25 Chess Players in United Kingdom Best of the Country

Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

The United Kingdom has a rich history of producing some of the greatest chess players in the world.

From the renowned William Steinitz in the late 19th century to the modern-day grandmasters like Nigel Short and Michael Adams, British chess players have enjoyed success at the highest levels of the game.

This article takes a look at some of the best chess players the UK has produced and their achievements in the game.

1. Nigel Short

Nigel_Short__1

Nigel David Short MBE is an English chess grandmaster, columnist, coach and commentator. He is a highly accomplished chess player, having earned the title of grandmaster at the age of 19.

This accomplishment was even more impressive when you consider that he was ranked third in the world by FIDE from July 1988 to July 1989. This was an incredible achievement and it established him as one of the top players in the world.

Currently, Short is the FIDE Director for Chess Development, a role he has held since September 2022. As Director, Short is responsible for promoting the development of chess around the world, including in countries without a strong chess tradition.

He is also responsible for creating a more inclusive environment for chess players of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Additionally, he is tasked with finding ways to make chess more accessible and to increase its popularity.

His work in this role helps to ensure that chess will remain a popular game and pastime for generations to come.

2. David Howell

David_Howell_(chess_player)__2

David Wei Liang Howell is an impressive figure in the world of chess. He is an English chess grandmaster and commentator who has achieved remarkable success in the sport.

At only 16 years old, he became the youngest British person ever to become a Grandmaster, an impressive feat that has set a record in the sport.

He has also won the title of British Champion three times and is considered one of the most talented and accomplished players of his generation. As a commentator, David provides valuable insight and analysis to chess fans around the world.

He has contributed to various chess publications, both online and in print, and has a strong understanding of the game. His enthusiasm for the sport is evident in the way he speaks about it when commentating, and his knowledge of chess strategy and tactics is clear.

Aside from his success in the sport, David is also an advocate for mental health awareness. He has spoken out about the importance of mental health, and the need for more support for people who suffer from mental illness.

His work in this area is admirable and serves as an inspiration to others. David Wei Liang Howell is truly an extraordinary individual who has achieved remarkable success in the world of chess.

His record-breaking Grandmaster title, combined with his tireless efforts to promote mental health awareness, make him an inspiring figure in the world of chess and beyond.

3. Luke McShane

Luke_McShane__3

Luke James McShane is an incredibly talented English chess player. He was born with a passion for the game and his natural aptitude for chess was quickly noticed. By the age of 16, he had already achieved a level of mastery rarely seen in someone so young.

This was recognized by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) who awarded him the title of Grandmaster in 2000. McShane has since become one of England’s leading players and a member of the national team.

His success has seen him compete in some of the biggest tournaments around the world, including the World Chess Championship and the London Chess Classic.

He has won a number of major titles, including the British Rapidplay Championship and the European Team Championship.McShane continues to be a formidable player and a great ambassador for the game.

He has used his success to inspire the next generation of chess players, and his passion for the game is evident in his work with organizations such as Chess in Schools. With McShane at the helm, English chess is in safe hands.

4. John Nunn

John_Nunn__4

John Denis Martin Nunn is an accomplished chess player, writer, and mathematician. As a chess grandmaster, he is considered one of the strongest players in England and was once ranked among the top ten players in the world.

He has won the World Chess Problem Solving Championship three times, which is a testament to his skill and dedication to the game. Nunn has also made a name for himself as a chess writer and publisher, with his books and articles being widely read and appreciated.

In addition to his work in chess, Nunn is also a highly respected mathematician and has made several important contributions to the field.

All in all, John Denis Martin Nunn is an exemplary figure in both chess and mathematics, and his accomplishments are a source of great pride for England.

5. Michael Adams

Michael_Adams_(chess_player)__5

Michael Adams is a renowned English chess grandmaster and a distinguished eight-time British Chess Champion. He has achieved the highest ranking of world No. 4 several times from October 2000 to October 2002.

His peak Elo rating is 2761, setting the record for the highest rating of any English chess player. His impressive success in the game of chess has been acknowledged and celebrated by many.

