Russia has been home to some of the greatest chess players in the world.
From Mikhail Botvinnik, who won the World Championship in 1948 and held it for the next 15 years, to Garry Kasparov, who was the highest-rated player in the history of the game and held the World Championship for 15 years, the country has produced some of the greatest minds in the game.
Russia is also home to some of the greatest female players in the world, such as Alexandra Kosteniuk and Valentina Gunina. We will take a look at some of the best chess players in Russia.
We will examine their accomplishments, their style of play and their contributions to the game.
1. Sergey Karjakin
Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin is a Russian chess grandmaster and is widely recognized as a chess prodigy. At the young age of 12 years and 7 months, Karjakin became the world’s youngest-ever grandmaster, setting a record that stands to this day.
Karjakin’s remarkable accomplishment in achieving the grandmaster title at such a young age is a testament to his skill, dedication, and passion for chess. Karjakin began playing chess at the age of five and quickly began developing his skills.
By the age of nine, Karjakin was competing in international tournaments and was already considered a formidable opponent.
This early success eventually earned him the opportunity to compete in the World Youth Chess Championship in 2004, where he earned the grandmaster title. Karjakin’s career as a chess grandmaster has been very successful, with multiple victories in major tournaments and games.
He has won the Russian Superfinals twice and placed second in the World Blitz Championship in 2014.
Karjakin has also won multiple European Team Championships and has been a member of the Russian national chess team multiple times.It is clear that Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin is an incredible chess player.
His record as the world’s youngest-ever grandmaster is a testament to his skill and dedication. Karjakin’s career has been full of successes, and it is likely that he will continue to be a major player in the chess world for years to come.
2. Ian Nepomniachtchi
Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi is one of the most accomplished chess players in the world. He is a Russian grandmaster who has won many prestigious titles throughout his career. In 2010, he won the Russian Superfinal and the European Individual titles.
He also won the Tal Memorial in 2016 and the Aeroflot Open in both 2008 and 2015. Nepomniachtchi has had a long and successful career in chess, and his accolades are a testament to that.
He is a two-time winner of the Russian Superfinal, which is one of the most prestigious chess competitions in the world. He has also won the European Individual title twice, and the Tal Memorial in 2016.
His successes have also extended to the Aeroflot Open, which he has won twice. Nepomniachtchi’s achievements in chess have earned him a great deal of respect from his peers and fans alike.
He is considered one of the best players in the world, and his victories in competitions such as the Russian Superfinal have only further cemented his place in the chess world.
He is an inspiration to many, and his successes are a testament to the dedication and skill he has devoted to the sport of chess.
3. Garry Kasparov
Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a renowned Russian chess grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, political activist and writer.
He is renowned for his exceptional ability in the game of chess and has achieved many accolades throughout his career. Kasparov has held the highest peak FIDE chess rating of 2851, which was achieved in 1999 and held the record until 2013 when it was surpassed by Magnus Carlsen.
This peak rating is a testament to Kasparov’s skill and mastery of the game. Kasparov has been a prominent political activist, having been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
He has also been an advocate for democracy and human rights. Kasparov is also a prolific writer, having authored several books on chess strategy, as well as works of fiction and non-fiction.
He is a renowned public speaker and has held lectures and seminars on chess and political issues. Kasparov has been a major influence in the game of chess, inspiring countless chess players to strive for excellence and to reach their full potential.
His skill and expertise in the game is unparalleled, making him an icon in the chess world.
4. Alexander Grischuk
Alexander Igorevich Grischuk is a highly acclaimed Russian chess grandmaster. He has achieved numerous accomplishments in the world of chess, most notably winning the Russian championship in 2009 and being a three-time world blitz chess champion.
Grischuk has also made his mark in international competitions such as the Candidates Tournaments, of which he has participated in five of them, namely 2007, 2011, 2013, 2018 and 2020. Moreover, he was a semi-finalist in the 2000 FIDE World Championship.
Grischuk’s success in the chess world has been earned through his hard work and dedication. He has continually strived to improve his game, becoming one of the best players in the world. His accomplishments speak to his dedication to the sport.
Grischuk is an inspiration to aspiring chess players and a testament to the power of passion and commitment.
5. Vladimir Kramnik
Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik is a well-accomplished chess grandmaster from Russia. He is known for his achievements in the chess world, which began in 2000 when he won the Classical World Chess Championship.
This title was held by Kramnik until 2006 when he became the undisputed World Chess Champion.
He held this title until 2007. Kramnik has won a total of three team gold medals and three individual medals at Chess Olympiads, which is a great accomplishment and testifies to his skill in the game. Kramnik is a highly regarded and respected figure in the world of chess.
He has achieved much in his chess career and is a well-known champion amongst chess players.
