Top Chess Players in India - India Chess Ranking

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 20, 2023, 11:02

This page will give you complete knowledge about Best Chess Players in India and their backgrounds. Chess is an old game traced back to the 6th century. It is known to have originated in India and was called "Chaturanga".

The word means four military divisions, which include the cavalry, infantry, chariots, and elephantry, represented in the game by the bishops, pawns, knights, and rooks.

To become proficient in the game, one must understand the rules, recognize patterns, think quickly, practice, and be able to review one's gameplay. Indians are not far behind in terms of being the best at the game their country invented. Every chess player dreams of attaining the highest title of Grand Master. This article is all about the best Chess Players in India.

List of Top 10 Chess Players in India

Player Name



Vishwanathan Anand

Tamil Nadu


Vidit Gujrathi



Pentala Harikrishna

Andhra Pradesh


Nihal Sarin



Krishnan Sasikiran

Tamil Nadu


Adhiban Baskaran

Tamil Nadu


Parimarjan Negi



Surya Shekhar Ganguly

West Bengal


S.P. Sethuram

Tamil Nadu


Chithambaram Aravindh

Tamil Nadu


Famous Chess Players in India

Following is the details of the Top 5 best chess players in India. Read who is the best chess player in India, their achievements, and their contribution to sports.

Vishwanathan Anand from Tamil Nadu

The Numero Uno in the game of chess is Vishwanathan Anand. Known as "The Madras Tiger" and "Vishy Anand," he is unquestionably one of the best Indian chess players.

  • He was born in Tamil Nadu and was a prodigious chess player from a young age.
  • He was the International Chess Federation (FIDE) champion for three years.
  • He also won the FIDE world championship in 2007, when he was ranked first in the world for the first time.
  • The Indian Government has given him the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Khel Ratna Award, and Padma Vibhushan.

Vidit Gujrathi from Maharashtra

The topmost chess grandmaster of India is Vidit Gujrathi. He hails from Indore, Maharashtra, and received the title of Grandmaster in 2013.

  • He moved ahead and passed the 2600 FIDE rating in 2014.
  • In 2018, he entered the 2700 rating club at Tata Steel.

Pentala Harikrishna from Andhra Pradesh

  • Pentala Harikrishna reserves the third spot in India's list of best chess players.
  • Pentala earned his Grandmaster title in 2001, which made him the seventh-youngest player to receive the designation.

S. L. Narayanan from Kerala

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan is a renowned Indian chess player. He acquired the Grandmaster title in 2015 and is the 41st Grandmaster from India.

  • His All India ranking is 5, and his world ranking is 73 as of April 2022.
  • S. L. Narayanan's current International Chess Federation (FIDE) rating is 2662.
  • In 2022, he got first in 1st Grandiscacchi Catholica international open chess.

Nihal Sarin from Kerala

Nihal is also known as the chess champion in India. He got his Indian chess grandmaster title at the age of 14.

  • He is also the youngest player to pass the 2600 FIDE Elo rating points.
  • He exhibits a calm composure which has made him unbeaten by many veteran chess players.

Krishnan Sasikiran from Tamil Nadu

Sasikiran is also called the Indian Wall; Krishnan has proved to be an excellent chess player from India.

  • He got the inspiration to play from his father, a chess player, and coach himself.
  • In 2002, he beat Vishwanathan Anand and received the Arjuna Award from the Indian Government.

Adhiban Baskaran from Tamil Nadu

Baskaran is an Indian chess Grandmaster (GM) and grabbed the titles of 2008 World Under-16 Champion and the 2009 Indian champion.

  • He is presently the seventh highest-rated player in India.
  • Adhiban is widely understood as the Beast due to his aggressive style of play.
  • The most recent news about him came in 2018 when Adhiban won the historic Tournament of Peace-Zagreb held in Croatia, which was renewed after 33 years.

Parimarjan Negi from New Delhi

Negi is the youngest Indian chess grandmaster. He earned the grandmaster title at the age of 13 years, which made him the second youngest grandmaster in history.

  • He is the 7th player to achieve this accomplishment as of July 2021.
  • Parimarjan is an Asian plus Indian champion.
  • He played on the top board for the bronze medal-winning Indian team in the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Norway.
  • The Indian Government awarded Parimarjan the Arjuna Award in 2010.

Arjun Erigaisi from Telangana

He is an Indian chess grandmaster from the state of the southern part of India. He is known as the king of National chess champion.