Adams has achieved remarkable results in chess tournaments around the world and has been awarded many prestigious accolades. He has been awarded the Grandmaster title since 1991 and has won the British Chess Championship eight times.

He has also represented England in numerous international competitions and has collected many top prizes. Adams’s commitment to excellence and dedication to the game of chess has been recognized by many.

He has been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first player to win a chess game in twelve different countries. He is also a regular commentator on chess and has published several books on the game.

Adams’s hard work and achievements have been rewarded with multiple awards and accolades. He was inducted into the British Chess Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

His success in the game of chess and his contributions to the game have been widely applauded.

6. Jon Speelman

Jon_Speelman__6

Jonathan Simon Speelman is an accomplished chess player and author from Britain. He is a grandmaster, having achieved the title in 1980.

This makes him one of the highest-ranking chess players in the world and a notable figure in the chess community. Speelman has won many titles, including the British Chess Championship four times, and he has also represented Britain in chess competitions.

As an author, he has written several books on chess and has been widely acclaimed for his work. He is a frequent contributor to chess magazines and websites, where he gives advice and analysis of current chess games.

His expertise is respected and his writing has been praised for its clarity and insight. Speelman is an influential figure in the world of chess and is highly respected by both players and teachers.

His commitment to the game and his passion for teaching has made him a popular figure in the chess world. He is an inspiration to many aspiring chess players, and his work has had a positive impact on the game.

Speelman’s career has been an impressive one, and his legacy will remain in the chess world for many years to come.

7. Keith Arkell

Keith_Arkell__7

Keith Charles Arkell is an English chess Grandmaster, recognized for his impressive accomplishments in the sport. In 2008, he won the English Chess Championship, an impressive feat that established him as a formidable player.

In 2014, he further solidified his reputation as a skilled master by becoming the European Senior Champion. Later that same year, he went on to tie for first place in the World Senior Championship but had to settle for the silver medal due to the tiebreak rule.

This demonstrates his ability to remain competitive among master players, even at a senior level. Throughout his career, Arkell has consistently shown his talent and dedication to the game of chess, which has allowed him to enjoy sustained success.

8. Glenn Flear

Glenn_Flear__8

Glenn Curtis Flear is a highly accomplished chess player who has achieved a great deal in the game. He is a British chess grandmaster, who now resides in Montpellier, France.

Flear has written several books on the game of chess, including a few on chess openings and endgame strategies. His accomplishments as a chess player have been recognized by the award of the International Master title in 1983 and the Grandmaster title in 1987.

This is the highest level of recognition a chess player can acquire and is awarded to those who have demonstrated exceptional skill and knowledge of the game.

As a chess grandmaster, Flear is a highly respected player in the chess community and a leader in the field of chess literature.

9. James Plaskett

James_Plaskett__9

Harold James Plaskett is a renowned chess master and writer. He is a British grandmaster, one of the highest titles a chess player can receive.

Plaskett has achieved a great deal of success within the world of chess and is well-known for his tactical genius and creative approach to the game.

He has won numerous tournaments, both in the UK and abroad, and is considered to be one of the best players in the world. Plaskett is also an accomplished writer.

He has authored numerous books on the subject of chess, including books on strategy and tactics, as well as biographies of famous chess players. His writings have been well-received by the chess community, and he is considered one of the foremost authorities on the game.

Plaskett is a revered figure in the chess world, and his contributions to the game are immense. His skill as a player, his writing, and his knowledge of the game have made him an icon in the chess world, and his legacy will endure for years to come.

10. Neil McDonald

Neil_McDonald_(chess_player)__10

Neil McDonald is a highly respected figure in the world of chess. He holds the title of Grandmaster, which is the highest title a chess player can achieve.

As such, he is one of the best and most experienced chess players in the world. In addition to his prowess on the board, McDonald is a chess writer. He has written many books and articles on the subject of chess.

His works are widely read and respected, providing valuable insights into the game.

He has also given numerous lectures and seminars on the game, making sure that the knowledge of the game is passed down to future generations.McDonald’s reputation is such that he is often consulted by chess players and organizers alike.