6. Daniil Dubov
Daniil Dmitrievich Dubov is an extremely accomplished chess player from Russia. He is a Grandmaster, the highest title attainable in chess, and achieved this title at an incredibly young age of 14 years, 11 months and 14 days in 2011.
This is a remarkable feat, and Dubov has only continued to build on his success since then. In 2018, he won the World Rapid Chess Championship, held in St. Petersburg.
This victory further demonstrated Dubov’s outstanding ability as a chess player and cemented his name as one of the top chess players in the world.
7. Evgeny Tomashevsky
Evgeny Yuryevich Tomashevsky is a highly accomplished Russian chess player. In 2005, he was recognized internationally and awarded the title of Grandmaster by the international chess governing body, FIDE.
Tomashevsky is a two-time winner of the Russian Chess Championship and the 2009 European Chess Champion.
Additionally, he has competed in the FIDE World Cup seven times, from 2007 to 2019. Tomashevsky’s mastery of the game is evident in his many successes in high-level tournaments.
His two Russian Chess Championships demonstrate his ability to win against the best players in his own country. His 2009 European Chess Championship title shows that his skill was not limited to within the borders of Russia but extended to the rest of the continent.
Tomashevsky’s seven appearances in the FIDE World Cup, the most prestigious chess event, further confirm his proficiency in chess and his status as one of the top players in the world. Evgeny Yuryevich Tomashevsky is a chess grandmaster whose achievements speak for themselves.
His multiple titles and consistent performances in the FIDE World Cup make him a formidable opponent and a force to be reckoned with in the world of chess.
8. Nikita Vitiugov
Nikita Kirillovich Vitiugov is a highly accomplished chess player, having earned the title of grandmaster and representing England internationally as of September 2023. Vitiugov is of Russian heritage but changed federations in response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
His impressive achievements include being a member of the victorious Russian team at the World Team Chess Championship in both 2009 and 2013.
This is a remarkable accomplishment, as the World Team Chess Championship is a prestigious tournament featuring some of the best players in the world.
Vitiugov’s decision to change federations was undoubtedly a difficult one, but it demonstrates his commitment to his principles and his passion for the game of chess.
9. Dmitry Andreikin
Dmitry Vladimirovich Andreikin is an accomplished Russian chess grandmaster who has achieved a number of impressive accolades. In 2010, he won the World Junior Chess Championship and was also a two-time Russian Chess Champion.
He continued his impressive career when he won the Tashkent leg of FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15, and was the runner-up in both the Chess World Cup 2013 and Belgrade leg of FIDE Grand Prix 2022. Dmitry Andreikin’s career has been incredibly successful and he is one of the most acclaimed chess players in the world.
His 2010 win of the World Junior Chess Championship demonstrates his impressive skill even at a young age. His two Russian Chess Championships further demonstrate his prowess as a chess player. His accomplishments don’t end there, however.
He also won the Tashkent leg of FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15 and was the runner-up in both the Chess World Cup 2013 and Belgrade leg of FIDE Grand Prix 2022. Dmitry Andreikin is a testament to the power of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.
Throughout his career, he has continued to challenge himself and push the boundaries of what is possible. His many accomplishments are a source of pride for the entire Russian chess community, and he stands as an example to all aspiring chess players.
10. Yuri Yakovich
Yuri Rafailovich Yakovich is a highly accomplished Russian chess player. He began playing chess as a child, and his hard work and dedication paid off when he was awarded the prestigious title of Grandmaster by FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) in 1990.
This recognition is only given to the world’s best chess players and Yakovich was one of few to receive it. In 1997, Yakovich was part of the Russian team that won a silver medal at the European Team Chess Championship.
This event is a team tournament in which multiple countries compete against each other.
Yakovich’s team finished second, and his individual performance was no doubt instrumental in achieving this result. Yuri Rafailovich Yakovich is an exceptional chess player, and his accomplishments in the game are a testament to his skill and dedication.
His success on the European Team Chess Championship is a testament to his ability and tenacity, and it stands as a reminder of the strength of the Russian team in the game.
11. Anatoly Karpov
Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov is a prominent figure in the world of chess. He is a Russian chess grandmaster and was previously the World Chess Champion and a politician in the former Soviet Union.
Karpov is renowned for his skill in playing the game of chess and has gained recognition for his successes in the sport throughout his career. Karpov has been playing chess since he was a child and began competing in tournaments in his teens.
He was part of the Soviet Union’s youth chess program and was eventually selected to represent the Soviet Union in international chess competitions. He won the World Chess Championship in 1975 and held the title until 1985.
During this time, he was widely considered to be one of the greatest chess players in the world. Karpov’s political career began in the Soviet Union when he was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
He served in the post until 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved.