  • He earned the title of grandmaster at the age of 14 years, which made him the 32nd youngest person to gain the crown of grandmaster.
  • Arjun became famous in 2021 when he qualified for the Goldmoney Asian Rapid of the Champions Chess Tour 2021. He only lost to Levon Aronian in a tie, considered a hard-fought match.
  • In April 2022, he participated in the first leg of the MPL Indian Chess Tour organized by Chess24 and managed to win with a score of 30/45 (+8 =6 -1).

Abhijeet Gupta from New Delhi

He is a chess grandmaster in India. Abhijeet is the first player to win the Commonwealth Chess Championship five times.

  • He played Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, for the Indian national team in 2012, where he grabbed an individual silver medal.
  • Gupta won the 8th Delhi international open in 2020 with 8.5/10.
  • Abhijeet succeeded in the Commonwealth championship in 2015 and later in the same year.
  • He got the reward of the World Junior Chess Championship in Gaziantep, Turkey, in August 2008, by defeating many other strong players.

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Top 10 Female Players in India

We have mentioned the details of the top 10 Indian chess players and their achievements. Check out the table below for complete information about female top chess players.

Player Name



Koneru Humpy

Andhra Pradesh


Harika Dronavalli

Andhra Pradesh


Vaishali Rameshbabu

Tamil Nadu


Tania Sachdev



Bhakti Kulkarni



Vantika Agarwal



P. V. Nandhidhaa

Tamil Nadu


Mary Ann Gomes

West Bengal


Soumya Swaminathan



Padmini Rout



Koneru Humpy from Andhra Pradesh

Koneru is one of the famous chess players in India, best known for winning the FIDE Women's rapid chess championship in 2019.

  • She became the youngest woman to achieve the title of Grandmaster (GM) at the age of 15 years. In 2002
  • Humpy became the second female player who exceeded the 2600 Elo rating mark, rated 2606.
  • Koneru won the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the year award after a public vote in 2020.
  • Humpy is representing India at Chess Olympiad 2022, held in Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu.

Harika Dronavalli from Andhra Pradesh

Harika Dronavalli is among the top chess players holding the Grandmaster (G.M.) FIDE title. She has won three bronze medals in the Women's World Chess Championship in 2012, 2015, and 2017.

  • Dronavalli was praised with the Arjuna Award for 2007–08 by the government of India.
  • She won the FIDE Women's Grand Prix event at Chengdu, China, and rose from world no. 11 to world no. 5 in FIDE women's ranking in 2016.
  • Harika was awarded the Padma Shri In 2019 for her fantastic contribution to sports.
  • The recent news about this Indian chess player is she won Silver Medal at the 2021 FIDE Women's World Team Championship and a bronze medal at FIDE online chess olympiad 2021.

R Vaishali from Tamil Nadu

Rameshbabu comes 3rd in the ranking of chess players. She holds the FIDE titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).

  • Vaishali won the World Youth (Under-12s) Chess Championship in 2012 and Under-14s in 2015 in the category for girls.
  • In 2016, she got the Woman International Master (WIM) title and ranked second in India along with World No.12 girl U16-player. Her Elo rating was 2300.
  • She was awarded International Master (IM) title in 2021.
  • Vaishali won the 8th Fischer Memorial, scoring 7.0/9, and recently won her second Grandmaster standard in 2022.

Tania Sachdev from Delhi

Tania is an Indian chess grandmaster with International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM) FIDE titles.

  • She became Indian women's chess champion in 2006 and 2007, one-time Asian women's chess champion in 2007, and current Commonwealth Women's Chess Champion in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
  • Sachdev is also a chess anchor and presenter.
  • She received the best woman's prize at the Reykjavik Open and won the Commonwealth women's champion title in 2016.

Bhakti Kulkarni from Goa

Kulkarni has been known to be the chess master of India. She received the FIDE titles of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and International Master (IM) in 2012 and 2019, respectively.

  • She won the Asian Junior Chess Championship in the year 2011.
  • Bhakti became first at the international women's chess tournament in 2013.
  • She got the Asian Chess Women Championship in 2016.
  • In the individual competition during the Women's Asian Team Chess Championship, she won the bronze medal in 2009.

Vantika Agarwal from Delhi

Vantika won the National Women Online Chess title by scoring 9.5 points from 11 rounds. She defeated an Indian chess player from West Bengal, Arpita Mukherjee. Among the famous chess players in India like Bhakti Kulkarni, Tania Sachdev, and Padmini Rout, Vantika was the youngest to come to the top position.