His advice and expertise is highly valued. He also contributes to the game in other ways, such as helping to organize prestigious chess tournaments and providing commentaries during chess matches. Simply put, Neil McDonald is an important figure in the world of chess.

His accomplishments as a player and a writer have made him a respected and influential figure in the game. He continues to contribute to the game in many ways, and it is safe to say that his legacy will continue to live on for many years to come.

11. Nicholas Pert

Nicholas_Pert__11

Nicholas Pert is a very accomplished chess player. He is a Grandmaster, the highest title in chess awarded by the World Chess Federation. Pert is an Englishman and has been playing chess since he was young.

He has achieved great success in tournaments throughout Europe and has won many titles. He is also a frequent commentator on chess, often appearing on television and in magazines to discuss the game.

His knowledge and skill has helped to make him one of the most respected players in the world. Pert has also been a major influence on the development of chess in England, and his work has inspired many aspiring players to take up the game.

He is a true master of the game and is an inspiration to many.

12. Ameet Ghasi

Ameet K. Ghasi is an accomplished English chess player who achieved the prestigious title of International Master in 2012.

Ghasi’s career in chess began at an early age; in 2000, at the age of 13, he shared the British Rapidplay Chess Championship title with Aaron Summerscale, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the event.

This impressive feat showcased Ghasi’s talent and potential, giving him the recognition he deserved.

Over the years, Ghasi has gone on to achieve many more milestones in his chess career, such as achieving the FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) title of International Master.

This title is awarded to players who have achieved exceptional skill and consistent results in the game of chess. Ghasi’s success is a testament to his hard work and dedication in the sport and is an inspiration to aspiring chess players everywhere.

13. Harriet Hunt

Harriet Vaughan Hunt is an accomplished English chess player and the proud holder of five British Women’s Chess Championships. She is a highly educated individual, having been trained at Cambridge University as a plant scientist.

She currently works as a researcher at Kew Gardens, where she is able to combine her knowledge of plants with her impressive research capabilities. Hunt is an example of someone who has made the most of their skills and talents to achieve success in a variety of fields.

Her impressive credentials and accomplishments make her an inspiration to aspiring chess players and researchers alike.

14. Susan Lalic

Susan Kathryn Lalic is a highly accomplished and respected English chess player. She has earned both International Master and Woman Grandmaster titles, which is a testament to her skill and dedication to the game of chess.

Lalic has also won the British Women’s Chess Championship a total of five times: 1986, 1990–1992, and 1998. Lalic has a long history with the Chess Olympiads, having represented England nine times between 1984 and 2000.

During this time, she was able to make a significant contribution to English chess and left her mark on the game. Her ability to compete and succeed in such high-level tournaments is a testament to her skill and dedication to the sport of chess.

Overall, Susan Kathryn Lalic is an impressive chess player who has made an impact on the game at both the national and international level. She is an inspiration to many chess players and her accomplishments are a testament to her skill and dedication to the game.

15. Julian Hodgson

Julian_Hodgson__15

Julian Michael Hodgson, also known as Jules Hodgson, is a highly acclaimed British chess player. He is one of the world’s leading grandmasters and has achieved many successes in the game.

He was the British chess champion in the late 1990s and early 2000s and is widely recognized as one of the top players in the world. Hodgson has achieved many successes in the game of chess, both in the UK and internationally.

He has been a member of the English national chess team and has competed in a number of world championships, including the World Chess Championship in 2000.

He has also won a number of national and international tournaments, such as the British Chess Championship in 1998 and 1999. Hodgson’s impact on the game of chess stretches far beyond his many achievements in the game.

He has been a mentor to many young players, and his influence has been felt in the chess world for many years. He has been involved in many initiatives to promote the game, including the Chess in Schools program.

He also works with a number of charitable organizations, helping to bring chess into the lives of those who would not otherwise have access to it. Jules Hodgson is an incredibly influential figure in the chess world and an iconic figure among British chess players.

His successes and contributions to the game over the years have earned him a well-deserved place among the elite of British chess.

16. Jonathan Rowson

Jonathan_Rowson__16

Jonathan Rowson is a highly accomplished chess player and philosopher from Scotland.