After leaving politics, he continued to be active in chess and currently serves as the President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). Karpov is also an author and has written several books on chess, as well as other topics.
He has received numerous awards and honors for his accomplishments in both chess and politics and is widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of the game.
12. Alisa Galliamova
Alisa Mikhailovna Galliamova is a highly acclaimed Russian chess player who has earned the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster from the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
She is renowned for her accomplishments in the chess world, namely her two runner-up placements in the Women’s World Chess Championship in 1999 and 2006, as well as her three-time Russian women’s champion title.
During this period of her success, she was referred to as “Alisa Galliamova-Ivanchuk” between 1993 and 2001. Galliamova’s skills in chess have been recognized and praised by the international chess community.
She achieved her International Master title in 1995, and her Woman Grandmaster title in 1996. At the Women’s World Chess Championship in 1999, she managed to place second, only losing to Xie Jun. She repeated this feat in 2006, coming in second place to Antoaneta Stefanova.
Additionally, she was crowned Russian women’s champion three times, in 1993, 1998, and 2002. Galliamova is also well known for her former marital name.
She was known as “Alisa Galliamova-Ivanchuk”, from 1993 to 2001, due to her marriage to renowned International Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk.
Although the marriage eventually ended, Galliamova has continued to remain a strong presence in the chess world, with her impressive accomplishments.
13. Natalia Pogonina
Natalia Andreevna Pogonina is an accomplished chess player from Russia. She has achieved the prestigious title of Woman Grandmaster from the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Her career highlights include being the runner-up of the 2015 Women’s World Chess Championship.
Natalia is also a two time Russian Women’s Champion, having won the title in 2011 and 2013. Her success in chess has made her a respected player and opened many doors for her. She has become an ambassador for the sport and has become a role model for aspiring chess players.
She has also written several books about the game and has appeared in a number of documentaries. Her commitment and dedication to the game of chess is a testament to her skill and success.
14. Mikhail Botvinnik
Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik was a renowned Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster and the sixth World Chess Champion. He was a highly accomplished player, known for his skill at chess combined with his analytical approach to the game.
Botvinnik was also a talented electrical engineer and computer scientist. He was a pioneer in computer chess, being the first world-class player to develop such a technology within the Soviet Union.
Botvinnik was an expert in both the game of chess and the technology of computing, making him a unique figure in his field. He was a leader in both chess and technology, and his legacy continues to live on in both disciplines.
15. Kateryna Lagno
Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lagno is a Russian chess grandmaster and a chess prodigy. At the age of twelve years, four months and two days she was awarded the title Woman Grandmaster, making her the youngest ever at the time.
Her career continued to soar and in 2007 she was awarded the grandmaster title, the highest title a chess player can receive. Lagno is an extremely accomplished player and her success has been widely recognized.
She has won many tournaments and championships, including the Women’s Russian Chess Championship in 2011 and the Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship in 2017. She is also a two-time winner of the European Women’s Team Chess Championship, having won the title in 2011 and 2013.
Her success has been a source of inspiration for many aspiring players. She was inducted into the Russian Chess Hall of Fame in 2015, and in 2018 she was honored with the Order of Friendship, one of the highest awards in the Russian Federation.
Lagno is an incredible player and a true inspiration. Her incredible achievements in the world of chess have earned her the respect of her peers and fans alike. She is a living example of how hard work and dedication can lead to success.
16. Alexey Dreev
Alexey Sergeyevich Dreev is a renowned Russian chess player. He has been a strong competitor in the world of chess for decades and has achieved great success in the game.
Dreev began playing chess at the young age of nine and competed in numerous tournaments in his home country of Russia. In 1989, Dreev was awarded the prestigious title of Grandmaster by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world chess governing body.
This distinction is only given to the top chess players in the world and is a testament to Dreev’s skill and dedication to the game. Dreev has since won several tournaments and has been a strong contender in the world of chess.
He has also been a coach and mentor to many aspiring chess players, passing on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation.
17. Vladimir Epishin
Vladimir Epishin is a highly acclaimed chess player from Russia. He holds the title of Grandmaster, the highest title a chess player can achieve. Epishin has been playing chess since he was a child and has had tremendous success in the field.
He has won numerous international tournaments and has even been part of the Russian national team. Epishin is considered one of the best players in the world and is renowned for his tactical play and strategic planning.
He is also a highly sought after coach and mentor and has trained many top players throughout the years. His contributions to the game of chess have been tremendous and he continues to be an inspiration to many aspiring chess players.
18. Sergey Volkov
Sergey Viktorovich Volkov is an accomplished Russian chess grandmaster. He is recognized for becoming the Russian chess champion in the year 2000.
