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Top Women Chess Grandmasters of all Time

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Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games of all time. Created around the 6th century CE, chess has amassed a dedicated following throughout history, and many people dedicate their lives to the game


Chess grandmasters are professional players considered to be the best in the world. The international world chess organization, FIDE, awards the title.


Currently, there are forty women chess grandmasters—and many offer lessons!

You can take a chess class with grandmaster Myroslava Hrabinska to learn the rules, tactical elements, and strategies to help you win.

Alternatively, you can take a mathematical approach to the game with women chess grandmasters like Ticia Gara


Keep reading to learn more about these two incredible women—and some of the top women chess grandmasters of all time. 

Is Chess a Sport? 

Chess is considered a sport. The International Olympic Committee also recognizes chess as a sport.


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How Many Chess Grandmasters Are There? 

The FIDE recognizes 1742 chess grandmasters. Of those, 40 are women. 

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The FIDE recognizes 1742 chess grandmasters. Of those, 40 are women.

What’s the Best Way to Learn Chess?

There are several online courses and classes for free on YouTube from casual chess players where you can learn more than just the basics. However, the professional classes offered by actual or past players are the most effective ones.


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Our List of the Top Women Chess Grandmasters of all Time

Although there are 40 women chess grandmasters, we’ve included a short list of some of the most famous women to keep on your radar! 

1. Myroslava Hrabinska 

Myroslava Hrabinska became a chess grandmaster at the young age of 21.


She has been playing chess since she was seven years old, and since then, she has dominated tournaments worldwide.


Today, Hrabinska is a chess coach in Dubai, and she teaches on the Amphy platform. 

2. Ticia Gara 

Ticia Gara is a Hungarian chess grandmaster who won the Hungarian Women’s championship three times. She participated in the Olympics five times and taught chess to students of all levels. 


Gara offers personalized classes to students through Amphy’s educational platform.

3. Judit Polgar 

Judit Polgar is one of the greatest chess players of all time.


At 15 years old, she beat chess champion Bobby Fisher and earned the title of the highest-rated female player in history.


She became a GM shortly after that and is considered one of the youngest GMs of all time. 


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4. Elisaveta Bykova 

Elisaveta Bykova is a citizen of the former Soviet Union who started playing chess at 12 years old and won her first Women’s World Championship in 1953.


Bykova inspired women worldwide since chess was originally a man’s game. 


She became a women’s grandmaster in 1976.

5. Zhu Chen 

Zhu Chen was the first Chinese chess p; layer to win the International Chess Championship, and she is widely considered one of the most talented women in the world. 


Chen became a grandmaster in 2001 and was the seventh woman to earn the prestigious title. 

Women Chess Grandmasters

6. Marie Sebag 

Marie Sebag is a French chess player who first won a championship in 1998 at the Under 12 European HYouth Chess Championship.


She became the first French woman to win the title of woman grandmaster and defeated the world champion Laurent Fressinet. 


In 2007, she scored the 2nd GM norm, making chess history.


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7. Monika Socko 

Monika Socko was the first Polish woman to earn the title of woman grandmaster in 1995. She defeated champions Marie Sebag and Yelena Dembo in the championships and has won gold, silver, and bronze in the Olympics on three separate occasions. 

8. Nona Gaprindashivli

Nona Gaprindashivli was the fifth Women’s World Chess Champion—and she held the title for 16 years! 


Gaprindashvli was the first woman ever to earn the title of a female chess grandmaster, and she appeared in the hit TV show The Queen’s Gambit.

9. Susan Polgar 

Susan Polgar is the sister of grandmaster Judit Polgar—and she won her first championship when she was only four years old.


Polgar was the first woman to obtain the GM title with three norms.


She has spent over 25 years coaching other chess players and has published multiple books. 


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10. Pia Cramling

Pia Cramling is a Swedish International Chess Master and grandmaster. She was the fifth woman to earn the title in 1992 when she was thirteen. 


Pia also won the Olympic gold medal for chess in 1984, 1988, and 2022, making her one of the most decorated champions ever. 

11. Tatiana Kosintseva

Tatiana Kosintseva fell into chess accidentally when she dropped into a chess club and was hooked. 


She won her first silver medal in 1996 and hit the ground running, winning the gold medal in the European Chess Championship in 1996 when she wasn’t ten.


By 2007, she had won the Russian and European championships several times, and she became a female grandmaster in 2009.

Women Chess Grandmasters

Final Thoughts 

Chess is an incredible game that is fun and easy to learn.

If you’re interested in learning chess—or if you want to become the next grandmaster—consider taking a course with a qualified female grandmaster on Amphy.

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