Opening moves like the Sokolsky opening, the Morphy Defense and the Reti Opening are named after chess greats and known usually only by chess enthusiasts. However, since Netflix’s series, The Queen’s Gambit, interest in chess playing has picked up by the general public. Our list below introduces some of the most famous and greatest chess Grandmasters of all time.

Binge Worthy

Garry Kasparov Net Worth: $5 million
Magnus Carlsen Net Worth: $8 million
Hikaru Nakamura Net Worth: $50 million
Levon Aronian Net Worth: $3 million
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Net Worth: $5 million
Teimour Radjabov Net Worth: $5 million
Judit Polgar Net Worth: $5 million
Viswanathan Anand Net Worth: $3 million
Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik Net Worth: $2 million
Fabiano Caruana Net Worth: $13 million

Garry Kasparov
Net Worth: $5 million

Garry Kasparov started learning the game when he was only 10 years old.

He subsequently became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at age 22 by defeating then-champion Anatoly Karpov. He held the official FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs) world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association.

He was the undisputed champion from 1975-1985 and 1993-1999, with 160 first-place tournaments, losing his title to Garry Kasparov in 1985. He retired from professional chess in 2005.

After retiring from professional chess, Kasparov devoted his time to politics and writing. He formed the United Civil Front movement, and joined The Other Russia, a coalition opposed to the administration and policies of Vladimir Putin. In 2008, he announced an intention to run as a candidate in that year’s Russian presidential race, but after encountering logistical problems in his campaign for which he blamed “official obstruction”, he withdrew. In 2013, he left Russia and became a citizen of Croatia.

As of 2021, this Russian master of chess is thought to be worth about $5 million.

Magnus Carlsen
Net Worth: $8 million

A chess grandmaster, this Norwegian is the current World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion.

A chess prodigy, Magnus Carlsen achieved second place in the World U12 Chess Championship in 2002. At 13, he finished first in the C group of the Corus chess tournament, and took the grandmaster title a few months later. At age 15, he won the Norwegian Chess Championship, and at 17, he was placed joint first in the top group of Corus. He exceeded a rating of 2800 at age 18 and reached number one in the FIDE world rankings at age 19, becoming the youngest person ever to achieve these feats.

Carlsen is not a universal player using different openings to challenge and block his opponent.

Carlsen returned to the Airthings Masters in 2020 after several years of absence, however, Russia’s Daniil Dubov eliminated Carlsen from the quarter-finals, ending a day of massive upsets for the current world champion.

As of 2021, Carlsen is estimated to have a net worth of about $8 million.

Hikaru Nakamura
Net Worth: $50 million

He was recognized as a chess prodigy at age 15 years, becoming the youngest American to earn the title of Grandmaster.

Nakamura is a five-time United States champion, who won the 2011 edition of Tata Steel Chess Tournament Group A and represented the United States at five Chess Olympiads, winning a team gold medal and two team bronze medals.

In October 2015, with a FIDE rating of 2816, he was ranked second in the world. In May 2014, when FIDE began publishing official rapid and blitz chess ratings, Nakamura was ranked number one in the world on both lists. He was pipped by Magnus Carlsen in the second publication of the rankings.

At the Airthings Masters in 2020, Nakamura was eliminated after losing to Levon Aronian.

As of 2021, this Grandmaster has built an estimated net worth of $50 million.


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Jun 16, 2021

Carlsen rating World Chess Champions

How does Magnus Carlsen rate his great predecessors as World Chess Champions on genius, entertainment, influence and sanity? We got to find out in a series of videos made for the New in Chess Classic, in which he assessed the 11th to the 16th World Champions, i.e. Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and himself! He also looked at arguably the two greatest female players of all time, Judit Polgar and Hou Yifan, and rated the top player in each category going back to the likes of Jose Capablanca and Mikhail Tal.

In case you missed them during the New in Chess Classic, we’ve gathered together all of Magnus Carlsen’s videos talking about the World Chess Champions. It began with one general video where Magnus picked the top champion of all time in each category.

Genius: A lot of people would say Fischer, I guess. Not so sure about that. I think I will go with Capablanca, though. He’s somebody who came out of nowhere and just played very clear, simple and yet brilliant chess, and that is something that I would characterize as genius-like.

