Strongest of All Time

So who are the greatest chess players of all time? In doing a great deal of research in creating Chess Champs we discovered the answer!

Historical ratings were based on work done by Jeff Sonas. For ratings after the year 2000, FIDE rating lists were used. All ratings were determined by calculating the average rating over a 5 year period from January - December. Then taking the peak of those averages across the time that player was active.

We have not included any player whose peak was below 2700 which is why Judit Polgar makes the list but Hou Yifan doesn't for example.

Rank Player Rating
1 Magnus Carlsen Magnus Carlsen 2859
2 Emanuel Lasker Emanuel Lasker 2847
3 Garry Kasparov Garry Kasparov 2843
4 Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Botvinnik 2843
5 Bobby Fischer Bobby Fischer 2841
6 Anatoli Karpov Anatoly Karpov 2829
7 Alexander Alekhine Alexander Alekhine 2827
8 Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand 2818
9 José Raúl Capablanca José Raúl Capablanca 2813
10 Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Kramnik 2812
11 Levon Aronian Levon Aronian 2807
12 Fabiano Caruana Fabiano Caruana 2799
13 Vesselin Topalov Vesselin Topalov 2796
14 Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Ivanchuk 2790
15 Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Korchnoi 2789
16 Wilhelm Steinitz Wilhelm Steinitz 2789
17 Vasily Smyslov Vasily Smyslov 2788
18 Hikaru Nakamura Hikaru Nakamura 2785
19 Tigran Petrosian Tigran Petrosian 2782
20 Alexander Grischuk Alexander Grischuk 2775
21 Mikhail Tal Mikhail Tal 2773
22 Harry Pillsbury Harry Pillsbury 2773
23 Géza Maróczy Géza Maróczy 2772
24 Sergey Karjakin Sergey Karjakin 2771
25 Samuel Reshevsky Samuel Reshevsky 2769
26 Paul Keres Paul Keres 2766
27 Siegbert Tarrasch Siegbert Tarrasch 2766
28 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2765
29 Anish Giri Anish Giri 2765
30 Miguel Najdorf Miguel Najdorf 2765
31 Wesley So Wesley So 2762
32 Boris Spassky Boris Spassky 2761
33 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2760
34 Teimour Radjabov Teimour Radjabov 2760
35 David Bronstein David Bronstein 2758
36 Paul Morphy Paul Morphy 2753
37 Gata Kamsky Gata Kamsky 2752
38 Peter Leko Peter Leko 2751
39 Boris Gelfand Boris Gelfand 2750
40 Valery Salov Valery Salov 2749
41 Ding Liren Ding Liren 2747
42 Alexei Shirov Alexei Shirov 2747
43 Alexander Beliavsky Alexander Beliavsky 2747
44 Efim Geller Efim Geller 2747
45 Jan Timman Jan Timman 2746
46 Michael Adams Michael Adams 2745
47 Reuben Fine Reuben Fine 2745
48 Lev Polugaevsky Lev Polugaevsky 2745
49 Carl Schlechter Carl Schlechter 2743
50 Lajos Portisch Lajos Portisch 2742
51 Leonid Stein Leonid Stein 2741
52 Leinier Dominguez Perez Leinier Dominguez Perez 2739
53 Alexander Morozevich Alexander Morozevich 2738
54 Bent Larsen Bent Larsen 2738
55 Salo Flohr Salo Flohr 2738
56 Ruslan Ponomariov Ruslan Ponomariov 2738
57 Evgeny Bareev Evgeny Bareev 2737
58 Mikhail Chigorin Mikhail Chigorin 2737
59 Peter Svidler Peter Svidler 2736
60 Isaak Boleslavsky Isaak Boleslavsky 2736
61 Rafael Vaganian Rafael Vaganian 2736
62 Johannes Zukertort Johannes Zukertort 2736
63 David Janowski David Janowski 2736
64 Alexander Kotov Alexander Kotov 2734
65 Dmitry Jakovenko Dmitry Jakovenko 2733
66 Akiba Rubinstein Akiba Rubinstein 2733
67 Aaron Nimzowitsch Aaron Nimzowitsch 2733
68 Pentala Harikrishna Pentala Harikrishna 2732
69 Pavel Eljanov Pavel Eljanov 2731
70 Max Euwe Max Euwe 2731
71 Artur Yusupov Artur Yusupov 2730
72 Nigel Short Nigel Short 2730
73 Gideon Ståhlberg Gideon Ståhlberg 2729
74 Radoslaw Wojtaszek Radoslaw Wojtaszek 2728
75 Nikita Vitiugov Nikita Vitiugov 2728
76 Mark Taimanov Mark Taimanov 2728
77 Efim Bogoljubov Efim Bogoljubov 2728
78 Svetozar Gligoric Svetozar Gligoric 2727
79 David Navara David Navara 2724
80 Ian Nepomniachtchi Ian Nepomniachtchi 2724
81 Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Andreikin 2724
82 Ulf Andersson Ulf Andersson 2724
83 Li Chao b Li Chao b 2722
84 Evgeny Tomashevsky Evgeny Tomashevsky 2722
85 Ljubomir Ljubojevic Ljubomir Ljubojevic 2721
86 Etienne Bacrot Etienne Bacrot 2717
87 Robert Hübner Robert Hübner 2716
88 Jaan Ehlvest Jaan Ehlvest 2715
89 Joseph Blackburne Joseph Blackburne 2714
90 Mikhail Gurevich Mikhail Gurevich 2713
91 Jon Speelman Jon Speelman 2712
92 Vlastimil Hort Vlastimil Hort 2712
93 Yangyi Yu Yu Yangyi 2711
94 Zoltán Ribli Zoltán Ribli 2711
95 Richard Teichmann Richard Teichmann 2711
96 Le Quang Liem Le Quang Liem 2710
97 Vladimir Malakhov Vladimir Malakhov 2710
98 Alexander Khalifman Alexander Khalifman 2710
99 Andrei Sokolov Andrei Sokolov 2709
100 Judit Polgar Judit Polgar 2709
101 László Szabó László Szabó 2709
102 Baadur Jobava Baadur Jobava 2708
103 Henrique Mecking Henrique Mecking 2708
104 Vladimir Makogonov Vladimir Makogonov 2708
105 Alexey Dreev Alexey Dreev 2707
106 Rudolf Spielmann Rudolf Spielmann 2707
107 Laurent Fressinet Laurent Fressinet 2706
108 Oleg Romanishin Oleg Romanishin 2706
109 Frank Marshall Frank Marshall 2706
110 John Nunn John Nunn 2705
111 Predrag Nikolic Predrag Nikolic 2704
112 Yuri Averbakh Yuri Averbakh 2704
113 Ratmir Kholmov Ratmir Kholmov 2703
114 Yuri Balashov Yuri Balashov 2703
115 Francisco Vallejo Pons Francisco Vallejo Pons 2702
116 Alexander Moiseenko 2702
117 Vladimir Tukmakov Vladimir Tukmakov 2701
118 Vladimir Akopian Vladimir Akopian 2701
119 Rustam Kasimdzhanov Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2700
120 Leonid Yudasin Leonid Yudasin 2700