Top 17 Most Successful Romania Chess Players of All Time

Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

Romania has a long and proud tradition of producing some of the world’s best chess players.

From Mircea Negulescu and Constantin Lupulescu to Teodora Demian and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, these players have proven themselves capable of competing with the world’s top players and achieving great results.

They have won a number of prestigious tournaments, including the Romania Chess Championship and the European Club Cup, and have earned their place among the best chess players in the world.

This article will take a look at some of the best chess players from Romania and their amazing accomplishments.

1. Bogdan-Daniel Deac


Bogdan-Daniel Deac is an extraordinary chess player from Romania. He began playing the game at a young age and quickly proved to be a formidable opponent.

His talent and dedication to the game allowed him to become the youngest chess grandmaster in the history of Romania, earning the title at the age of 14 years, 7 months and 27 days. Deac’s success is a testament to his natural abilities and hard work.

From an early age, he was determined to become the best player he could be. His dedication was clear as he continually studied and practiced chess to improve his skills.

He was regularly competing in local and international tournaments, and his hard work paid off when he earned his grandmaster title. Deac’s achievement is an inspiring example of what can be accomplished with the right combination of talent and dedication.

His success has given hope to many young chess players across Romania, showing them that with enough hard work and commitment, they too can reach their goals.

2. Constantin Lupulescu


Constantin Lupulescu is a highly decorated Romanian chess grandmaster and a five-time Romanian Chess Champion. He has achieved great success in the competitive world of chess, having competed in the FIDE World Cup a total of five times over the course of twelve years.

His first appearance was in 2009, followed by 2011, 2013, 2015, and most recently in 2019 and 2021. He has been a consistent presence in the FIDE World Cup, demonstrating his commitment to the game and mastery of the sport.

His five Romanian Chess Championships also attest to his long-standing dedication and skill in the world of chess.

3. Vlad-Cristian Jianu


Vlad-Christian Jianu is a talented chess player from Romania. He has achieved many accomplishments in the world of chess, such as becoming the Romanian champion in 2006 and the national champion in problem-solving.

In 2012, he added two more titles to his repertoire by winning the Romanian National Championships in both Blitz and Rapid. Additionally, Jianu represented Romania at two Chess Olympiads—the 2014 and 2016 Olympiads.

His impressive resume of accomplishments in the chess world speaks to his dedication and skill.

4. Andrei Istrățescu


Andrei Istrățescu is a Romanian chess grandmaster who has had a successful career in the world of chess.

He first competed in the FIDE World Chess Championship in 1998 and then participated in the FIDE World Cup in 2005 and 2013. In addition to these international tournaments, Istrățescu has also represented Romania in a number of team competitions.

He has played for the Romanian national team in the Chess Olympiad, the European Team Chess Championship and the Chess Balkaniads.Istrățescu’s impressive record in the chess world shows his dedication to the game and his commitment to representing Romania.

He has achieved great success in his chess career and is an inspiration for many aspiring chess players.

5. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu


Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu is a renowned Romanian chess grandmaster. His peak FIDE rating of 2707 in October 2005 placed him as the fifteenth highest-ranked player in the world and the highest-rated Romanian player ever.

He is known for his aggressive style of play, which has earned him a reputation as a modern-day version of the great Mikhail Tal. Tal was one of the most renowned chess players of the 20th century, and Nisipeanu has been likened to him due to his relentless attacking style.

He has achieved international recognition and respect for his chess skills and is widely regarded as a world-class grandmaster. His aggressive approach to the game has inspired many aspiring players, and he has become an example of how to play the game with passion and energy.

6. Richárd Rapport


Richárd Rapport is a renowned Hungarian chess grandmaster and a chess prodigy. At the tender age of 13 years, 11 months, and six days, he was awarded the grandmaster title, making him the youngest Hungarian ever to earn the title.

His fame only grew from there, as he became the Hungarian Chess Champion in 2017 and was fifth-highest-rated player in the world in May 2022. Richárd is considered by many to be a genius of the game. His quick rise to fame and success is a testament to his skill and hard work.

He has achieved great feats at a very young age, making him an inspiration for young chess players and prodigies around the world. His achievements have earned him the admiration of chess fans everywhere.

Richárd’s success has even earned him recognition from the Hungarian government, who awarded him the “Köztársasági Érdemrend tiszti fokozata” in 2020. This prestigious award is only given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the nation.

Richárd Rapport is the perfect example of what can be achieved when one puts their heart and soul into something. His incredible accomplishments are a testament to his skill, dedication, and passion for the game of chess.

7. Florin Gheorghiu


Florin Gheorghiu is a renowned Romanian chess player with a wealth of experience in the sport. He is highly regarded as one of the most successful chess players from Romania, having won numerous tournaments and titles.