He has achieved incredible success in the world of chess, winning the British Chess Championship three times and earning the prestigious title of Grandmaster from FIDE (the World Chess Federation) in 1999.

This title is the highest honour a chess player can receive and is awarded to players who have achieved an extremely high level of proficiency in the game.

As well as being successful in the sport, Rowson is also a philosopher who has written extensively on the subject of chess and its implications for wider society.

He is known for his innovative approach to the game, which has created an entirely new way of thinking about chess and its strategies. His work has been hugely influential in the world of chess, and he continues to be a major figure in the chess world.

17. Matthew Sadler

Matthew_Sadler__17

Matthew David Sadler is an acclaimed chess player. He is a grandmaster, the highest title a chess player can achieve, and has a deep understanding of the game. He has won the British Chess Championship twice, a prestigious title awarded to the best players in the country.

Sadler is also an accomplished writer, having published numerous books and articles on chess strategy and techniques. He is a well-known figure in the chess world and his advice is highly sought after by aspiring players.

He is an example of excellence in the game of chess, and his achievements are something to be admired.

18. Joseph Henry Blackburne

Joseph_Henry_Blackburne__18

Joseph Henry Blackburne was a British chess player who was well-known during the late 19th century. He was a dominant figure in the British chess scene and was nicknamed “The Black Death” due to his fierce and successful playing style.

Blackburne was born in London in 1841 and started playing chess from an early age. He quickly became a formidable chess player, winning his first tournament in 1862. He went on to win many prestigious tournaments, including the British Chess Championship eight times.

Blackburne was also known for his ability to beat multiple opponents simultaneously, regularly playing ten or more people at once and defeating them all. He was even known to travel the country to challenge the best players in each location.

His successes enabled him to become a professional chess player and he continued to play until his death in 1924. Blackburne’s legacy lives on, with many chess players citing him as an inspiration and a great influence on the game.

19. Howard Staunton

Howard_Staunton__19

Howard Staunton was an English chess master who is widely regarded as the world’s strongest player from 1843 to 1851. He earned this title largely due to his victory in 1843 over Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant, a renowned French chess grandmaster.

Prior to this, Staunton had already been an impressive chess player, having won the London Chess Club Championship in 1841 and the British Chess Association in 1843. His victory over de Saint-Amant, however, cemented his place as a top-level chess grandmaster.

Staunton was known for his aggressive playstyle and his innovative moves, which often surprised his opponents.

He was also an avid chess writer, publishing numerous books on the game, including The Chess Player’s Handbook, which is still considered one of the most influential chess books ever written.

Staunton’s legacy has since been immortalized in the Staunton chess set, which is still used in many chess competitions worldwide. His legacy as one of the greatest chess players of all time lives on in the minds of chess lovers around the globe.

20. Harry Golombek

Harry_Golombek__20

Harry Golombek OBE was an esteemed member of the British chess community. He was known for his achievements in both the game of chess and in his work as a codebreaker during World War II. Golombek was a three-time British chess champion, winning in 1947, 1949, and 1955.

He also came in second place in the 1948 championship. Golombek was a highly accomplished chess player who competed in numerous international tournaments over the course of his career. He represented Britain in six Chess Olympiads, winning the individual gold medal in 1950.

Golombek also won the Hastings International Chess Congress in 1938 and the British Chess Championship in 1942. In addition to his success as a chess player, Golombek was a highly regarded chess author.

He wrote over 50 books on the game, including “Modern Chess Openings” and “The Game of Chess.” He also wrote a biographical book about former world chess champion Alexander Alekhine. In recognition of his achievements in the game of chess and his service as a codebreaker during the war, Golombek was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1987.

He was also awarded the title of International Master by the World Chess Federation in 1977. Golombek’s legacy as a chess player and author lives on today through the Harry Golombek Memorial Tournament, which is held annually in London.

He is remembered as one of the greatest British chess players of all time, and his work and achievements will continue to inspire generations of chess enthusiasts.

21. Amos Burn

Amos_Burn__21

Amos Burn was an English chess player and writer who achieved great success in his field. He was born on New Year’s Eve, 1848, in Hull, England. During his teenage years, Burn relocated to Liverpool and began working as an apprentice for a firm of shipowners and merchants.

