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Chess in India

Chess in India
Governing bodyAll India Chess Federation

Chess has risen in popularity in India in the last few decades primarily due to chess Grandmaster and former 5-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand.

It is believed that chess originated from Chaturanga of ancient India. The All India Chess Federation is the governing body for chess in India.

Indian Chess in Numbers

Records / Firsts

World Champions

Viswanathan Anand, held the FIDE title from 2000 to 2002, and the unified title from 2007 to 2013.

Highest rated players

The highest ranked Indian players are:

  • Viswanathan Anand, ranked 16th in the world as of November 2021 with a rating of 2751.
  • Koneru Humpy, ranked 3rd in the world (Women's FIDE ratings) as of November 2021 with a rating of 2586.
  • Nihal Sarin, ranked 5th in the world (Junior FIDE ratings) as of December 2021 with a rating of 2662.
  • Vaishali Rameshbabu, ranked 7th in the world (Girls Junior FIDE ratings) as of December 2021 with a rating of 2401.

World Top Lists

As of November 2021, the following is the number of Indian chess players in various segments:

  • World's Top 100: 6
  • World's Top 100 Women: 6
  • World's Top 100 Juniors (age under 20): 20
  • World's Top 100 Girls (age under 20): 12

GM and WGM Titles

India has produced:

Medals won by Indian Chess Team

Competition Gold Silver Bronze Total
World Team Championship 0 1 1 2
Olympiad 1 0 3 4
Asian Games 2 2 2 6
Asian Team Championship 3 11 7 21
Total 6 12 13 31

Player statistics


The top 10 Indian grandmasters as of January 2024 are listed below. [2] India has 9 players in top 100 FIDE Open rating list in 2023.

Some of the top Indian players
Viswanathan Anand
Rank 12
54 years
Gukesh D
Rank 23
17–18 years
P Harikrishna
Rank 29
37 years
Vidit Gujrathi
Rank 35
29–30 years
Nihal Sarin
Rank 63
19–20 years
Praggnanandhaa R
Rank 66
18–19 years

Viswanathan Anand is currently No. 9 in the FIDE World Rankings and the former World Champion. Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand (born 11 December 1969) is an Indian chess grandmaster and former world chess champion. He became the first grandmaster from India in 1988, and is one of the few players to have surpassed an Elo rating of 2800, a feat he first achieved in 2006.

# Player Birth year Rating State GM Title World rank[n 1]
1 Viswanathan Anand 1969 2748 Tamil Nadu 1988 11
2 Gukesh D 2006 2725 Tamil Nadu 2019 25
3 Vidit Gujrathi 1994 2742 Maharashtra 2013 14
4 Pentala Harikrishna 1986 2704 Andhra Pradesh 2001 33
5 Praggnanandhaa R 2005 2743 Tamil Nadu 2018 13
6 Arjun Erigaisi 2003 2738 Telangana 2018 17
7 Nihal Sarin 2004 2693 Kerala 2018 43
8 S. L. Narayanan 1998 2694 Kerala 2015 42
9 Chithambaram Arvindh VR 1999 2662 Tamil Nadu 2015 72
10 Aryan Chopra 2001 2630 NCT of Delhi 2017 119


The top 10 women Indian chess players are listed below as of November 2013.[3]

Indian women players in FIDE Top 100
Koneru Humpy
Rank 3
37 years
Dronavalli Harika
Rank 26
33 years
Tania Sachdev
Rank 42
37 years
Mary Ann Gomes
Rank 61
34 years
Eesha Karavade
Rank 78
36 years
R Vaishali
Rank 14
22 years

Blind players

The top blind Indian chess players are listed below as of December 2021.[4]

# Player ELO Rating Birth year State Notes
1 Darpan Inani 2124 1994 Gujarat Bronze medal, World Junior chess Championship for the blind, Serbia, 2013
2 Kishan Gangolli 2113 1992 Karnataka 6-time winner at National A championships (Blind) from 2012 to 2019.
3 Charudatta Jadhav 1998 Maharashtra President International Braille Chess Association
4 Kaustubh Khare 1982 Maharashtra
5 Aryan B Joshi 1909 Maharashtra
6 Oza Rajesh 1861 1977 Maharashtra
7 Shah Swapanil 1860 1966 Karnataka
8 Makhwana Ashwin K 1858 Maharashtra 2nd place, IBCA Asian Chess Championship for the Visually Challenged 2017
9 Patra Subhendu Kumar 1783 Odisha
10 Krishna Udupa 1733 1972 Karnataka Founder, Nalanda Chess Academy, Shivamogga. First coach of GM Stany G.A.


  1. ^ Active players only

See also


  1. ^ "Pranav becomes India's 75nd Grand Master". The Times of India. 9 November 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Federations Ranking: India". World Chess Federation (FIDE). Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Federations Ranking: India, Women". World Chess Federation (FIDE). Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  4. ^ "AICFB". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
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Chess in India
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