Moreover, Volkov has also competed in numerous prestigious chess tournaments such as the FIDE World Championship in 2000, 2002, and 2004, as well as the FIDE World Cup in 2007.
His impressive chess accomplishments have earned a positive reputation in the international chess community. Volkov has displayed his exemplary talent in the game by consistently competing in the world’s most elite chess tournaments.
He has been a part of the FIDE World Championship three times, playing in the years 2000, 2002, and 2004. Additionally, he also participated in the FIDE World Cup in 2007.
His impressive track record of success in these tournaments has earned him widespread recognition and respect in the chess community. Volkov is known for his strategic approach to the game of chess and his ability to think several steps ahead of his opponents.
He has been able to use his skills to win multiple games and tournaments, cementing his place as one of the world’s best chess players. His successes demonstrate his ongoing dedication to the game and his commitment to excellence.
In conclusion, Sergey Viktorovich Volkov has established himself as a formidable chess grandmaster.
He has achieved great success in the game, including becoming the Russian champion in 2000 and competing in the FIDE World Championship in 2000, 2002, and 2004, as well as the FIDE World Cup in 2007.
His impressive accomplishments have earned him respect and admiration in the international chess community.
19. Artyom Timofeev
Artyom Timofeev is a highly decorated Russian chess player. Born in Kazan, Timofeev achieved the title of Grandmaster from the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in 2003.
He began his chess career at a young age, competing in the Under 14 section of the World Youth Chess Championships in 1999. At the championships, he tied for first place with Zahar Efimenko and Andrei Volokitin and ended up finishing second on the tiebreak.
Since then, Timofeev has gone on to have a highly successful career, with accomplishments including winning the European Individual Chess Championships in 2004, and the Russian Chess Championship in 2015. He is now considered one of the best chess players of his generation.
20. Alexander Riazantsev
Alexander Riazantsev is an esteemed chess grandmaster from Russia. His impressive accomplishments include winning the Russian Chess Championship and the European Rapid Chess Championship in 2016.
His success and expertise in the game of chess have enabled him to become one of the coaches of the Russian women’s national chess team.
His knowledge and experience in the game of chess have made him an invaluable asset to the team, and it is a testament to his skill that he is chosen to coach the national team.
Riazantsev is an inspiration to aspiring chess players, as his achievements in the game demonstrate the possibilities of success when dedication and hard work are applied.
21. Vladimir Burmakin
Vladimir Burmakin is a highly esteemed chess player from Russia. He has been playing chess since a very young age, and his skill and dedication have enabled him to reach great heights in the chess world.
In 1994, Burmakin was awarded the prestigious title of Grandmaster by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). This title is the highest honor for any chess player, and it is only awarded to the best of the best.
Burmakin’s accomplishment is a testament to his skill, dedication and hard work. His win has been an inspiration for many aspiring chess players and has helped to elevate the profile of Russian chess in the world.
22. Boris Grachev
Boris Pavlovich Grachev is a highly accomplished Russian chess player. He achieved the prestigious title of Grandmaster in 2007, bestowed upon him by FIDE, the international chess federation.
Grachev has a long history of competing in the FIDE World Cup, having participated in 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2017.
His success in the tournament is a testament to his dedication and skill as a chess player, demonstrating his commitment to the game and the respect he has earned from his peers in the chess world.
Grachev has become a respected and renowned figure in the chess community, and his accomplishments speak for themselves.
23. Andrei Deviatkin
Andrei Deviatkin is a renowned Russian chess player. He is considered to be one of the most successful and accomplished players in the world. He was born in Moscow, Russia in 1980 and began playing chess at the age of seven.
He went on to become one of the top junior players in the world, winning several national and international tournaments. Deviatkin was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 2003 and the Grandmaster (GM) title in 2006.
His most notable achievements include winning the Russian Championship in 2006 and becoming the European Individual Champion in 2009.
He has also been successful in international tournaments, coming in first place at the World Chess Cup in 2007 and third place at the World Team Championship in 2009. Outside of chess, Deviatkin is also an accomplished author, having written several books and articles on chess.
He also works as a chess coach and trainer for young players. He is a well-respected figure in the chess world, and his accomplishments have made him an inspiration to aspiring players around the world.
24. Pavel Smirnov
Pavel Smirnov is a renowned chess player from Russia. He is one of the highest-rated players in the world and holds the title of Grandmaster. A Grandmaster is the highest title attainable in chess and is awarded to players who have achieved a rating of 2500 or higher.
Pavel Smirnov has achieved this level of excellence in chess and is highly regarded in the chess world. He has competed in many tournaments and has won several prestigious awards including the Russian Chess Championship in 2015.
