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12 Famous Chess Players 2024

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Learning chess can be a challenging and rewarding experience. If you’re ready to start your journey into chess, it helps to learn from a professional. Even if you’re already pretty far along in your chess learning, you may want to learn tips on how to boost your technique to rank even higher in competitions. 


Beyond classes or how-to’s, some players may find it helpful to watch higher-level players that have complete mastery over the craft. If watching higher-level competitors sounds like it would be fun and educational, then you may want to check out tournaments where some of the most famous chess players compete. 


So, how do you know how to find some of this year’s most famous chess players? Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list for you of some of the biggest names in the chess world in 2023. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a few commonly asked questions about famous chess players.

What’s the Average Age of a Chess Player’s Peak Performance?

After some research and studies performed by scientists, there wasn’t one age determined to be the peak of most chess players’ performances. However, the age range most of the best chess players fall somewhere between 35-40 years old. 


Some high-ranking players fall younger or older than these ages, especially if they started young and continued playing and ranking high until their retirement. 

quotation marks

On average, a GM has an IQ of around 180, give or take 20 points.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Chess Grandmaster?

The time it takes to become a grandmaster varies by person and amount of practice. The youngest anyone has ever become GM is around twelve years old. However, the oldest person awarded the title was 88.


The amount of practice and timing needed to achieve such a prestigious rank can vary from person to person. Total dedication to the craft can’t be determined in a precise amount of time.

What’s the Average IQ of a Chess Grandmaster?

Grandmasters in chess have some of the highest recorded average IQs of any profession. On average, a GM has an IQ of around 180, give or take 20 points. Although having a high IQ isn’t a requirement for performing well in chess, it offers a boon, and many high-performers have one at or above 160.

famous chess players

Our List of Famous Chess Players in 2023

While chess GMs might not be household names for most people, the following 12 players have received international renown for their sport.

Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen’s name might sound familiar, and if so, you probably know him from his stint as a five-time World Chess Champion. This player is 32, and even though his chess career in 2022 had him place 3rd in a tournament, he’s still one of the most famous names out there.

Ian Nepomniachtchi

A Russian-born chess player, Nepomniachtchi began playing chess at age four. His rankings are consistently in the top three in most competitions, and even though he is best at classical chess, ranked just behind Carlsen, he is also skilled at both rapid and blitz chess.

Judit Polgár

Born in Hungary, Polgar has been setting records every step of her career. She is the highest-ranked female chess player in the world. Beyond that, however, she’s also the only woman to reach over 2700 points to qualify as a Super Grandmaster in all of history. Her record speaks for itself.

Ding Liren

A three-time Chinese Chess Champion, Liren is also the highest-ranked Chinese player in the world. Although his point rating has now fallen below 2800, he still maintains his Super Grandmaster points totaling over 2700.

Abhimanyu Mishra

Mishra is a chess prodigy. He’s the youngest player ever to achieve Grandmaster status at 12 years old. Being a prodigy means even though he’s only 12, he’s been achieving the highest marks for his games since he was 7 years old, having reached 2000 points. 

Anish Giri

Giri is another chess prodigy, and he is of Russian and Dutch Heritage. At 14 years old, he achieved the rank of Grandmaster, and he has represented the Netherlands at five different competitions. He is the 14th Dutch player to win the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.


You might also like: 29 of the Best Chess Coaches | Hire a Chess Coach | Amphy Blog

Wesley So

So is a three-time Philippine chess champion with a point ranking of 2822. This number makes him the 5th highest-rated chess player in history. He is also currently ranked number two in the world at chess. 

famous chess players

Natalia Pogonina

Pogonina currently holds the title of Womens Grandmaster (WGM). Although her career has slowed down a little due to her rich personal life, she writes a column for and has since 2009.

Alexandra Botez

Although Botez isn’t a GM, she has received a point total of 2092 during her career and currently holds the title of Woman FIDE Master. Her career, however, has been largely documented online through her twitch and Youtube channels. These social media accounts have kept her in the public eye and kept her famous, even in 2023.

Nurgyul Salimova

Salimova is a Bulgarian chess prodigy who has been awarded both the Women’s International Master and Women’s Grandmaster titles. In 2023 she won the silver medal in Bulgaria’s national chess championship. This was noteworthy as she was the only woman to compete in the Bulgarian open that year.

Hou Yifan

Yifan is a four-time Women’s World Chess Champion and is currently ranked second worldwide for WGMs. She was also the youngest woman in history to win the Women’s Chess Championship at 16.

Anna Rudolph

Even though Rudolph is an IM and WGM, she might be best known for her chess commentating. She began playing at home with her sister at four. Since 2017, she has retired from playing and focused on her broadcasting career, which means her face and name are famous in chess. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many talented and famous chess players in competitions in 2023. If you’re looking for the right one to follow and learn from, all you have to do is do some research, and you can find just what you need to motivate you to perform at your best! 

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