Chess is a globally renowned game, captivating the interest of millions of individuals worldwide. The favour surrounding chess is comparable to that of any popular sporting event. However, despite its popularity, many people struggle to name more than a few prominent chess grandmasters, such as Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, and Vladimir Kramnik. Numerous chess players of India have made significant contributions to the world of chess, yet the title of grandmaster continues to be associated primarily with the legendary figure known as the “Lightning Kid,” Viswanathan Anand.

What is a Chess Grandmaster?

A chess grandmaster is the highest achievable title in the game of chess. Once bestowed with this prestigious title, a player retains it for life. Winning a world championship is often the ultimate aspiration for a chess player. The title of grandmaster is earned by demonstrating exceptional skill and expertise through triumphs in highly competitive tournaments. Many chess grandmasters pursue professional careers in the game, dedicating themselves to further honing their abilities and contributing to the chess community.

What’s the criteria for attaining the title of Grandmaster?

To become a chess Grandmaster, a player must attain a minimum FIDE rating of 2500 and fulfil the requirement of earning three grandmaster norms in international tournaments.So, to expand your knowledge of Indian chess grandmasters beyond Viswanathan Anand, here is a list of the top five accomplished chess players in India. Familiarising yourself with these talented individuals will enable you to appreciate their notable achievements and remarkable strategies on the chessboard.


Koneru Humpy

One among the top Indian chess players is none other than Koneru Humpy, born in 1987 in Andhra Pradesh, India. She has a remarkable list of achievements in the world of chess. Humpy secured three gold medals in the girls’ division at the World Youth Chess Championship in 1997, 1998, and 2000. In 2001, she triumphed in the world junior girl championship. She has been honoured with several prestigious awards, including the Padma Shri in 2007 and the Arjuna Award in 2003. In 2020, she clinched the Cairns Cup. Notably, Humpy holds the titles of Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion (2019), India’s youngest woman grandmaster (2001), and Asia’s youngest woman young master (1999).

Pentala Harikrishna

Pentala Harikrishna, born in 1986 in Andhra Pradesh, India, began his chess journey under the guidance of his grandfather Ranga Rao at the tender age of 4. Remarkably, at the age of 15, he became the Commonwealth Champion in 2001, followed by winning the World Junior Chess Championship in 2004 at the age of 18. In 2011, at 25 years old, he claimed the title of Asian Individual Champion. Harikrishna attained the prestigious title of Grandmaster in 2001 and represented India in seven Chess Olympiads from 2000 to 2012. He is widely regarded as one of India’s finest and most renowned chess players.

S L Narayanan

S L Narayanan, a prominent Indian chess player, attained the Grandmaster title in 2015, becoming the 41st Grandmaster from India. With an impressive All India ranking of 5 and a world ranking of 73 as of April 2022, Narayanan has established himself as a formidable player. His current FIDE rating stands at 2662, reflecting his exceptional skills. In 2022, he secured first place in the 1st Grandiscacchi Catholica international open chess tournament, further solidifying his reputation as a talented chess player.

Vidit Gujrathi

Vidit Gujrathi, hailing from Indore, Maharashtra, is another highly accomplished chess Grandmaster from India. He earned the prestigious title in 2013 and showcased his exceptional skills by surpassing the 2600 FIDE rating in 2014. In 2018, Gujrathi made his mark by entering the elite 2700 rating club during the Tata Steel tournament. His remarkable achievements have solidified his position as a top chess player in India.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, a 16-year-old chess prodigy, has made significant strides in his career. He became the fifth-youngest person to achieve the Grandmaster title, following notable players like Abhimanyu Mishra and Sergey Karjakin. Praggnanandhaa’s journey began with impressive victories at the World Youth Chess Championships, earning him the FIDE Master title at the age of 7. He went on to become the youngest international master ever at 10 years old. In 2018, he achieved the grandmaster title at 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days, solidifying his talent. Praggnanandhaa’s remarkable achievements at such a young age make him a rising star in the world of chess.


While many players have achieved prestigious titles, it’s important to acknowledge the contributions of other exceptional players such as Krishnan Sasikiran, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, and Adhiban Bhaskaran. These remarkable players serve as role models, reminding us of the immense challenges involved in the battle of razor-sharp intellect on the chessboard. Their remarkable skills and achievements have made the nation proud, highlighting their impressive chess-playing abilities.

Additionally, we invite you to embark on an exciting chess journey by enrolling in our online Chess Classes at Eight Times Eight. Benefit from our experienced faculty and specially designed courses that can help you take your first steps towards becoming a chess grandmaster. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of chess and unlock your potential in this strategic game.



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