He is also a highly sought-after coach and has taught many students the fundamentals of the game. Pavel Smirnov is a living example of the great talent that Russia holds in the world of chess.
25. Dmitry Kokarev
Dmitry Kokarev is a prominent figure in the world of chess. He is a Russian chess Grandmaster, which is the highest title a chess player can attain. To earn this title, players must have achieved an ELO rating of at least 2500 or have won international tournaments.
Kokarev has been playing chess since he was a child, and his passion for the game only grew with time. He is a two-time Russian Champion and has also won numerous international tournaments, including the World Junior Chess Championship in 2010.
He also represented Russia at the Chess Olympiad in 2014 and has played in several major world-level tournaments. Kokarev is known for his aggressive and tactical style of play, and his ability to recognize and exploit positional weaknesses in his opponents.
He is also one of the few chess players who can outwit his opponents in both rapid and classical time controls. His success has made him a household name in the world of chess, and he is often cited as an inspiration for aspiring chess players.
In addition to his successes in chess, Kokarev is also an accomplished chess coach, having helped to train several Russian and international Grandmasters.
He currently works as the head coach of the Russian Chess Federation’s team and is a regular participant in many of the world’s top chess tournaments. Dmitry Kokarev is one of the most accomplished and respected names in the world of chess.
His success has earned him the title of Grandmaster, and his passion and skill for the game have been an inspiration to millions of chess players around the world.
26. Denis Khismatullin
Denis Rimovich Khismatullin is a Russian chess grandmaster. He is the first grandmaster from the Russian region of Bashkiria, located in the Ural Mountains. Khismatullin has achieved a great feat, becoming the first grandmaster from Bashkiria.
He has also competed in the FIDE World Cup, an international event organized by the World Chess Federation, in 2013 and 2015. During these tournaments, Khismatullin was able to pit his skill against some of the best chess players in the world.
His success in the FIDE World Cup has brought great recognition and prestige to both him and Bashkiria. His accomplishments are a great example of the strength and potential of Bashkirian chess players.
27. Semen Dvoirys
Semen Isaakovich Dvoirys is a Russian chess player who has achieved remarkable success in the game. Born in the Soviet Union in 1965, he has become one of the most accomplished players of his generation.
In 1990, he was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE, the International Chess Federation.
This award is the highest honor a chess player can receive, and it is only given to players who have demonstrated a mastery of the game. Dvoirys has won numerous tournaments over the years, including the Russian Championship five times.
He has also won medals at the World Team Chess Championships and other international events. His success has been largely attributed to his innovative and aggressive playing style.
Dvoirys has also been credited with developing the “Dvoirys System” of chess openings, which quickly became popular among top-level players. Today, Dvoirys is still actively playing chess and competing in tournaments.
He is also highly respected by fellow players and has been awarded multiple honorary titles by various chess federations.
His achievements have made him one of the most respected players in the game, and his Grandmaster title will forever be a testament to his dedication to the game of chess.
28. Maxim Turov
Maxim Turov is a prominent Russian chess player who achieved the title of Grandmaster by FIDE, the world chess governing body, in 1999. He began his chess career at a very young age, as he was part of the Russian “A” team at the 1st Children’s Chess Olympiad in Linares in 1993.
This team won the gold medal at the event. Turov has gone on to have further successes in chess competitions. In 2005 and 2011 he won the Open Dutch Championship in Dieren, a major tournament in the Netherlands.
This is a testament to Turov’s skill and dedication to the game of chess, and he continues to compete at the highest level.
29. Vadim Zvjaginsev
Vadim Zvjaginsev is a highly accomplished Russian chess player. He has achieved the prestigious FIDE title of Grandmaster, the highest title a chess player can attain, in 1994.
His impressive skills have been recognized internationally as he was part of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 1997 World Team Chess Championship and in the 1998 Chess Olympiad.
Not only is Vadim a chess master, but he also has a degree in higher education, having graduated from Moscow State University in 1996. He is an exemplary combination of intelligence and skill, and a true testament of hard work and dedication.
30. Alexander Alekhine
Alexander Aleksandrovich Alekhine was an incredibly talented chess player who had both Russian and French citizenship. At just 22 years of age, he was already considered to be one of the most formidable chess players in the world.
During the 1920s, Alekhine was the clear winner in almost every tournament he participated in. He was eventually crowned the fourth World Chess Champion and held this title for two separate reigns.
This makes him one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game and his skills will remain respected and admired for many years to come.
31. Efim Bogoljubow
Efim Bogoljubow was a renowned chess player who was born in Russia and later moved to Germany. He is particularly known for his two matches against Alexander Alekhine for the world championship.
