Many chess historians continue to debate who the finest chess player of all time is, but we’ll attempt to steer away from it. This article has a different goal. The goal is to introduce readers to some of the top chess players and their best games, aswell for readers to learn chess openings. That’s why, starting from the beginning, I rated the top chess players in chronological order. I was also evaluating not just their strength and accomplishments, but also the impact they had on chess as a whole.
It was tough to select the top-7 best chess players because there were so many outstanding chess players that deserved to be included on this list. The same could be said for their finest games, but I hope you appreciate my selections.
#7 Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946)
Alekhine’s style was more aggressive and inventive than Capablanca’s. He was one of the first chess players to take a professional approach to openings. He discovered several new ideas and concepts and had a significant effect on opening theory. Alekhine excelled in positional and endgame play as well.
“To win against me, you must beat me three times: in the beginning, middlegame, and endgame,” he once stated.
After defeating Capablanca in 1927, he was crowned World Champion and retained the title until 1935, when Max Euwe “borrowed” it for two years. Alekhine exacted vengeance in 1937, refusing to compete in title matches until 1946, when he died as World Champion.
Alekhine was regarded as a virtuoso of combinational play for a reason. He won a lot of magnificent games. At 1925, he played Richard Reti in Baden-Baden, and it was one of his best games.
#6 Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995)
In 1948, Mikhail Botvinnik, a Soviet chess player, won the World Championship. He was also an electrical engineering professor who was fascinated by the notion of computers playing chess and spent a lot of time exploring the subject.
His influence on human chess players, though, was considerably greater. He was a consummate professional who elevated chess to the status of a true sport. His rigorous and systematic approach to chess was followed by successive generations, ushering in an era in which Soviet chess players dominated international contests. “We all come from Botvinnik,” said the great Soviet grandmaster Leonid Stein.
Botvinnik’s spectacular triumph over Capablanca in 1938 has become one of the most memorable chess games in history.
#5 Robert James Fischer (1943-2008)
Bobby Fischer was an American grandmaster and one of history’s greatest chess players. He was the one person who was able to end the Soviet dominance in the chess world. In the 1971 Candidate match, he beat Mark Taimanov 6-0 and then repeated the performance against Bent Larsen. Fischer had significant difficulty in his penultimate Candidate match against former World Champion Tigran Petrosian, but he eventually triumphed and won by a comfortable score of 6,5 – 2,5. After defeating Boris Spassky in 1972, he was crowned World Champion.
This extraordinary feat enthralled the world of chess and motivated new generations of players in the United States. His publications “My 60 Memorable Games” and “Bobby Fischer teaches Chess” influenced a generation of chess players.
Fischer was a really creative person. He proposed a chess clock with increments after each move in 1988, which is currently widely used. He also devised the well-known chess variation “Chess960,” which is commonly known as Fischerandom.
#4 Anatoly Karpov (b. 1953)
Anatoly Karpov was one of the most consistent chess players of all time, winning over 160 tournaments and earning the titles of World Champion from 1975 to 1985 and FIDE World Champion from 1993 to 1999.
Karpov was a master of positional chess, with a remarkable endgame strategy and a knack for strangling and confining his opponents’ play and ideas. His games are quite educational.
#3 Garry Kasparov (b. 1963)
Garry Kasparov is one of the greatest chess players of all time. His creative, aggressive approach, exceptional calculation ability, and extensive understanding of opening theory intimidated his opponents and helped him achieve considerable success. For more than two decades, he was ranked No. 1 in the world. His top grade of 2851 seems to be out of reach for ordinary people.
After defeating Anatoly Karpov in 1985, he was crowned World Champion. They played 144 games in five bouts, and it was one of the most brutal battles ever witnessed in sports.
#2 Viswanathan Anand (b. 1969)
In 1988, Viswanathan Anand became India’s first grandmaster. His quick play and energetic approach made it clear that he would go on to become one of the top chess players in the world. He has already met Garry Kasparov in a World Championship match in 1995. It was a close call, but Anand ultimately lost.
That, however, was only the beginning. Anand is now the only chess player to have won the World Championship title in all three formats: tournament, match, and knockout. For 21 months, he was the top-ranked chess player in the world, with a rating of 2817.
The game that follows is a brilliant demonstration of Anand’s explosive style and excellent opening preparation.
#1 Magnus Carlsen (b. 1990)
In the classical, quick, and blitz forms, Magnus Carlsen is the current World Champion. He has also been the world No. 1 since 2011, and he is the one who broke Garry Kasparov’s rating record by attaining an incredible ELO of 2882.
Carlsen holds the record for the longest undefeated streak in classical chess at the elite level, which spanned 125 games and lasted two years, two months, and ten days.
His legacy is still being written, but he’s already established himself as one of the greatest players of all time, and this is one of his most recent games.