Top 100 Indian Chess Players – FIDE ratings and titles received

Indian Chess Players

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 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
Grandmaster (GM)45
Women Grand Master (WGM)2
International Master (IM)43
FIDE Master (FM)5
Candidate Master (CM)1
No title4

Top 100 Indian Chess Players

Take a look at the list of the top 100 Indian Chess players:

Sr.noTop 100 Indian Chess PlayersRatingTitle
1Anand, Viswanathan2751Grandmaster
2Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi2723Grandmaster
3Harikrishna, Pentala2716Grandmaster
4Erigaisi Arjun2660Grandmaster
5Narayanan.S.L2658Grandmaster
6Nihal Sarin2652Grandmaster
7Sasikiran, Krishnan2650Grandmaster
8Adhiban, B.2648Grandmaster
9Gupta, Abhijeet2628Grandmaster
10Karthikeyan, Murali2622Grandmaster
11Praggnanandhaa R2619Grandmaster
12Sethuraman, S.P.2619Grandmaster
13Puranik, AbhInternational Masteranyu2618Grandmaster
14Sadhwani, Raunak2616Grandmaster
15Gukesh D2614Grandmaster
16Aravindh, Chithambaram VR.2611Grandmaster
17Ganguly, Surya Shekhar2609Grandmaster
18Lalith Babu M R2558Grandmaster
19Narayanan, Srinath2553Grandmaster
20Sankalp Gupta2536Grandmaster
21Mendonca, Leon Luke2536Grandmaster
22Shyam, Sundar M.2528Grandmaster
23Sengupta, Deep2528Grandmaster
24Visakh N R2522Grandmaster
25Deepan Chakkravarthy J.2520Grandmaster
26Stany, G.A.2517Grandmaster
27Harika, Dronavalli2517Grandmaster
28Iniyan, P2516Grandmaster
29Mitrabha, Guha2510Grandmaster
30Bharath Subramaniyam H2508International Master
31Arjun Kalyan2506Grandmaster
32Harsha Bharathakoti2499Grandmaster
33Akash G2495Grandmaster
34Pranav, V2493International Master
35Debashis, Das2491Grandmaster
36Raja Rithvik R2490Grandmaster
37Aditya Mittal2487International Master
38Karthik Venkataraman2485Grandmaster
39Chanda, Sandipan2485Grandmaster
40Aronyak Ghosh2482International Master
41Raja Harshit2482Grandmaster
42Saksham Rautela2480International Master
43Raahul V S2478International Master
44Rathanvel, V S2477International Master
45Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran2474Grandmaster
46Ashwin, Jayaram2471Grandmaster
47Das, Arghyadip2471International Master
48Ravi, Teja S.2470International Master
49Koustav Chatterjee2466International Master
50Krishna C R G2466International Master
51Das, Sayantan2459International Master
52Rahul Srivatshav P2458International Master
53Pranesh M2455International Master
54Nitish Belurkar2447FIDE Master
55Neelash Saha2445International Master
56Vignesh N R2444International Master
57Prithu Gupta2444Grandmaster
58Shyaamnikhil P2442International Master
59Raghunandan, Kaumandur Srihari2441International Master
60Ajay Karthikeyan2436International Master
61Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2436International Master
62Pranav Anand2436International Master
63Samant Aditya S2433FIDE Master
64Laxman, R.R.2429Grandmaster
65Nitin, S.2427International Master
66Harikrishnan.A.Ra2422International Master
67Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad2422International Master
68Prasanna Raghuram Rao2420International Master
69Srijit Paul2419International Master
70Audi Ameya2418International Master
71Dushyant Sharma2416FIDE Master
72Bitan, Banerjee2410International Master
73Prraneeth Vuppala2409Candidate Master
74Neelotpal, Das2409Grandmaster
75Aditya Vikram Paul2409FIDE Master
76Gusain, HInternational Masteral2408International Master
77Sammed Jaykumar, Shete2408International Master
78Vaishali R2403International Master
79Muthaiah AL2403International Master
80Saptarshi, Roy2402Grandmaster
81Harshavardhan G B2402International Master
82Avinash Ramesh2402
83Shahil Dey2400International Master
84Srihari L R2400International Master
85Ajay Krishna, S2399International Master
86Karthikeyan, P.2397Grandmaster
87Viani Antonio Dcunha2397International Master
88Moksh Amit Doshi2396International Master
89Harsh Suresh2392
90HInternational Masteranshu, Sharma2391Grandmaster
91Akshat, Khamparia2390International Master
92Kulkarni Bhakti2388International Master
93Vantika Agrawal2381Women Grandmaster
94Hari Madhavan N B2380
95Nandhidhaa, P V2380Women Grandmaster
96Panesar Vedant2379FIDE Master
97Krishna Teja, N2374International Master
98Hemant, Sharma2374International Master
99Vardaan Nagpal2372International Master
100Vignesh, B2364

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 PlayersRating
Anand, Viswanathan2751
Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi2723
Harikrishna, Pentala2716
Erigaisi Arjun2660
Narayanan.S.L2658
 Nihal Sarin2652
Sasikiran, Krishnan2650
Adhiban, B.2648
Gupta, Abhijeet2628
Karthikeyan, Murali2622

Let’s take a look at the top 10 Indian chess players and their playing styles.

Vishwanathan Anand

  • Birth Place: Tamil Nadu
  • Standard Rating- 2751
  • World Rank – 15
  • Titles – Grandmaster (1998) and International Master  (1985)

Viswanathan Anand, aka “The Madras Tiger”, is 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.

Vidit Gujrathi

  • 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.

Harikrishna Pentala

  • 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.

Arjun Erigaisi

  • 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.

S.L. Narayanan

  • 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.

Nihal Sarin

  • 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.

Krishnan Sasikiran

  • 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.

Bhaskaran Adhiban

  • 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 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.

Abhijeet Gupta

  • 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, and the Indian National Premier Chess Championship, The Commonwealth Chess Championship 2013 and 2015, and many more. For his immense contribution to Indian Chess, he was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2013.

Murali Karthikeyan

  • 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

What is the origin of chess?

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.

Who is India’s first woman Grandmaster in chess?

S. Vijayalakshmi is India’s first Grandmaster. In 2001, she became the first Indian woman to achieve the title.

Who is India’s first Chess sportsperson to receive the Padma Vibhushan?

Viswanathan Anand has received the Padma Vibhushan Award for his excellency in chess. The award was given to him in 2007.

When did Vishwanathan Anand win the World Champion title for Chess?

In 2007, Vishwanathan Anand won the World Champion title.

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