Bogoljubow was one of the first players to be awarded the title of grandmaster by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) in 1951. Bogoljubow was an influential figure in the history of chess.
He was a highly respected player who was known for his tactical acumen and endgame skill. He was also an author, writing several books on chess strategy.
His most famous contribution to the game was the “Bogoljubow Variation” of the King’s Indian Defense, which is still popular today. Bogoljubow’s matches against Alekhine for the world championship were highly publicized and the games were followed by chess fans all over the world.
While Bogoljubow ultimately lost the matches, his games are still studied and analyzed by chess enthusiasts today. Overall, Efim Bogoljubow was a highly accomplished chess player who left an indelible mark on the game.
He was an innovative tactician and strategist and is still remembered for his contributions to the world of chess.
32. Boris Spassky
Boris Vasilievich Spassky is a renowned Russian chess grandmaster, born in 1937 in Leningrad. He is renowned for his achievements in the game and is remembered for being the tenth World Chess Champion.
From 1969 to 1972, Spassky held the title of World Chess Champion, firmly establishing himself as a leader in the chess world. He is also remembered for his matches against American champion Bobby Fischer, which increased the popularity of chess across the globe.
Spassky has been inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame and continues to be a major influence in the world of chess today. He is an inspirational figure to many aspiring chess players, and his legacy lives on in the chess world.
33. Vasily Smyslov
Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov was a chess master whose career spanned several decades of the 20th century. He was born in Moscow in 1921 and was a Soviet chess grandmaster, achieving this recognition in 1950.
This was just the beginning of his successful chess career. In 1957, Smyslov won the World Chess Championship, becoming the seventh official World Chess Champion. This title was held by him for a year until the following championship in 1958.
During his career, Smyslov was also a Candidate for the World Chess Championship on eight occasions, making him one of the most successful chess players of his time. Smyslov secured a number of national and international titles throughout his career.
He was the Soviet National Champion in 1946, 1949 and 1955, and won the USSR Chess Championship in the years 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1961.
Internationally, his successes included the Brussels Grand Prix in 1952, the Zurich Candidates Tournament in 1953, the Amsterdam Candidates Tournament in 1956, and the Buenos Aires Candidates Tournament in 1959. Smyslov’s success in the world of chess made him a legend in the sport.
His approach to the game was unique, and he is credited with creating numerous innovations which have become part of the modern game of chess. He passed away in 2010, but his legacy lives on in the world of chess.
34. Mark Taimanov
Mark Evgenievich Taimanov was a renowned chess player who had a long and distinguished career. From 1946 to 1971, he was ranked among the world’s top 20 players, demonstrating his extraordinary skill and talent.
In 1952, his expertise was recognized with the prestigious title of Grandmaster. In 1956, he added to his accolades by winning the USSR Chess Championship. Taimanov was not only renowned for his skill on the chess board, but also for his contributions to chess literature.
His books, which have been translated into multiple languages, are popular among chess enthusiasts from all over the world. He also produced a number of instructional videos and wrote articles on the game. Taimanov’s influence on the world of chess is undeniable.
His impressive career has inspired many aspiring chess players to strive for excellence, and his contribution to chess literature has provided a wealth of knowledge for future generations.
35. Yuri Averbakh
Yuri Lvovich Averbakh is an iconic figure in the world of chess. He is a Russian chess grandmaster and author and was Chairman of the USSR Chess Federation from 1973 to 1978.
He is particularly well-known for being the first centenarian FIDE Grandmaster – an incredible achievement. Averbakh is a remarkable man, showing great dedication to the game of chess despite his worsening eyesight and hearing.
Despite this, he still devoted time to chess-related activities at the age of 100. It is this dedication, along with his chess mastery, which has allowed him to become an inspirational figure for many people who play the game.
Averbakh has written numerous books on the subject of chess, and though some of these are technically outdated by modern standards, they still remain highly influential in the chess-playing community.
He has also been the subject of multiple documentaries, which showcase his incredible achievements and his contribution to the world of chess. Yuri Lvovich Averbakh is an important figure in the world of chess, and his achievements are an inspiration to all.
He is a true champion of the game and has shown that age is no barrier to success when it comes to mastering the game of chess.
36. Alexandra Kosteniuk
Alexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk is an accomplished chess player who has achieved success in multiple international tournaments. She is a Russian and Swiss chess grandmaster, and she was the Women’s World Chess Champion from 2008 to 2010.
In 2021, she became the Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion. In addition, she won the European Women’s Championship in 2004, and she is a two-time Russian Women’s Chess Champion.
Kosteniuk has become a respected figure in the world of chess, and her career highlights demonstrate her skill and determination. She is a formidable opponent and has become an icon for other female chess players.
