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Top 10 Best Chess Player In India Of All Time

Remember the 2020’s Netflix web series on chess The Queen’s Gambit? That web series did not just popularize the game of chess in Western countries, but it had a profound effect in India as well. The number of people interested in chess significantly rose to new heights after the research of this masterpiece from Netflix. Prior to that, chess was known to be a game of people who have higher IQs, and it was often portrayed as a boring game. But only the people who play chess can tell you how exciting, thrilling, and complicated it can get.

Thankfully, due to several reasons, now more and more people are drawn to this chess, resulting in more and more championships and tournaments happening in the country. And among those reasons, we’ll talk about the specific one, which is the top chess players from India who have inspired a lot of people to see and experience the true world of chess. So come with us as we explore this list of the top 10 best chess players in India of all time. There are exciting and inspirational backstories and a lot to talk about chess, so let’s get down to it then. Shall we?

List of Best Chess Player In India Ever

1. Vishwanathan Anand

Vishwanathan Anand

Hailed as one of the game’s legends, Vishy is an absolute master of the 64 squares. You know he’s serious business when you hear he bagged the title of Grandmaster at the young age of 18 in 1988. This chess wizard has a record of defending his FIDE World Chess Championship title like a true champ in 2007, 2008, and 2010. For almost a solid six years, from 2007 to 2013, Vishy reigned as the World Chess Champion. His career is full of countless prestigious victories and has left an indelible mark with his versatile game, mastering both classical and rapid chess formats. Vishy’s adaptability and skill to tackle varying time controls have earned him a firm footing in rapid and blitz chess. His ability to dissect complex chess situations with laser-sharp precision gives him an edge, often resulting in dazzling, ingenious moves that leave his opponents in awe.

2. R Praggnanandhaa

R Praggnanandhaa

R Praggnanandhaa be an Indian chess grandmaster who reckon to be one of the most promising young players globally. He took birth in Chennai, India on August 10, 2005. He commenced his chess journey at the tender age of 5 and swiftly displayed a knack for the game. He clinched the World Youth Chess Championship Under-8 crown in 2013 and the under-10 title in 2015.

In 2016, Praggnanandhaa scripted history as the youngest international master ever, aged 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days. He etched his maiden grandmaster norm at the World Junior Chess Championship in November 2017, securing the fourth spot with a tally of 8 points. His second norm came at the Heraklion Fischer Memorial GM norm tournament in Greece on 17 April 2018. He was anointed a grandmaster on June 23, 2018, at the age of 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days, thus emerging as the second-youngest grandmaster in history, trailing only Sergey Karjakin.

Praggnanandhaa has maintained his impressiveness since attaining grandmaster status. He has seized victory in multiple tournaments, encompassing the 2019 Sinquefield Cup (Rapid) and the 2020 Isle of Man International. Noteworthy triumphs against eminent players like Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and Vishy Anand grace his record.

Praggnanandhaa is hailed as one of the most promising young chess talents worldwide. At a mere 17 years old, his achievements stand tall. The anticipation is rife that he shall continue his ascent, ascending the echelons of the chess universe and establishing himself among the foremost players on the global stage in the years ahead.

3. Vidit Gujrathi

Vidit Gujrathi

Next is Vidit Gujrathi, one of the whiz kids of Indian chess who grabbed the Grandmaster title in 2013 when he was just 18. With his remarkable chess sense and superb tactical abilities, Vidit has left his mark in several international competitions and national tournaments, making him one of the brightest stars in Indian chess. His record is adorned with prestigious victories, including the Commonwealth Chess Championship in 2013 and the Tata Steel Chess Challengers tournament in 2018. Vidit isn’t just a brilliant player; he’s also an inspiring coach and mentor, sharing his rich experience and knowledge with the younger generation.

4. Pentala Harikrishna

Pentala Harikrishna

Pentala Harikrishna is one of the well-respected names in the Indian chess circuit. He is known to hold the Grandmaster title at the age of just 15, and that’s something that makes him so special as a chess player, not just in India but in the entire world. His chess journey is adorned with several prestigious victories, including the World Junior Chess Championship in 2004 and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 2017. Known for his strategic play and exceptional tactical insight, Hari has been a crucial part of popularizing chess in India, inspiring new generations of players.

