain, HInternational Masteral||2408||International Master|
|77||Sammed Jaykumar, Shete||2408||International Master|
|78||Vaishali R||2403||International Master|
|79||Muthaiah AL||2403||International Master|
|81||Harshavardhan G B||2402||International Master|
|83||Shahil Dey||2400||International Master|
|84||Srihari L R||2400||International Master|
|85||Ajay Krishna, S||2399||International Master|
|87||Viani Antonio Dcunha||2397||International Master|
|88||Moksh Amit Doshi||2396||International Master|
|90||HInternational Masteranshu, Sharma||2391||Grandmaster|
|91||Akshat, Khamparia||2390||International Master|
|92||Kulkarni Bhakti||2388||International Master|
|93||Vantika Agrawal||2381||Women Grandmaster|
|94||Hari Madhavan N B||2380|
|95||Nandhidhaa, P V||2380||Women Grandmaster|
|96||Panesar Vedant||2379||FIDE Master|
|97||Krishna Teja, N||2374||International Master|
|98||Hemant, Sharma||2374||International Master|
|99||Vardaan Nagpal||2372||International Master|
Top 10 Indian Chess Players
To emerge as talented in chess, one has to recognize the rules, apprehend patterns, assume quickly, practice, and evaluate one’s gameplay. Indians aren’t a long way back when it comes to excelling at a game whose original roots trace back to our very own country. Every chess player desires to achieve the highly proclaimed and prestigious title of “Grandmaster,” and many Indians have secured success in doing so, and there are many more to come soon.
The top 10 active Indian chess players have an average rating of 2671, ranking fourth in the world, behind the top three rank holders-Russia, the United States, and China. Here are the top 10 Indian chess players:
|Top 10 Indian Chess Players||Rating|
|Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||2723|
Let’s take a look at the top 10 Indian chess players and their playing styles.
- Birth Place: Tamil Nadu
- Standard Rating- 2751
- World Rank – 15
- Titles – Grandmaster (1998) and International Master (1985)
Viswanathan Anand, aka “The Madras Tiger”, also known as “Vishy Anand”, received his Grandmaster title in 1988. He is the undisputed champion when it comes to chess. Born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, he was an astounding chess player from a very early age. He is a three-year FIDE champion, and his winning streak started in 2007.
He has been conferred with the Arjuna Award, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, and Khel Ratna award by the Government of India. Anand’s style is distinguished by a deep understanding of chess and a good grasp of tactical opportunities and patterns. He surprised his opponents with great speed and agility as a young player.
- Birth Place: Maharashtra
- Standard Rating- 2723
- World Rank – 25
- Titles – Grandmaster (2013), International Master (2009), and FIDE Master (2005)
Hailing from Nashik, Vidit received the Grandmaster norm back in 2013. In the year 2018, he successfully crossed the 2700 rating. He makes chess seem easy. He can introduce changes into his game quite quickly without affecting his results. Vidit may come across as a positional player, but he knows how to attack.
- Birth Place: Andhra Pradesh
- Standard Rating – 2716
- World Rank – 26
- Titles – Grandmaster (2001) and International Master (2000)
The third rank in the best Indian chess players list is deservingly reserved for Harikrishna. In 2001, he conquered his Grandmaster norm, and he became the seventh player among the youngest ones to receive this prestigious title. He has shown skill and intelligence throughout his chess career with his consistent opening repertoire and solid game style.
- Birth Place: Telangana
- Standard Rating- 2660
- World Rank – 73
- Titles – Grandmaster (2018), International Master (2018), FIDE Master (2017), and Candidate Master (2016)
Telangana-born Arjun Erigaisi is an Indian chess Grandmaster. Having earned the Grandmaster title at the young age of 14 in 2018, he became the 32nd youngest man ever to do so. Among the many Indian Grandmasters, he is the 54th one.
In 2015, Arjun bagged a silver medal in Korea’s Asian Youth Championship. In 2021, he became the first Indian to qualify for the Champions Chess Tour 2021. Having been placed 2nd in October 2021 at the Junior U21 Round Table Open Chess Championship (Classical), Bulgaria, in the very next month, he ranked 3rd/82 in the Lindores Abbey Blitz Tournament held in Riga. Later, he went on to win the Rapid section of the Tata Steel India Chess Tournament (Rapid and Blitz), followed by winning the Tata Steel Chess 2022 Challengers in January 2022.
As praised by Magnus Carlsen, “He plays chess in a way that I enjoy! You can just sense that he knows how to play!” He has a tremendous strategic eye and can switch between game styles effortlessly.