Her incredible achievements have inspired and encouraged many people, particularly those looking to make a name for themselves in the world of chess.
Kosteniuk is an exemplary role model for aspiring players, and her success is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport.
37. Valery Chekhov
Valery Alexandrovich Chekhov is a renowned Russian chess grandmaster and a former World Junior Chess Champion. He was born in the 1950s and began his chess career in the mid-1970s.
In 1975, he was awarded the International Master title and in 1984, he was awarded the title of Grandmaster. In the mid-1980s, Chekhov and his wife were living in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), also known as East Germany.
During their time there, they provided chess training to Soviet military personnel stationed in the GDR.
This training was likely part of the Soviet military’s strategy to strengthen the mental and physical skills of its troops. Throughout his career, Chekhov has won several prestigious titles and awards.
He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1976 and became the Soviet National Champion in 1983. He has also won the Moscow Championship twice and the Russian Championship three times. In addition, he has represented Russia in several international tournaments.
Chekhov’s career has been impressive and his contributions to the world of chess have been invaluable. He has shown great dedication to the sport and has achieved remarkable success.
He is a true champion and an inspiration to all who aspire to reach the highest levels of chess excellence.
38. Abram Rabinovich
Abram Isaakovich Rabinovich was a renowned chess player from Lithuania and Russia. He was born in Lithuania, but he moved to Russia where he made a name for himself. He was considered to be one of the best chess players of the time.
His playing style was marked by a combination of aggression and positional play. He was a great opening player and was known for his ability to outplay opponents in the endgame.In 1926, Rabinovich achieved one of his greatest successes, when he became the champion of Moscow.
It was a great feat considering the competition he faced in the city. He was able to defeat many of the most talented players in the city, showing his immense skill and talent.
Rabinovich’s victory was an inspiration to many players in the city, giving them the confidence to strive for greatness. Rabinovich’s legacy as a chess player is still remembered today. He has become an icon in the chess world, inspiring many to become great players.
His success in Moscow is still talked about and is a testament to his skill and dedication as a chess player. Rabinovich’s championship in Moscow is a reminder of how far hard work and dedication can take you.
39. Peter Romanovsky
Peter Arsenievich Romanovsky was a Russian and Soviet chess grandmaster and author. He was born in 1901 and was considered one of the top players from the early 20th century. He was known for his deep positional understanding, as well as his tactical prowess.
Romanovsky was one of the first players to be awarded the Grandmaster title, and his books on chess strategy are still studied by chess enthusiasts today. Romanovsky had a successful career as a chess player, winning a number of tournaments and matches throughout his lifetime.
He won the Soviet Championship in 1923 and, jointly, in 1927.
He also played in several international tournaments, and most notably, he took second place in the 1925 Moscow International Tournament. Romanovsky’s achievements as a player earned him recognition from the World Chess Federation, which awarded him the Grandmaster title in 1950.
This made him the first Soviet player to be awarded such an honour.
Romanovsky also wrote several books on chess, which are still studied and consulted by players of all skill levels. In addition to his accomplishments as a chess player and author, Romanovsky was also a respected coach.
He trained many of the Soviet players who went on to become world champions, including Vladimir Karpov and Boris Spassky. Peter Arsenievich Romanovsky was an important figure in the development of chess in the Soviet era, and his legacy continues to influence the game to this day.
40. Alexander Halprin
Alexander Halprin was an accomplished chess master of Russian-Austrian descent. He had a successful career in Vienna, Austria, beginning with his 6th place finish at Vienna 1895/96. This was followed by a match against Kalikst Morawski at Vienna 1896, which he lost.
However, he tied for 3rd–4th at Vienna 1897/98, and then took 16th at Vienna 1898. He continued to compete in tournaments in Vienna, taking 13th at Vienna 1900 and 6th at Vienna 1901/02.
He also participated in a few international competitions, including Paris 1900, Monte Carlo 1901, and St. Petersburg 1903. Halprin had a unique style of playing that set him apart from other chess players of his time.
He was known for his aggressive and daring moves, which often put him at a disadvantage but also allowed him to take unexpected victories. His games often contained surprising sacrifices, complex combinations, and dynamic attacks.
Halprin was also well-known for his ability to think several moves ahead and outwit his opponents. Alexander Halprin’s chess career was a testament to his skill and determination. He was an inspiring figure of the chess world and his legacy will be remembered for years to come.
41. Vladimir Zagorovsky
Vladimir Pavlovich Zagorovsky was a renowned Russian chess grandmaster of correspondence chess. He is widely known for becoming the fourth ICCF World Champion in the years between 1962 and 1965.
Zagorovsky made a name for himself in the chess world by winning the 1952 Moscow City Championship and also placing second in the 1951 championship. His success in the Moscow City Championship and other tournaments earned him the title of grandmaster of correspondence chess.