5. Nihal Sarin

Nihal Sarin

If there’s someone who breathes life into the game of chess with their unorthodox style, it’s Nihal Sarin. Nihal won the International Master title when he was just 12 and went on to become a Grandmaster at 14, showcasing a natural talent for the game that left people speechless. This fearless player brings creativity to the table and isn’t afraid to experiment with his moves. With a knack for turning complex and tactical positions into thrilling games, Nihal is showing immense potential for becoming one of the future greats in chess, both in India and globally.

6. Krishnan Sasikiran

Krishnan Sasikiran

Stepping into the limelight next is Krishnan Sasikiran, another one of India’s distinguished chess talents. Sasikiran showed the world he meant business when he earned the Grandmaster title at just 19 in 2000. His achievements have served to inspire a younger generation of Indian chess players, including a win at the Indian National Chess Championship in 2003 and the Commonwealth Chess Championship in 2003. Sasikiran’s long list of accolades also includes representing India in several Chess Olympiads, where his performances have been instrumental in boosting India’s chess reputation on the global stage.

7. Adhiban Baskaran

Adhiban Baskaran

An Indian chess grandmaster, Adhiban is known for stirring up a storm on the chessboard with his aggressive, imaginative gameplay. His unique style makes him an unpredictable player, always keeping his opponents struggling. His journey to glory began in 2006 when he bagged the title of International Master and escalated quickly to Grandmaster by 2010. His victories at the Commonwealth Chess Championship and the Reykjavik Open are just a couple of shiny medals in his trophy case. His style is bold and dynamic, and he loves a good challenge, never stepping back from taking risks. This fearless warrior has scored some outstanding victories, and his contributions to the Indian national chess team have significantly upped India’s game in international chess competitions.

8. Parimarjan Negi

Parimarjan Negi

At the young age of 13, Parimarjan Negi waltzed into the chess world and became the youngest Indian to claim the title of Grandmaster (GM). Talk about making an entrance! With a trophy cabinet boasting wins like the Asian U-10 Championship in 2002, the World U-12 Championship in 2005, and the Asian Chess Championship in 2008, Negi has been instrumental in elevating the status of Indian chess on the global stage. But his love for chess extends beyond the board. He has penned down books on chess openings and taken on coaching roles to nurture young talents, making him a true torchbearer for the game in India.

9. Surya Shekhar Ganguly

Surya Shekhar Ganguly

Next is Surya Shekhar Ganguly, a giant in the realm of Indian chess. With a GrandMaster title next to his name, he has been one of India’s key players for many years. He clinched the GM title in 2003 and has since been flying the Indian flag high at various international tournaments and Olympiads. His successes include winning the Indian National Championship twice and the Asian Chess Championship in 2009. A true maestro on the chessboard, his high Elo rating, which is a numerical measure of a player’s strength in chess, mirrors his persistent performance against strong opponents. His grand presence on the international chess stage has been instrumental in promoting the game in India.

10. S. P. Sethuraman

S. P. Sethuraman

S.P. Sethuraman is a name that echoes in the corridors of Indian chess. This Chennai-based Grandmaster earned his International Master title in 2007 and graduated as a Grandmaster in 2011. With big wins like the Asian Continental Chess Championship in 2016 and the Malaysian Chess Championship in 2015, Sethuraman is known for his ability to calculate complex variations accurately and his versatility to adapt to different styles and positions, making him a truly formidable player.

11. Aravindh Chithambaram

Aravindh Chithambaram

Finally, there’s Aravindh Chithambaram, a famous figure who left a significant mark on the chess world at a young age. After attaining his International Master title in 2012, Aravindh continued his upward trajectory, earning his Grandmaster title in 2017 at the young age of 17. Some of his remarkable achievements include winning the World Under-12 Chess Championship in 2013 and multiple national and international tournaments. Known for his aggressive playing style and exceptional chess skills, Aravindh’s chess career is one to watch out for, with many anticipating his further growth and improvement.


There you have it. These are some of the famous figures in the chess scene of India. For many, these chess players are the true inspiration to continue playing chess and representing India on the international stage. And we hope that our post was good enough while introducing the best of the best chess players from India.


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