Chess, a game of logic, patience and incredible will power which dates as far as the 15th Century, has been embraced by many in recent years. While most people engage in the sports for recreation as well as to improve cognitive skills, others have gone on to make a name for themselves in professional chess. Just like any other sports, chess is a game saturated with thousands of players, but few dominate the sports.
Those in the top ranks in chess are often in the prime of their youth and have shown exceptional talent in the sports at a very tender age. They have gone to achieve great things and place themselves at the fore in the world of chess. Taking into consideration their recent ranking in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) ranking, we consider the top ten chess players in the world, right now.
10. Anish Giri
As a child, Anish Giri was one of the few chess prodigies who had a very bright future in chess. At just the age of 14, he was already a Grandmaster, the youngest in history. The Russian born chess guru has 5 Chess Olympiads to his name as well as other international tournaments wins. He represented Russia in chess but made the switch to represent the Netherlands in 2009. He has a FIDE rating of 2776 and ranked number 5 in the June 2019 rankings.
9. Hikaru Nakamura
At the age of seven, Hikaru was introduced to chess, and by the time he was ten, the United States Chess Federation named him Chess master. Through his teenage years, he continued to show how talented he was by winning tournaments to become America’s youngest Grandmaster winner. Nicknamed The H Bomb, he has 5 US Chess Championship to his name. In September 2019, FIDE ranked him number 1, in its blitz list. He regularly plays chess online.
8. Viswanathan Anand
Most successful chess players often embraced the game at a tender age, and for Anand, it’s no different. Introduced to the sports at the age of six, Anand progressed to become the first World Chess Champion from India. His exploits in the world of chess have not gone unnoticed as he has been awarded several laurels including the Padma Vibhushan, Indian’s second-highest civilian award. Anand who is referred to as the “Tiger of Madras” has a FIDE rating of 2757 as at November 2019.
7. Levon Aronian
An Armenian chess player, who earned the title of Grandmaster in 2000, Levon was taught chess by his elder sister when he was just nine years old. He has won several chess tournaments which include, the FIDE World Cup, the Chess Olympiad, and the World Team Chess Championship. He has a FIDE rating of 2767 as at November 2019.
6. Sergey Karjakin
A Russian chess player, Sergey Karjakin began his exploits in chess at the age of 5. By the time he was twelve, he was qualified to be honoured with the Grandmaster title, making him the youngest Grandmaster in the world. Sergey Karjakin once represented Ukraine but later switched to Russia. His tournament wins includes the Chess Olympiads, World Rapid Chess Championship and the Chess World Cup. FIDE rated him 2749 in its November 2019 ratings.
5. Wesley So
A Filipino-American chess player So began competing in junior chess tournaments in the Philippines when he was just nine years old. In 2008, So qualified for the Grandmaster title. In 2014, So switched from representing the Philippines to represent the United States. In 2017, he reached a FIDE rating of 2822, which made him the fifth highest-rated player in history. He has won several tournaments which includes the Philippines Chess Championship, the US Chess Championship and is the current winner of the World Fischer Random Chess Champion. He currently rated 2765 in the FIDE November ratings.
4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
A french chess player, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave became playing in chess tournaments as young as six years old. When he was 15, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was awarded the Grandmaster title by the FIDE. MVL, as he is often called, is the seventh highest-rated player in chess after he was rated 2819 by the FIDE in August 2016. He was rated 2777 by the FIDE in its November 2019 ratings.
3. Vladimir Kramnik
A Russian chess player, Vladimir Kramnik chess career has had lots of challenges but he has risen above this to become one of the best in the game. The 44-year-old chess player has won several tournaments which include the World Chess Championship, individual medal at the Chess Olympiads and the Classical Chess World Championship. The FIDE rated him 2753 in its November 2019 ratings.
2. Fabiano Caruana
Born in the US to Italian-American parents, Fabiano Caruana’s chess exploits began at an after school chess program when he was five, he then went on to reach Grandmaster title at the age of 14. Until 2005, he represented the US in chess tournaments, before switching to Italy. In 2015, Curana made the switch to his birth country. He has many chess tournaments wins to his name, these tournaments include the Italian Chess Championship, the US chess Championship, team and individual medals at the Chess Olympiads. In November 2019, the FIDE rated him 2822 in its ratings.
1. Magnus Carlsen
A chess player of Norwegian roots, Carlsen began playing chess at the age of 5 after his father introduced him to the game. Before he began chess, Carlsen has shown great intelligence, such as arranging sets with instructions meant for children between 10-14. At the age of 14, Carlsen became a Grandmaster in chess. When he was 18, Carlsen became the youngest player to earn a rating of 2800 by the FIDE. By the time he was 19, he was the number one player in the FIDE World rankings, making him the youngest player to reach the milestone.
Since he won the World Chess Championship in 2013, he has defended his title and is the current World Chess Champions. He is also the first player to hold the World Chess Championship title, the World Rapid Championship title and the World Blitz Championship title at the same thing. In the FIDE November 2019 ratings, Carlsen was rated 2870.
There you have it—our top-10 list of the world’s best chess players right now. Which chess player did you expect on this list? Please share with us in the comment section below.