- Birth Place: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
- Standard Rating- 2658
- World Rank – 79
- Titles – Grandmaster (2016) and International Master (2014)
Having earned the Grandmaster title in 2016, Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan became the 41st Indian Grandmaster. In his initial years, he was professionally trained by former Kerala State Champion P. Sreekumar and later in his subsequent years by International Master Varugeese Koshy.
In 2014, he won the highest prize at the National junior championship. After succeeding in a decisive final round, he bagged a bronze medal at the 2016 World Junior Chess Championship. He emerged victorious in the Ellobregat Open 2019, his first tournament victory on foreign soil.
A man who always loves keeping the fighting spirit within him alive no matter what, his balanced playing style and razor-sharp mind have heavily contributed to his power-packed and consistent performances, making him one of the fastest-growing players in Indian Chess.
- Birth Place: Kerala
- Standard Rating- 2652
- World Rank – 87
- Titles – Grandmaster (2018), International Master (2017), FIDE Master (2015), and Candidate Master (2014)
Famous for “chess genius” or “wizard” of India, he received the title of Grandmaster at 14 years old only. He is the first among the younger ones to have passed the 2600 rating points of FIDE. His calm composure has proved him unbeatable after expert chess players got Check-mated by him.
- Birth Place: Tamil Nadu
- Standard Rating- 2650
- World Rank – 94
- Titles – Grandmaster (2000) and International Master (1999)
Krishnan is nicknamed the “Indian Wall”. He has excelled himself to be an outstanding chess maestro from time to time. His father, a coach and excellent chess player himself inspired him to take up this sport. Krishnan defeated chess maestro Vishwanathan Anand in 2002, and the Indian Government awarded him the Arjuna Award.
Sasikiran’s opening preparation and tactful understanding of the opponent’s gameplay is very high.
- Birth Place: Tamil Nadu
- Standard Rating- 2648
- World Rank – 97
- Titles – Grandmaster (2010) and International Master (2008)
A Tamilian by birth, Adhiban Bhaskaran came into the limelight when he won the U16 Asian Championship, Tashkent, in 2007.
In 2008, he won the U-16 World Youth Championship 2008 and the following year, i.e. in 2009, the 47th Premier National Chess Championship. As an Indian Representative at the Asian Games,2010, he brought home a bronze. He also won the Tata Steel Challenges tournament in 2016, three times with a tie. He became the second Indian to bag the title of winning at the 33rd Reykjavik Open tournament, Iceland, in 2018.
Adhiban, aka The Beast, is widely known for his conservative but hyper-aggressive style of play.
- Birth Place: Bhilwara
- Standard Rating- 2628
- World Rank – 143
- Titles – Grandmaster (2008) and International Master (2005)
Abhijeet Gupta is an Indian Grandmaster, having won the Commonwealth Chess Championship five times. Among his long list of achievements, a few significant ones include winning the World Junior Chess Championship in 2008, ranking 1st in the 13th Dubai Open Chess Championship, the Indian National Premier Chess Championship, and The Commonwealth Chess Championship in 2013 and 2015, and many more. For his immense contribution to Indian Chess, he was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2013.
- Birth Place: Thanjavur
- Standard Rating – 2622
- World Rank – 157
- Titles – Grandmaster (2015) and International Master (IM)
Born in Thanjavur, Karthikeyan started learning chess at the age of five. Karthikeyan Murali, an Indian chess player, was awarded the Grandmaster Title (GM) by FIDE in 2015. Karthikeyan is a two-time national champion.
His most notable victory includes bagging a medal in Chess at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games – Men’s team rapid U-23. Already a world champion in the under-12 and under-16 respective chess championships, he went on to win the Indian National Premier Championships in 2015 and again in the following year and was placed 2nd in the Gibraltar Masters 2019.
Alongside being an excellent solver and a chess composer, his queen sacrifice against Alireza Firouzja is considered one of the best moves in his gameplay.
Indian Chess Players – FAQS
Chaturanga is believed to have been invented about 1500 years ago and is the earliest known predecessor of chess. After that, the Arabians adapted Chaturanga to a game they named Shatranj. During the medieval period, it was embraced by the Europeans.
S. Vijayalakshmi is India’s first Grandmaster. In 2001, she became the first Indian woman to achieve the title.
Viswanathan Anand has received the Padma Vibhushan Award for his excellency in chess. The award was given to him in 2007.
In 2007, Vishwanathan Anand won the World Champion title.