Gukesh D is an Indian chess player who became the third-youngest player in history to qualify for the Grandmaster title, which was awarded to him by FIDE in March 2019. At the Asian Youth Chess Championships in 2018, Gukesh won five gold medals in different formats.
Viswanathan Anand is an Indian chess player and former world champion. The first grandmaster from India, Anand is also one of the few chess players to have gone past an Elo rating of 2800, only the fourth player in history to do so. Renowned for his quick moves, Anand is widely regarded as the greatest rapid player of our time.
Tania Sachdev is an Indian chess player who has been honored with such FIDE titles as Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and International Master (IM). Since 2008, Sachdev has represented India at the Women's Chess Olympiads as part of the Indian national team. In 2009, she was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award for her contribution to chess in India.
When he was named Grandmaster, Indian chess star Pendyala Harikrishna became the seventh-youngest in the world and the youngest from his country to achieve the feat. He had started playing chess at age 4 and represented India at the Chess Olympiad at 14. He also has an Asian Games gold in his kitty.
Koneru Humpy is an Indian chess player and the current women's world rapid champion. At the age of 15, Humpy became the youngest female chess player to achieve the prestigious Grandmaster title. In 2003, she was honored with India's second-highest sporting honor, the Arjuna Award. In 2007, Koneru Humpy was honored with the Padma Shri Award.
At 27, Vidit Gujrathi was ranked second among Indian chess players, just behind legendary player Viswanathan Anand. After earning the tag of an International Master, following his win in the Under-14 World Youth Championships, he went on to become a Grandmaster, too. He is also quite popular on YouTube.
Chess prodigy Arjun Erigaisi became a Grandmaster at 14. Initially encouraged by one of his school teachers to take up chess, he grew up to win a silver medal at the 2015 Asian Youth Championship held in Korea. He also became the first Indian to qualify for the Champions Chess Tour knockouts.
Grandmaster Adhiban Baskaran, also known as the Beast, for his aggressive style of chess, soared to fame with his 2009 Indian Championship win. He also earned the 2008 World Under-16 and the 2007 Asian Under-16 Championship titles. His 2010 Asian Games bronze win eventually made him a chess star.
Soumya Swaminathan is a chess player who has been honored with FIDE titles, such as Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and International Master (IM). In 2010 and 2012, she represented India at the Women's World Championships. Over the course of her career, Soumya Swaminathan has received several prestigious awards, such as the Shiv Chatrapati Award and Pune Gaurav Puruskar.
Apart from being an International Master, Padmini Rout is also a Woman Grandmaster. The Eklavya Award- and Biju Patnaik Sports Award-winning Indian chess player had begun playing the sport at age 9, encouraged by her father. The four-time Indian Women's Champion has also represented India in the Olympics several times.
Known as The Indian Wall in the chess circuit, Krishnan Sasikiran has won both a gold and a bronze at the Asian Games. In 2021, he upset Aleksandr Shimanov to win the Rilton Winners' Cup, and became the first Indian to win a major chess title that year.
Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa is an Indian chess player who became the fifth-youngest player in the world to achieve the prestigious Grandmaster title in 2018. A chess prodigy, Praggnanandhaa was honored with the FIDE Master title at age seven when he won the World Youth Chess Championships in 2013. In 2016, he became the youngest player to achieve the international master title.
Indian chess prodigy Nihal Sarin, who began learning chess at 6, was named a Grandmaster at 14. Once named one of the top 10 players in India, he has many achievements in his kitty, such as the Under-10 World Blitz Championship, the Under-10 World Youth Chess Championship, and the Under-18 World Youth Championship.
Vaishali Rameshbabu is an Indian chess player who achieved the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title in 2018. She first achieved recognition after winning the Girls' World Youth Chess Championship for Under-12s and Under-14s. Vaishali Rameshbabu is also known as the older sister of chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa.
At 13, Indian chess prodigy and Asian champion Parimarjan Negi became the second-youngest grandmaster ever. The Arjuna Award-winning chess player, who once ranked within the world’s top 100, later quit chess to graduate from Stanford with a math major. He also took up PhD at MIT.
The most successful blind chess player of India, Darpan Inani is also a qualified chartered accountant. He is believed to have rejected an offer from IIM-Lucknow to join their MBA course, to pursue his chess career instead. He is also a talented musician and a yellow belt in karate.
