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 FIDE ratings as of November 2023.
List of Indian chess players – Top 100
Take a look at the list of the top 100 Indian Chess players based on FIDE rating as of November 2023:
|Rank||Indian Chess players||Title||Rating||B-Year|
|5||Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||Grandmaster||2710||1994|
|12||Aravindh, Chithambaram VR.||Grandmaster||2625||1999|
|17||Puranik, AbhInternational masteranyu||Grandmaster||2603||2000|
|19||Ganguly, Surya Shekhar||Grandmaster||2589||1983|
|23||Visakh N R||Grandmaster||2566||1999|
|25||Mendonca, Leon Luke||Grandmaster||2558||2006|
|26||Lalit Babu M R||Grandmaster||2550||1993|
|29||Pranav, V||International master||2530||2006|
|31||Aronyak Ghosh||International master||2521||2003|
|32||Shyam, Sundar M.||Grandmaster||2518||1992|
|36||Pranav Anand||International master||2502||2006|
|38||Swapnil, S. Dhopade||Grandmaster||2499||1990|
|40||Koustav Chatterjee||International master||2496||2003|
|41||Bharath Subramaniyam H||Grandmaster||2495||2007|
|42||Rahul Srivatshav P||Grandmaster||2492||2002|
|44||Shyaamnikhil P||International master||2489||1992|
|45||Das, Sayantan||International master||2489||1997|
|46||Aditya Mittal||International master||2486||2006|
|48||Vignesh N R||International master||2486||1998|
|49||Krishna C R G||International master||2480||1991|
|54||Raja Rithvik R||Grandmaster||2470||2004|
|56||Samant Aditya S||International master||2467||2006|
|57||Rathanvel, V S||International master||2463||2001|
|58||Ravi, Teja S.||International master||2462||1993|
|60||Panchanathan, Magesh Chandran||Grandmaster||2460||1983|
|61||Muthaiah AL||International master||2454||1999|
|62||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||Grandmaster||2451||1987|
|63||Vaishali, Rameshbabu||International master||2451||2001|
|64||Prraneeth Vuppala||International master||2451||2007|
|65||Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad||International master||2449||1996|
|66||Neelash Saha||International master||2446||2002|
|68||Pranesh M||International master||2442||2006|
|69||Ajay Karthikeyan||International master||2441||2004|
|70||Raghunandan, Kaumandur Srihari||International master||2441||2001|
|71||Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh||International master||2439||1998|
|72||Das, Arghyadip||International master||2438||1985|
|73||Srihari L R||International master||2436||2005|
|74||Nitish Belurkar||International master||2435||2001|
|75||Harshavardhan G B||International master||2433||2003|
|76||Moksh Amit Doshi||International master||2430||2003|
|77||Prasanna Raghuram Rao||International master||2420||1994|
|78||Mehar, Chinna Reddy C.H.||International master||2418||1995|
|79||Vishnu Prasanna. V||Grandmaster||2413||1989|
|80||Thejkumar, M. S.||Grandmaster||2412||1981|
|81||Savitha Shri B||Women International master||2411||2007|
|83||Sammed Jaykumar, Shete||International master||2408||1999|
|84||Nitin, S.||International master||2407||1992|
|85||Anuj Shrivatri||International master||2407||2004|
|86||Tania, Sachdev||International master||2406||1986|
|87||Aditya Vikram Paul||FIDE Master||2404||2007|
|89||Saksham Rautela||International master||2401||2004|
|90||Audi Ameya||International master||2401||1999|
|91||Souhardo Basak||International master||2400||2007|
|93||Bitan, Banerjee||International master||2398||1993|
|94||Kushagra Mohan||Candidate master||2395||2004|
|95||Shahil Dey||International master||2395||2007|
|96||Padmini, Rout||International master||2390||1994|
|98||Panesar Vedant||FIDE master||2387||2003|
|99||Hari Madhavan N B||2385||2003|
|100||Ajay Krishna, S||International master||2383||1999|
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Indian Chess players – Top 100 players title
According to the International Chess federations (FIDE), out of the top 100 Indian Chess players based upon ranking in November 2023, 54 have received Grandmaster (GM) title. Here is an overview of the titles won by the top 100 players:
|Titles||Number of Indian players|
|Women International Master (WIM)||1|
|International Master (IM)||41|
|FIDE Master (FM)||2|
|Candidate Master (CM)||1|
Top 9 Indian chess players based on the world ranking
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 9 active Indian chess players have an average rating of 2701. Here are the top 10 Indian chess players who make it to the list of the top 100 chess players world ranked by FIDE:
|Top 10 Indian Chess Players||Rating||Standard Rating World|
|Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||2710||32|
Let’s take a look at the top 9 Indian chess players and their playing styles.
- Birth Place: Tamil Nadu
- Standard Rating- 2756
- World Rank – 9
- 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: Chennai
- Standard Rating- 2728
- World Rank – 18
- Titles – Grandmaster (2019), International Master (2018), and Candidate Master (2015)
Gukesh D is the third-youngest person in history to qualify for the title of Grandmaster. He learned to play chess at the age of seven and won the under-9 section of the Asian School Chess Championship in 2015. He also won five gold medals in the Asian Youth Chess Championships in 2018, U-12 individual rapid and blitz, U-12 team rapid and blitz, and U-12 individual classical formats.
- Birth Place: Telangana
- Standard Rating- 2728
- World Rank – 20
- 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: Andhra Pradesh
- Standard Rating – 2717
- World Rank – 27
- 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: Maharashtra
- Standard Rating- 2710
- World Rank – 32
- 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: Chennai
- Standard Rating- 2687
- World Rank – 48
- Titles – Grandmaster (2018), International Master (2016), and FIDE Master (2013)
Born on 10th August 2005, Praggnanandhaa received the grandmaster title at the age of 12. On 22nd February 2022, at the age of 16, he became the youngest player to defeat the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen.
Praggnanandhaa is the youngest sibling of Women Grandmaster and International Master R Vaishali. Praggnanandhaa entered the Chess World Cup 2021 and defeated GM Gabriel Sargissian and GM Michał Krasenkow.
- Birth Place: Kerala
- Standard Rating- 2673
- World Rank – 60
- 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: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
- Standard Rating- 2663
- World Rank – 72
- 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: Madras
- Standard Rating- 2645
- World Rank – 93
- Titles – Grandmaster (2011) and International Master (2007)
Sethuraman is an Indian grandmaster and Asian chess champion. He achieved the title of grandmaster in 2011 and International master in 2007. In 2014, Sethuraman took the team bronze medal with the Indian team at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromsø and won the Indian National Premier Championship.
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.