V. Nandhidhaa from Tamil Nadu

Pallathur Venkatachalam Nandhidhaa is a recent chess grandmaster in India who holds the FIDE titles of Woman International Master (WIM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).

  • She is the 17th Woman Grandmaster of India and ranked No.5 in India and World No.74 as of Mar 2022.
  • P. V. Nandhidhaa is part of 30 member Indian Chess Olympiad team, which will be participating in the 44th Chess Olympiad from 28 July to 10 August 2022 in Chennai.
  • She participated in 4 Chess tournaments between Dec'21 to Jan'22 in Europe and gained 63 ELO points.
  • P.V. ranked No.7 among Indian women who received a career-high FIDE rating of 2380.
  • Nandhidhaa made a historical record by sharing the first position at 47th La Roda International Open held at La Roda, Spain, in Dec 2021. No woman achieved such a feat in 46 editions of the tournament.
  • She was rewarded the "Best Sportsperson of the year" award from the honorable CM of Tamilnadu in February 2021.

Mary Ann Gomes from Kolkata

Mary occupies a position among the best chess players in India. In 2008, She was granted the title of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) by FIDE.

  • During the 1999 Asian Youth Chess Championships, she won the Girls Under 10 title in Ahmedabad.
  • Mary won the Asian Under 16 Girls Championship at Namangan, Uzbekistan, in 2005.
  • Gomes won the Under 20 Asian Junior Girls Championship three times from 2006 to 2008.
  • Mary was also awarded the Women's Indian Chess Championship in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Soumya Swaminathan from Palakkad

Soumya is in the ninth position as an Indian chess grandmaster. She received International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM) from India.

  • She won the World Junior Girls' Championship 2009 held in Argentina.
  • Swaminathan became Indian junior champion for the girl's category in 2005, 2006, and 2008.
  • She achieved the Indian women's championship in 2010 with a score of 8½/11.
  • Soumya evolved as the Commonwealth women's champion in 2012 in Chennai.
  • She played in the Women's World Team Championship in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Padmini Rout from Odisha

Padmini comes in the top 10 Indian chess players list. She has received the titles of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and International Master (IM).

  • She is known to be the National Women's Premier title holder consecutively from 2014-2017 and was the Asian women's champion of 2018.
  • Rout was praised with the Biju Patnaik Sports Award in 2007 and the Ekalavya Award in 2009.
  • Padmini became the Commonwealth women's champion in 2015.
  • She won her first under-11 girl's national title at Nagpur.
  • Rout became Indian Asian under-12 girls and under-13 girls champion in 2006. .

FAQs on Best Chess Players in India

Who is the best chess player in India?

Vishwanathan Anand is the best chess player in India. He was born in Tamil Nadu and was a prodigious chess player from a young age. Anand obtained the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, in 2008.

When did Vishwanathan Anand achieve the title of World Champion in Chess?

Vishwanathan Anand achieved his title of world chess champion in 2007. The event was conducted in Mexico City from 12 September 2007 to 30 September 2007 and was a double match robin tournament with eight-player.

Who is ranked as the third-best chess player in India?

Vidit Gujrathi is ranked as the third-best chess player in India. Vidit comes from Indore, Maharashtra, and received the title of Grandmaster in 2013. He moved ahead and passed the 2600 FIDE rating in 2014.

Who is Youngest Chess Player (Grandmaster) in India?

As per the recent reports, Praggnanandhaa has become the youngest Indian Grandmaster. Earlier, Parimarjan Negi, at 13 years, was India's youngest Grandmaster. Another Grandmaster was Vishwanathan Anand, who won the title at the age of 18 years.

Who is the No 1 player of chess in India?

Viswanathan Anand is the no 1 player of chess in India. He is known as "The Madras Tiger" and "Vishy Anand," and was the International Chess Federation (FIDE) champion for three years and also won the FIDE world championship in 2007.

How are the chess rankings determined?

The Elo rating system determines chess rankings. The K-factor for a player is estimated by dividing 800 by the adequate number of games a player's rating is based on (Ne) plus the number of games the player completed in a tournament (m).

Who are the top chess players in India?

Some of the top chess players in India are Vishwanathan Anand, Arjun Erigaisi, S. L. Narayanan, Krishnan Sasikiran, Vidit Gujrathi, Pentala Harikrishna, Adhiban Baskaran, Nihal Sarin, etc.