Zagorovsky was a master of the game and was able to outwit and outplay his opponents in order to become the fourth ICCF World Champion. His skill and technique were unmatched, and this was quickly recognized by the chess world.
Throughout his career, Zagorovsky proved himself to be a formidable opponent. He was able to challenge the top players of his time and still come out on top. He was praised for his aggressive style of play and his ability to think ahead of his opponents.
His skill and technique will be remembered for many years to come.
42. Vera Menchik
Vera Francevna Mencikova was a remarkable chess grandmaster who was born in Russia but primarily resided in England. She made history as the first-ever Women’s World Chess Champion, from 1927 to 1944. During her reign, she won the championship a total of eight times.
Her victories were mainly achieved in round-robin tournaments, which are tournaments where all the competitors play each other in a fixed sequence. Mencikova’s success in chess was remarkable and her career was long-lasting.
Her dedication to the game was evident in her hard work and determination to make history.
Her rise to the top of the chess world was not easy, but she persevered through the challenges and became the first Women’s World Chess Champion. Aside from being a chess grandmaster, Mencikova was also an inspiration to many aspiring female chess players.
Her achievements show that it is possible to reach the top despite any obstacles that may come in one’s way. Her legacy lives on in the chess world, and she will always be remembered as the first and longest-reigning Women’s World Chess Champion.
43. Vladimir Fedoseev
Vladimir Vasilyevich Fedoseev is a highly accomplished Russian chess grandmaster who currently plays for the country of Slovenia. He has become well-known in the world of chess for his impressive skills and impressive results.
Fedoseev has participated in many international tournaments throughout his career, including the Chess World Cup. He competed in the Chess World Cup in 2015, 2017, 2021 and 2023, making him a four-time competitor in the event.
He has also competed in other tournaments, such as the European Team Chess Championship and the Russian Team Chess Championship.Fedoseev has achieved many great successes throughout his career, such as winning the World Blitz Championship in 2019 and the European Blitz Championship in 2020.
He has also achieved a number of impressive results in the Chess World Cup, including reaching the semifinals in 2017 and the quarterfinals in 2021.
In addition to this, he has also represented his country in many international tournaments, such as the FIDE Grand Prix and the European Team Chess Championship. This makes Fedoseev a highly respected chess player and a formidable competitor in the world of chess.
His impressive results in the Chess World Cup and other tournaments have cemented his reputation as one of the top players in the world and have made him a household name in the chess world.
44. Kirill Alekseenko
Kirill Alexeyevich Alekseenko is an international chess grandmaster who has found success playing for both his native Russia and his current home of Austria. Born in Russia, Alekseenko began playing chess at a young age and quickly rose to prominence in the chess community.
He earned the title of Grandmaster in 2009, becoming the youngest player in Russia to achieve this title at the time. Since then, he has gone on to win multiple national and international tournaments, such as the European Individual Chess Championship in 2019.
In 2012, he decided to switch federations to Austria, where he has continued his impressive run of success. At the moment, he is the second-highest-rated player in Austria and is ranked in the top 100 in the world.
Alekseenko is a truly remarkable player who has been able to make a name for himself in the international chess world.
45. Alexey Sarana
Alexey Vasilyevich Sarana is an accomplished chess player who has achieved remarkable results in the game. He was born in Russia but now resides in Serbia. Sarana is a chess grandmaster, having earned the title in 2021.
He has achieved tremendous success in the chess world, most notably winning the European Individual Chess Championship in 2023.
This victory established him as one of the best chess players in the world and a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.Sarana’s career has been nothing short of remarkable.
He has won numerous tournaments and awards, including the World Junior Chess Championship in 2020.
He also achieved a number of impressive performances in the Chess Olympiad, helping the Serbian team secure a bronze medal in the 2021 edition.In addition to his achievements in the game, Alexey Vasilyevich Sarana is also a renowned chess author and coach.
He has published several books on chess strategy and tactics and has trained many of the top chess players in the world.
He is also a regular contributor to a number of chess magazines, where he shares his expertise and insights on the game. Alexey Vasilyevich Sarana is a true inspiration for all aspiring chess players.
His commitment to the game and his determination to be the best have resulted in numerous successes, making him one of the most revered chess grandmasters in the world.
It is clear that Russia has produced some of the greatest chess players in the world. From Garry Kasparov to Anatoly Karpov, these players have dominated the chess scene for decades.
The current crop of Russian chess players are no less impressive, as they continue to challenge the world’s best players and prove their strength and skill.
Russia’s strong chess tradition, combined with its world-class players, make it one of the most formidable chess nations in the world.