As a university lecturer in foreign languages, Gheorghiu has also had a successful career in teaching and has been a great influence on generations of students.

He has also held a number of other positions, including being the president of the Romanian Chess Federation and a member of the FIDE Trainers Commission. Gheorghiu’s career in chess began at a young age when he won the Romanian Junior Chess Championship in 1967.

This success was followed by victories in the Romanian Championship in 1969 and 1970. He also won the World Junior Championship in 1970 and the Alekhine Memorial in 1973.

In addition, Gheorghiu has competed in multiple international tournaments, such as the World Chess Championship in 1976 and the FIDE Grand Prix in 1979.

As a university lecturer, Gheorghiu has had a positive impact on his students, inspiring them to pursue their dreams and strive to reach their goals.

He is known for his passion for the subject matter and for his dedication to helping his students become the best versions of themselves.

Gheorghiu has also served as the president of the Romanian Chess Federation, where he has worked to promote the sport and foster its growth in Romania. The accomplishments of Florin Gheorghiu throughout his career have been vast.

His skills as a chess player, university lecturer, and president of the Romanian Chess Federation have earned him the respect and admiration of many. He remains an influential figure in both the chess and academic worlds.

8. Mihai-Lucian Grünberg

Mihai-Lucian Grünberg is an incredibly gifted chess player. He is an International Master of the game and the champion of Romania.

His accomplishments are even more impressive when one considers his family background: his father, Sergiu Henric Grünberg, is a former Romanian chess champion.

This demonstrates that Mihai-Lucian has a great amount of talent, but also that he has been able to use the experience of his father to his advantage.In 2005, Grünberg had the honour of representing his country at the Maccabiah Games.

These are a series of competitions held in Israel and hosted by the International Maccabiah Organization. The competitors are mostly Jewish athletes, and the event is considered to be the “Jewish Olympics”.

Mihai-Lucian Grünberg was one of the select few chosen to represent Romania at this prestigious event. Mihai-Lucian Grünberg is an example of a chess player who has achieved success at a young age and shows that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

His accomplishments are an inspiration to aspiring chess players everywhere.

9. Corina Peptan

Corina-Isabela Peptan is a remarkable chess player from Romania. She holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster, which is a huge accomplishment in the world of chess.

She has achieved even more success by becoming the world girls’ champion in four different age categories. In 1988, she won the Under 10 title in Timișoara. Two years later, she attained the Under 12 title in Fond du Lac.

In 1991, she achieved the Under 14 title in Warsaw, and in 1995, she obtained the Under 18 title in Guarapuava. Her impressive successes make her a remarkable player in the world of chess and have earned her a spot among the best players in the game.

10. Mihail Marin


Mihail Marin is a Romanian chess player and author who has achieved great success in the sport. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the game.

Marin’s first major achievement in international chess competition was his qualification for the Interzonal tournament in 1987, a prestigious event that is considered to be one of the most important tournaments in the game.

This accomplishment was a milestone in Marin’s career, and it launched him into the upper echelon of international chess players.

In the years since, Marin has gone on to become a respected chess author, writing books on the game that have been praised by both players and critics alike. He is also an active chess coach, helping players of all levels to improve their game.

Through his dedication and hard work, Mihail Marin has established himself as one of the greats of the chess world.

11. Dorian Rogozenco


Dorian Rogozenko is a chess grandmaster and former chess champion of Moldova. He has had an impressive chess career, as demonstrated by his participation in various tournaments and competitions.

In 2002, he competed in the FIDE World Chess Championship but unfortunately was eliminated in the first round by Mikhail Gurevich. Rogozenko has also represented two countries in the Chess Olympiads: Moldova in 1994, 1996 and 1998, and Romania in 2000.

He was able to use his exceptional skills to help both countries achieve success in the tournament. This shows that he is a versatile and skilled player who is capable of competing at the highest level. Overall, Rogozenko’s career has been impressive.

He has competed in many tournaments and represented two countries in the Chess Olympiads. His performance in the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2002, where he was eliminated in the first round, shows that even the best players can sometimes face defeat.

Nevertheless, his impressive career demonstrates his dedication and skill as a chess player.

12. Cristina Adela Foișor

Cristina Adela Foișor was a highly accomplished Romanian chess player. She achieved distinction in the world of chess, earning the titles of Woman Grandmaster in 1991, and International Master in 1997, both of which were awarded to her by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

Foișor was the first Romanian woman to be awarded the title of Woman Grandmaster. As a result, she was recognized as a trailblazer and a role model for other Romanian female chess players.

Her success was a major motivation for many female chess players in Romania. In addition to her success in the game of chess, Foișor was also a renowned chess teacher, lecturing and giving seminars at many universities across Europe.