Entertainment: When it comes to entertaining it starts and ends with Tal, and I don’t really see any great competition there, both really on and off the board.

Influence: As a modern player I will say that probably I will have to say Garry Kasparov, because he really has influenced all the best players today.

Sanity: I think somebody who definitely stands out as extremely sane and level-headed and just a wonderful person to be around in every way is Anand, so that’s the one I will go with.

Magnus then filmed six videos looking at the last six World Champions, himself included!

Bobby Fischer (World Champion from 1972-1975)

Genius: I don’t consider him to be that big a genius, but still there was some Capablanca-like quality in the way that he made chess look very simple, so I’m going to give him a 7 out of 10.

Entertainment: Fischer was certainly… everything about him was entertaining, all that was around. His games in themselves were entertaining because he always played for a win, even though they weren’t always most exciting in terms of new ideas and everything, but considering the whole package, I think he gets an 8 here.

Influence: I would say he scores very highly both in terms of opening ideas, general ideas about the game, and obviously everything that’s around Fischer, he’s influenced chess greatly, so I think he’s going to get a 9 here.

Sanity: In terms of sanity, I think we are judging Fischer as a World Champion, and while he was World Champion I think he was still reasonably well-rounded, so he gets a 4 here, which is not a great score, but certainly later it could have potentially been even worse.

Garry Kasparov (1985-2000)

Garry Kasparov – in my opinion the greatest player there’s ever been.

Genius: Garry was certainly a hard worker, but he had this very, very special kind of talent for the game as well, that you could see already at a very early age, and he could find ideas that nobody else could, so I think Garry gets a perfect 10.

Entertainment: In terms of entertaining there were quite a lot of short draws in the World Championship matches. Generally everything about Garry was entertaining, but he would have gotten a 10 except for his tendencies to offer a bit too many draws for my liking, so that’s going to be a 9.

Influence: In terms of influence I would say on the modern generation that’s a pretty good 10 as well.

Sanity: In terms of sanity he gets the same mark as Karpov, which is a 7. There certainly have been episodes with Garry as well, but personally at the very least I’ve found him very interesting to be around and not a problem at all.

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Mar 14, 2024

Grandmasters are now achieving their Titles at an earlier age than ever

The game of chess is witnessing a fascinating trend. New research by shows that grandmasters are now achieving their titles at an earlier age than ever. Will the chess world see 10- or 11-year-olds becoming grandmasters in the next few years?

In the past year, we’ve seen a surge in children scoring extraordinary results. Records that would’ve seemed unbreakable only five to 10 years ago aren’t as shatterproof as we once thought, and it’s just a matter of time until they are broken again. “Child’s play” as some say.

Here are some examples:

The results appear to be a part of a new trend as shown by research that looks at the age of players who secure the grandmaster title.

While the average age for players achieving the most prestigious title in chess was 30 between 1975-1979, it dropped to 22.8 between 2020 and 2024. The highest age for a new GM was 32.8 in 1977. More then four decades later, in 2021, the average age is down to a record low of 20.9.

10 players are currently pending approval for the GM title in 2024. The average age is down to 21.4, the second lowest to date.

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Apr 16, 2021

Who Is The Best Chess Player In The World?‎

You have probably heard someone say “I can beat all my friends at chess” or “I’m the best chess player at my school!” After rolling your eyes, you may have wondered: Who is the best chess player in the world?

The best chess player in the world is currently Magnus Carlsen. Magnus is the reigning world chess champion and has been since 2013.

Born in Norway in 1990, Magnus learned chess when he was five years old. He was quickly identified as a prodigy and became one of the youngest grandmasters of all time at the age of 13. Magnus has won numerous world championships, international tournaments, and online events. He is the world’s top player in every format of chess: from long tournament games to online blitz.

What makes Magnus the best in the world is that he seems to have no weaknesses. While he was a very aggressive player when younger, his game has developed to be strong in every area. He is dangerous without taking too much risk. He is strong in openings, middlegames, and endgames. He plays strategic and positional chess, but he also rarely misses tactical opportunities. And once he gets a small advantage, he knows how to convert it into a win.

Most people agree that not only is Magnus Carlsen the best player in the world right now, but he is also the strongest chess player in history.

Check out this amazing quick knockout game by Magnus Carlsen. It may help you understand why he’s the world champion.