This marked the beginning of his long and distinguished career in the chess world. Burn quickly rose to the top of the ranks, becoming one of the world’s leading chess players at the end of the 19th century.

He was renowned for his strategic skills and was known for his impressive record in tournaments. Burn was just as successful as a writer, publishing several books and articles about the game.

He was considered a master of the game and a respected authority in the chess community. Burn’s legacy lives on today, as his works continue to be studied and admired by chess enthusiasts around the world.

He is remembered as one of the greats of the game, and his success is a testament to his intelligence and dedication.

22. Henry Bird

Henry_Bird_(chess_player)__22

Henry Edward Bird was an influential figure in the world of chess. He was an English chess master, author, and accountant. Bird was an avid chess player for many years, and was well known in the chess circles of the late 19th century.

He was considered to be one of the strongest chess players of his time, and his games were widely studied by other players.Bird also wrote two books about chess: Chess History and Reminiscences and An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom.

Chess History and Reminiscences was published in 1883 and it examines the history of the game of chess.

An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom was published in 1884 and it is an examination of the railway industry in the United Kingdom. Bird was also an accountant, and his expertise in this area helped to make him an influential figure in the business world.

He worked for a number of companies in the late 19th century, including the London and North Western Railway. Bird’s influence in the world of chess, accounting, and the railway industry has left an enduring legacy.

His books, Chess History and Reminiscences and An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom are still widely read today, and his influence in the chess world is still felt.

Bird’s legacy lives on in the form of the British Chess Federation, which was founded in 1904 in his honor.

23. Jonathan Penrose

Jonathan_Penrose__23

Jonathan Penrose was a renowned English chess player, remembered for his skill, dedication and passion for the game. He was awarded the titles of Grandmaster and International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster for his outstanding achievements in the sport.

His most notable success was winning the British Chess Championship a remarkable ten times between the years 1958 and 1969. This was an incredible feat and one which placed him among the most successful chess players of all time.

Penrose was born in London in 1934 and was already a talented player by the age of ten. He represented England in many international tournaments throughout his career and was also a strong proponent of correspondence chess.

His passion for the game was so great that he wrote several books on the subject, including “Theorie der Schachpartie” and “The Chess Mind”. Penrose was also awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to chess.

This was a fitting recognition for a man whose passion and dedication for the sport had made him one of the most successful players in British history. His legacy lives on in the memory of all those who had the opportunity to appreciate his skillful play.

24. Fred Yates

Fred_Yates_(chess_player)__24

Fred Dewhirst Yates was an English chess master who achieved great success in the game. He won the British Chess Championship on six occasions, a remarkable feat.

Yates started his career in accountancy, but he eventually abandoned this in 1909 in order to pursue a career in professional chess and journalism. This was a bold decision that paid off, as it allowed him to focus on what he was passionate about and achieve great success.

His successes in the game are a testament to his skill and dedication to the sport. Yates was a master of the game and his accomplishments will be remembered for years to come.

25. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley_Kubrick__25

Stanley Kubrick was a renowned American filmmaker who made an indelible impact on the film industry. He was a filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, and photographer, and is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

He directed a variety of films and is well-known for his attention to detail and innovative filmmaking techniques. Kubrick’s films range from science fiction to horror to war, but nearly all of his films were adaptations of existing works.

His best-known films include A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Dr. Strangelove. He was known as a perfectionist, and his films often had multiple takes and detailed sets.

He also worked closely with his actors, sometimes requiring them to rehearse for months before shooting began. Kubrick’s films were often controversial, and his attention to detail and willingness to push boundaries made him a unique and influential filmmaker.

His films have had a huge influence on other filmmakers, and his work continues to be studied and discussed today. Stanley Kubrick’s work will continue to be remembered as some of the most iconic in film history.

Conclusion

The United Kingdom has produced some of the best chess players in the world. From the legendary Bobby Fischer to the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen, the UK has been home to many talented players.

While there is no definitive list of the best players of all time, many would agree that the UK has had a strong history of producing great chess talent.

Photo of author

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