She was also involved in chess writing, publishing several works on the game of chess. Throughout her career, Foișor was a champion of women’s rights in the world of chess.

She advocated for more opportunities for female chess players and worked to increase their visibility in the chess world.

She was a strong advocate for gender equity in the game of chess, and her work made a major impact on the progress of female chess players. Cristina Adela Foișor was a highly accomplished chess player who made a lasting mark on the world of chess.

Her achievements in the game of chess, as well as her advocacy for gender equity, have had a lasting impact on the world of chess. She is remembered as a role model and pioneer for female chess players in Romania.

13. Adolf Albin


Adolf Albin was a Romanian chess player widely remembered for his contributions to the game. He is best known for a countergambit, an aggressive opening move, that bears his name.

Albin is also credited for authoring the first chess book written in Romanian, a milestone for chess in Romania. This book, which was published in 1883, was an important step in popularizing the game in Romanian culture and is still widely read today.

Albin’s work has had a lasting impact on the game of chess, and his legacy lives on in the countless Romanians he has inspired to play.

14. Zeno Proca

Zeno Proca was a highly accomplished chess player from Romania. He was a two-time Romanian Chess Championship medalist, winning both gold and silver medals throughout his career.

His achievements also extended beyond the Romanian Chess Championships, as he earned an unofficial bronze medal in the Chess Olympiad team competition.

This prestigious event is held every two years and features teams from countries all around the world. Zeno Proca was an incredibly talented chess player and his success was widely acknowledged.

He was a respected figure in the Romanian chess community and was admired for his strategic skill and dedication to the sport. His passion for the game was evident in every match he played, and he worked hard to improve his skills and achieve success.

Despite his accomplishments, he remained humble and always credited his opponents when he won a game.

15. Sigmund Herland

Sigmund Herland was an accomplished Romanian chess master and composer. He was born in Romania in the late 19th century and began playing chess at an early age. As a young man, Herland developed a passion for the game, and he quickly rose to the top of the Romanian chess scene.

Herland became a national master, and he was renowned for his tactical brilliance and creativity. He was also an accomplished chess composer, creating a number of endgame studies that remain popular to this day.

He was an influential figure in the world of chess, inspiring many players from Romania and beyond. Herland was a respected member of the chess community, and his contributions to the game are still remembered today.

16. Elisabeta Polihroniade


Elisabeta Polihroniade was an accomplished chess player from Romania. She was born in the capital of Romania, Bucharest. Polihroniade was awarded the title of Woman Grandmaster and International Arbiter, making her a highly respected player in the world of chess.

Polihroniade was a decorated chess player, having won the Romanian Women’s Championship seven times throughout her career. She won the title in 1966, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977.

Her consistent success in the Romanian Women’s Championship is a testament to her skill and dedication as a chess player. Polihroniade’s success was not limited to her home country, however.

She was an active participant in the Women’s World Chess Championship, having competed in the event in 1976 and 1978. Polihroniade also attended the Chess Olympiads in 1972, 1974, and 1980, where she represented Romania.

The accomplishments of Elisabeta Polihroniade are a testament to her skill as a chess player.

Her numerous championships in the Romanian Women’s Chess Championship, her participation in the Women’s World Chess Championship, and her attendance at the Chess Olympiads show her commitment to the game.

Polihroniade is truly a remarkable chess player and an inspiration to all.

17. Szidonia Vajda

Szidónia Lázárné Vajda is an accomplished chess player who hails from Romania and Hungary. She has been awarded the prestigious titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster from the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE).

In 2004 and 2015, she won the Hungarian Women’s Chess Championship, making her an extremely successful player. Additionally, in 1995, she achieved an impressive feat of winning the European Youth Chess Championship in the Under-16 girls’ section.

This accomplishment is a testament to her strength and skill as a chess player. Szidónia Lázárné Vajda is undoubtedly a world-class chess player and a force to be reckoned with.


Romania has many excellent Chess players who have achieved great success in the game at both local and international levels.

From the Grandmasters of the 1990s to the current generation of players, Romania has a strong history of producing some of the best Chess players in the world.

With their dedication, hard work, and determination, these players have made Romania proud by consistently showing their skill and expertise in the game.

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Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

I am a professional chess player for over 10 years, one of the youngest Grandmasters in the world and amongst the top ranked in the western hemisphere. I have been playing chess since I was a child, and it is something that I have always been passionate about. My passion has taken me to numerous tournaments around the world where I have competed against some of the best players in the world. Through hard work and dedication, I have achieved great success at these tournaments and have become one of the youngest Grandmasters in history. My goal is to continue to improve my game and reach new heights within this sport. LinkedIn