Surya Shekhar Ganguly is an Indian chess player who became an International Master and a Grandmaster at age 16 and 19, respectively. Apart from winning several individual gold medals, Ganguly also played an important role in assisting Viswanathan Anand win World Championship matches in 2008, 2010, and 2012. In 2005, Surya Shekhar Ganguly was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Indian chess player Abhijeet Gupta is not just a Grandmaster but also the first to score five wins at the Commonwealth Chess Championship. He was also the first player to win the Hoogeveen International chess tournament twice back-to-back. He was also part of the 2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad.
Srinath Narayanan is an Indian chess player who achieved the Grandmaster title in 2017. At age eight, Narayanan became the youngest player in India to be rated by FIDE. He then played an important role as a member of the Indian team that participated in major events like Olympiads. Narayanan is also credited with coaching many rising stars in India.
Dibyendu Barua is an Indian chess player who achieved the prestigious Grandmaster (GM) title in 1991, becoming only the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to achieve the title. Dibyendu Barua is a three-time national chess champion.
Known as the first Indian chess master according to the modern tradition, Manuel Aaron was also the first Indian chess player to be named an International Master. Born in Burma, he grew up in Tamil Nadu, India. The nine-time National Champion has also written for The Hindu.
P. Iniyan is a chess prodigy from Erode in India, which surprisingly had no booming chess culture. The Grandmaster, born to a cricketer, was equally skilled in other sports such as cricket and badminton in childhood, but was later encouraged to concentrate on a single sport by his parents.
Aryan Chopra is an Indian chess player who achieved the Grandmaster (GM) title in 2016, becoming the second-youngest player from India to achieve the prestigious title. He is currently the nation's fifth youngest grandmaster. In 2017, Chopra took part in the Match of the Millennials where he represented the world team that beat the US team.
Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi made history when she became the first Woman Grandmaster from India. Introduced to chess by her father, she grew up to master the game and even won an Arjuna Award for her accomplishments. She is also the first female International Master from India.
S. P. Sethuraman is an Indian chess player who achieved the Grandmaster (GM) title in 2010, becoming the then youngest GM of the nation. In 2014, he represented the Indian team at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø where he helped his team win the bronze medal. In 2016, S. P. Sethuraman earned the Asian Chess Championship title.
Moheschunder Bannerjee was an Indian chess player whose games were popularized through the writings of Scottish chess master John Cochrane. Bannerjee and Cochrane played against each other regularly between 1848 and 1860. Bannerjee is credited with contributing several opening moves which came to be known as the Indian Defence. He is also credited with introducing and popularizing the Grünfeld Defence.
In spite of being the youngest Grandmaster from his home state Kerala in India, chess prodigy S. L. Narayanan had to resort to the crowdfunding platform Milaap to fund his chess career. He had begun to be noticed since his Under-12 Commonwealth Chess Championship win and later won many national and international titles.
Though wheelchair-bound and suffering from a type of muscular dystrophy, Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati became the youngest Indian to hold a patent when he co-discovered a six-player chess variant with his father. He was highly inspired by British physicist Stephen Hawking. Unfortunately, he died of a cardiac arrest at age 18.
Apart from being an Indian Grandmaster, Ramachandran Ramesh is also known for his chess academy Chess Gurukul. The 2002 British Championship and 2007 Commonwealth Championship winner is married to Indian Woman Grandmaster Aarthie Ramaswamy. He coached the Indian squad that won its first bronze medal in Olympiad.
The first female and fourth overall International Master from her home state of Goa in India, Bhakti Kulkarni is also a Woman Grandmaster. She has several Asian and world tournament medals in her kitty, including the 2016 Asian Chess Women Championship title. She is also known for her ever-smiling personality.
Indian chess Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte has six Indian Chess Championship medals, including two gold medals. He has also been part of the Chess Olympiads four times. Now an Indian Oil employee, Kunte runs a chess academy with his sister and owns a sports business named Kinder Sports, too.
Indian Woman Grandmaster and International Master Eesha Karavade hails from Pune. She has won several national and international medals, including a gold at the 2011 Commonwealth Chess Championship and a bronze at the 2011 Asian Individual Women Chess Championship. She is now a mother, too.