The Best Chess Players

Popularized in the second half of the 20th century by mythical confrontations between American and Russian players, chess is now the most popular board game in the world. There are no longer any regional, national, continental or even international competitions. Each one of them tries every time to make the best player.

The ELO Ranking

To answer this interesting question at world level, the International Federation of chess (FIDE) developed the ELO classification in 1970. Imagined by the Hungarian scientific Arpad Elo, this prestigious ranking takes into account the results of the different players but not only since it is also and above all the relative Strength of these players that is estimated. This means that the winning player’s performance is compared to his opponent. Defeating a player who is well placed in the ranking pays more than beating a player who is less well placed.

Russian Domination – Garry Kasparov

In the early years following the creation of the ELO rankings, American Bobby Fischer was considered the best chess player in the world.

Then, the USSR wants to demonstrate to other countries its intellectual domination through this abstract game of pure strategy. Many Russian champions then appear. For nearly 30 years, they will dominate the discipline.

The first was Anatoli Karpov before he was robbed by Garry Kasparov, who remained at the top of the international rankings for about 20 years. When he retired in the mid-2000s, new faces were to emerge.

Since 2006, three players have been at the top of the ELO rankings: Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, Indian Viswanathan Anand, and Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.

The Mozart of Chess – Magnus Carlsen

At the time, since the creation of the ELO rankings, the best chess players were all in their 40s or better. This was not the case of Magnus Carlsen, who won at only 19 years old in 2010, as the world’s youngest number 1 chess player of all time. On January 1, 2013, he even managed to exceed by 10 points the best score held so far by Garry Kasparov by obtaining 2,861 points in the ELO classification. The undisputed master of the discipline, the one that many call the Mozart of chess reaches even the 2,872 points in January 2014!

Emerging talent – Levon Aronian

Despite his status as the world’s number one chess player, Carlsen still had to face serious competitors such as Levon Aronian. This 30-year-old is one of only six players who have managed to exceed 2,800 points in the ELO rankings since its inception.

Other young players have also appeared, such as American Hikaru Nakamura, Italian Fabiano Caruana or the same Russian Sergei Kariakine.

Master Forever – Bobby Fischer

Nevertheless, for most of The Specialists, a player remains today even though he happens to be the best chess player in history. In 2008, Garry Kasparov acknowledged this himself: “Bobby Fischer can be considered the founder of professional chess and his domination, though of very short duration, made him the greatest chess player of all time “.