Bobby Fischer began as a chess prodigy in his teens and went on to become the youngest "grandmaster," at 15. His participation in a politically controversial match in Yugoslavia led to the revocation of his U.S. passport and his arrest. He spent the final years of his life in Iceland.
Wilhelm Steinitz was an Austrian-born American chess player. He is recognized as the first World Chess Champion, having reigned from 1886 to 1894. A multi-talented personality, Wilhelm Steinitz was also an influential chess theoretician and writer. Steinitz is also remembered for having a huge impact on the game and was a well-known player during his time.
Maurice Ashley is a Jamaican-American author, chess player, and commentator. In 1999, Ashley became the first black person to achieve the prestigious Grandmaster title after defeating Adrian Negulescu. In 2016, Maurice Ashley was made an inductee of the US Chess Hall of Fame.
Georgia-born Nazi Paikidze had earned four European Youth Chess Championships by the time she was 16. She is also a six-time World Youth Chess Championship winner. The Woman Grandmaster and International Master later moved to Moscow and then to the US, where she is currently studying information systems.
Apart from being an International Master in chess, Joshua Waitzkin has also won several medals in the martial art Taiji and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His life inspired the book Searching for Bobby Fischer and the movie of the same name. He has also penned two books.
Wesley So is a Filipino-born American chess player who achieved the prestigious grandmaster title in 2008. He is best known for winning a silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games. In 2011, Wesley So won a gold medal and a silver medal at the Southeast Asian Games. He is also a three-time U.S. Chess Champion and three-time Philippine Chess Champion.
Jacqueline Piatigorsky was a French-American sculptor, chess player, philanthropist, author, and arts patron. As a chess player, Piatigorsky represented the USA in the first Women's Chess Olympiad, in 1957, where she won a bronze medal. An important patron of the arts, Jacqueline Piatigorsky helped raise money for the New England Conservatory of Music to create an award for deserving artists.